How 4 Houston Astros players are already setting an exciting tone for the season

ASTROS YOUNG GUNS

Houston Astros spring training is underway and we're already seeing some promising young players making strong impressions.

Justin Dirden and Ronel Blanco are showing positive signs as they try to make their cases to join the big league squad.

And reliever Seth Martinez is working to solidify his spot in the Astros bullpen, as he bounced from Sugar Land to Houston during the course of last season.

Finally, we discuss how important it is for Luis Garcia to get off to a fast start considering the injury to Lance McCullers and the departure of Justin Verlander.

Be sure to check out the video above as we break down all the action.

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Mike Evans is returning to the Bucs. Composite Getty Image.

We are exactly one week away from when the legal tampering period begins in the NFL, when agents and teams are allowed to begin negotiations. Deals cannot become official until the new league year begins next Wednesday, but we often hear about contracts being agreed upon within the first few hours of legal tampering.

The Houston Texans have been connected to Giants running back Saquon Barkley and Buccaneers receiver Mike Evans. Over the weekend, KPRC's Aaron Wilson reported that the Texans were not likely to pursue Evans.

Now, we'll never know for sure if the Texans were looking to make a run at Evans, as he has agreed to a 2-year, $52 million contract with Tampa Bay on Monday.

Will this keep the Texans from signing a receiver?

Not necessarily, but the top options that could have been available are becoming less likely to reach free agency. The Bengals are using the franchise tag on Tee Higgins. Colts GM Chris Ballard has made it clear Michael Pittman isn't going anywhere.

The top receivers available in free agency now could come down to Jaguars' Calvin Ridley, Cardinals' Marquise Brown, and Bills' Gabe Davis to a lesser extent.

However, the Jags could bring back Ridley, and Brown isn't a lock to leave in free agency either. It's looking more and more like the Texans will be better off upgrading the position in the NFL Draft. Especially after some eye-opening performances at the NFL Combine this weekend.

It's also important to keep in mind that Tank Dell, Nico Collins, John Metchie, and Robert Woods are currently under contract for 2024. They could also look to bring back Noah Brown.

As for Barkley, we fully expect the Texans to add some depth at running back. But Barkley won't come cheap, and this could be another position the team will address in the draft.

And don't be surprised if they elect to bring back Devin Singletary after DeMeco's Ryans' ringing endorsement of him last week.

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