TEXANS NEWS

Texans GM confronts rumors, reveals intriguing draft options for Houston

Texans Nick Caserio, CJ Stroud, Bryce Young
Nick Caserio met with the media on Monday. Composite image by Brandon Strange, photos by Getty Images.
How the Houston Texans can avoid an unmistakable draft trap

Houston Texans general manager Nick Caserio addressed the rumors that he could leave the organization shortly after the 2023 NFL Draft on Monday.

His response to the rumors was right out of the page of Jordan Belfort.

“Quite frankly, I am almost embarrassed that I have to say anything,” Caserio said. “I mean, honestly, I feel like Leonardo DiCaprio on The Wolf of Wall Street, but I’m not leaving. There has never really been any substantive discussions of the sort.”

The rumor that Caserio could be on the move and head back to New England first originated from Michael Lombardi, an NFL insider, who said there could be some drastic movement within the Texans’ organization after the draft.

As is the case this time of year, albeit not usually relating to executives, the report grew into speculation that Caserio was potentially leaving the Texans just two years into his takeover of the organization as its general manager.

Over the course of the past few days, Caserio said the speculations have left him “literally laughing.” He doubled down by saying he has no idea where the source of the rumor came from.

“I can’t speak for anybody else other than myself, so I mean again, maybe you can do some digging on that,” Caserio told reporters. “My focus is on the draft. It is on the people in this building. It is on the coaching staff and my responsibility is to the people that are here.”

Houston has a plethora of draft capital in the upcoming 2023 NFL Draft, including the No. 2 overall pick, which will be crucial in filling the roster with future cornerstone players.

While Caserio said he has no plans of going anywhere, who the Texans pick at No. 2, or how they choose to utilize the selection, could ultimately end up tying into how long Caserio is the general manager for Houston.

With the draft just 10 days away, he revealed that the team has received calls for the second overall pick. While Caserio did not say what the offers or conversations for the pick have been, he did say Houston is leaving all doors open.

“Are we open for business? I would say we are open to listening … I think our responsibility is to listen, try to take the information in and try to make the right decision,” Caserio said.

With five picks in the first 73 selections, and Houston also owning a top fourth-round pick, Caserio stated there likely will be movement up or down at some point for the Texans over the course of the three days.

Whether that is as early as Houston’s top pick or later in the draft, only time will tell. The ultimate motivator behind any deals will be because the Texans are making a move to acquire a player that checks all the boxes to what Caserio and head coach DeMeco Ryans deem important.

“We won't eliminate anything. We’ll just try to make good decisions,” Caserio said.

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Astros defeat the Orioles, 5-1. Composite Getty Image.

Ronel Blanco pitched seven strong innings and Chas McCormick homered twice to lead the Houston Astros to a 5-1 win over the Baltimore Orioles on Saturday.

Yordan Alvarez added a two-run shot to help Houston extend its winning streak to four games.

Blanco (8-2), who threw seven hitless innings in his last start, allowed four hits and a run with three strikeouts for his third straight win.

Alvarez put the Astros on top with his 16th homer, which came off Corbin Burnes (8-3) in the third, and McCormick made it 4-1 in the fifth. McCormick got his fifth career multihomer game when he connected again in the eighth.

Burnes allowed five hits, including a season-high two homers and a season-most four runs in seven innings to snap his career-best streak of 10 consecutive quality starts. He was 5-0 in seven starts since a loss at Washington on May 7.

Jordan Westburg homered in the second for the Orioles, who set a franchise record with 21 straight games with a home run to surpass the 1998 squad's 20-game streak.

Baltimore had troubled stringing hits together Saturday after scoring 28 runs combined in the last two games. The top four batters in their order combined to go 1 for 13 against Blanco and Houston's bullpen.

Ryan Pressly threw a scoreless eighth before Josh Hader struck out two in a perfect ninth to end it.

Westburg connected off Blanco with one out in the second to put the Orioles up 1-0.

Yainer Diaz opened Houston’s second with a triple on a line drive to right field. The Astros tied it when he scored on a sacrifice fly by Mauricio Dubón with one out.

McCormick singled with no outs in the third and the shot to center field by Alvarez came with two outs to put Houston on top 3-1.

McCormick’s home run to the seats in left field extended the lead to 4-1 with one out in the fifth.

Cedric Mullins tripled off the wall in center with one out in the seventh. Colton Cowser hit a sharp line drive, but was robbed of a hit when shortstop Jeremy Peña made a leaping catch for the second out. Blanco then retired Ramón Urías to end the inning and leave Mullins stranded.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Astros: RHP Jake Bloss, who made his major league debut Friday night, was placed on the injured list with right shoulder discomfort.

ROSTER MOVES

Astros: RHP Nick Hernandez was optioned to Triple-A Sugar Land on Friday night. ... LHP Bryan King was selected to the MLB roster and RHP Luis Contreras was recalled from Sugar Land on Saturday. … RHP Alex Speas was designated for assignment.

UP NEXT

Houston LHP Framber Valdez (5-5, 3.91 ERA) opposes RHP Albert Suárez (3-1, 2.05) in the series finale Sunday.

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