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Astros Ground Control Secrets Leaked

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If you are an Astros fan who enjoys sensationalized stories or juicy leaked information, you have had a good couple of weeks. First there was the Sports Illustrated piece proclaiming Houston would be the 2017 World Series champions. Today, Deadspin released ten months worth of leaked tidbits from the club’s internal trade talks.

If things travel in threes, maybe there is one more, big story yet to come. The Astros’ baseball decisions makers are probably hoping there aren’t. No one would want to have their personal or business emails released in any article. The difference being, there are only 29 other major league clubs to potentially do business with. The Astros don’t want to strain any relationships with other teams who could fear that their internal and external discussions might be made public or angry that they already have.

What did we learn?

1.The Astros wanted a lot in return for starting pitcher Bud Norris in trade discussions. Check. That seemed apparent at the time. Norris can’t be happy to know the Giants tested the waters with Assistant General Manager David Stearns. Bud publicly professed his interest in pitching for San Francisco. The Astros had an interest in Orioles pitching prospects Dylan Bundy and Kevin Gausman and Pirates prospects Gregory Polanco and pitcher Jameson Taillon. I can’t blame them for aiming high with the game’s top prospects, but it is also not surprising their respective teams had no interest in consummating those deals.

2.The Marlins may have traded Giancarlo Stanton for Astros prospects George Springer and Carlos Correa. During Bo Porter’s charity gala last November Marlins General Manager Dan Jennings and Astros GM Jeff Luhnow were both in the ballroom. As the event’s emcee, I joked about trading Stanton to the Astros. Trading Springer AND Correa wouldn’t have been worth joking about, let alone considering, especially because the Astros still aren’t in win now mode and Stanton’s contract demands may soon exceed the team’s total 2013 payroll. Luhnow proposed Jarred Cosart and Delino Deshields. I don’t believe that would have been near enough for one of baseball’s best young power hitters. It is fun however, to daydream about just how many home runs Stanton could hit at Minute Maid Park compared to the cavernous Marlins Park. The train and windows would have been in serious jeopardy.

3.The Yankees had an interest in sending Ichiro to Houston. I have heard Ichiro has a pretty good sense of humor, but I can’t imagine he is laughing reading about that possibility. It would have meant another future Hall of Famer wearing an Astros uniform for a brief time- think Pudge Rodriguez.

4.Toronto inquired about Jason Castro as an upgrade over their current catcher J.P. Arrencibia. Several other teams followed suit. Maybe the most interesting conversation regarding Castro came from the Rangers who also had an interest in Jon Singleton.

5.The Giants expressed an interest in acquiring pitcher Lucas Harrell last November. Ah yes, hindsight is 20/20.

Seam heads will be interested in reading the brief internal notes on possible trades. MY overriding question is, who is the Astros Edward Snowden?

Rightfully so, the club is not amused. The Astros released a statement Monday afternoon.

“Last month, we were made aware that proprietary information held on Astros’ servers and in Astros’ applications had been illegally obtained,” the statement read. “Upon learning of the security breach, we immediately notified MLB security who, in turn, notified the FBI. Since that time, we have been working closely with MLB security and the FBI to determine the party, or parties, responsible. This information was illegally obtained and published, and we intend to prosecute those involved to the fullest extent.

“It is unfortunate and extremely disappointing that an outside source has illegally obtained confidential information. While it does appear that some of the content released was based on trade conversations, a portion of the material was embellished or completely fabricated.”

If the Astros, MLB Security or the FBI does identify the person or persons involved, then we will know unusual stories do indeed travel in threes. That will be a story that will easily trump the rest.

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