Houston Astros set ALCS roster ahead of matchup with Yankees

ROSTER IS SET

Houston Astros set ALCS roster ahead of matchup with Yankees
Chas McCormick looks like the best option in center field. Composite image by Jack Brame.

The Houston Astros and Dusty Baker made a couple of tweaks to the playoff roster on Wednesday, with the most notable change being the addition of right-handed reliever Seth Martinez.

To make room for the addition of Seth Martinez, center fielder Jake Meyers was left off the roster. Meyers pinch ran in Game 1 of the ALDS scoring on Yordan Alvarez's walk-off home run. Meyers also had two plate appearances in Game 2, striking out twice.

Meyers' struggles and watching a game go 18 innings certainly factored in the decision to add an extra pitcher to the roster, going with 13 pitchers and 13 position players. The Astros must have confidence in Chas McCormick's health, as he was seen limping a bit in the previous series. With Meyers being out for this series, McCormick and Mauricio Dubon will be tasked with holding down center field for Houston.

They say pitching wins championships, so adding another reliever that's tough on right-handed hitters sounds like a smart move for the club.

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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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