Astros Sign Joe Thurston, Crickets Erupt

We just thought last offseason was bad. The trade deadline this year? That was nothing.

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I submit, a potential double play combination next year for your Houston Astros: Brian Bixler to Joe Thurston.

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That doesn't really strike fear in the hearts of other National League teams, but it appears to be a route the Astros are contemplating. After signing the much traveled but little used second baseman, the Astros could just be setting up some depth for spring training. They certainly need a shortstop with Clint Barmes leaving for greener pastures.

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They also may be considering giving Jose Altuve some more developmental time in the minors. The diminutive second sacker struggled with his walk rate in the big leagues and didn't have the same power he's shown at stops in the minors. It may just take some time for him to adjust and a month or two in Oklahoma City could help with that.

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Of course, Thurston may have been signed just for minor league depth now that Anderson Hernandez is a free agent. That's the most frustrating part of this flurry of signings. You could make a case for all of them making the big league club because there's so little talent there right now.

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Bring on the American League!

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