How latest statement from Astros GM shows Brown bringing ‘Brave’ influence to H-town

Kyle Tucker has been a big topic of conversation this week as he went to salary arbitration looking for $7.5 million, with the Astros offering $5 million. The Astros won the arbitration and Tucker will make $5 million this year.

While we don't see a long-term extension coming for Tucker right away, Astros GM Dana Brown's history tells us he may try to sign a younger player like Cristian Javier or Jeremy Pena to an extension. The Braves, Brown's former organization, did exactly that when they recently signed Braves rookies Michael Harris II (8-years, $72 million) and Spencer Strider (6-years, 75 million).

Also, with this in mind, will the philosophies Brown learned in Atlanta influence Jim Crane to handle contracts differently? And if so, can anything be learned from Braves' Austin Riley's 10-year, $212 million deal? He's only one year younger than Tucker. Is a lengthy deal completely off the table for Tucker and the Astros, or could we see Crane adapt to how the Braves do business?

On Thursday, Brown met with the media, and the timing couldn't have been better for this video. He gave us some legit hope that the Astros are working on these extensions. It looks like Brown is already influencing the way Crane does business.

Be sure to check out the video above as we break it all down!

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The Houston Astros haven't counted on their catchers to deliver much offensive production in recent years, with defensive specialist Martin Maldonado being their primary catcher for the last few seasons. But top hitting prospect Yainer Diaz is making a case to get more playing time behind the plate and at first, based on his ability to swing the bat.

Until recently, he hasn't been able to get any meaningful playing time. Even David Hensley, who was optioned to Sugar Land a few weeks ago, has more plate appearances than Diaz this season.

So how does manager Dusty Baker find more opportunities for Diaz? Should he use him more often as a DH, along with getting time at first base and catcher?

And what does that mean for Jose Abreu, Martin Maldonado, and to a lesser extent, former first round pick and Sugar Land Space Cowboy catcher, Korey Lee?

Plus, considering how good the Astros outfielders have been this year, does the team need to grab another bat before the trade deadline?

Don't miss the video above as we break it all down!

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Listen to The Bench with John Granato and Lance Zierlein weekday mornings on ESPN 97.5 and 92.5 FM.

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