Astros seek more pieces after key additions
Winter Meetings present opportunity for Luhnow to further solidify 'pen
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- The shopping list of Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow isn't nearly as long as it was a week ago as he and the team's top executives arrive at the Walt Disney World Swan & Dolphin Resort for the start of the Winter Meetings.
Luhnow was able to make three significant additions to the roster for 2014 by trading for Rockies center fielder Dexter Fowler on Tuesday and signing free-agent pitcher Scott Feldman on Friday and relief pitcher Chad Qualls on Saturday. The list has been pared down, but there are still things to be done.
Executives from all 30 teams will join agents and media members from across the county beginning Monday for the start of baseball's annual Winter Meetings, which are a breeding ground for teams to pull off trades and sign players.
MLB.com will have it all covered, with all 30 beat reporters working the Swan & Dolphin from the moment the hotel begins filling up Sunday night through the Rule 5 Draft on Thursday morning. Astros manager Bo Porter is scheduled to meet with the media at 3 p.m. CT Wednesday to discuss the team's offseason and look ahead to 2014.
Luhnow hits Central Florida still in the market for yet another reliever to bolster a bullpen that blew a league-high 29 saves last year, including 10 in August after closer Jose Veras was traded. Don't be surprised to see the Astros try to add another bat, as well, to put in the middle of the lineup.
Coming off a 111-loss season in which they got a look at rookies at several key positions, the Astros are spending some money and ready to start pushing forward towards contention. The additions of Fowler, Feldman and Qualls will help, but Luhnow has some payroll flexibility to add more pieces at the Winter Meetings.
Stay tuned to MLB.com for all the latest coverage, and don't be afraid to mix it up with fellow Astros fans in the comment sections at the bottom of stories. Tell us if you like the players the Astros brought aboard and whether you think the team is set for a turnaround.