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Morning Mound Visit: sabermetrics news - 12/18/19

Astros re-sign Joe Smith; pining for Opening Day call-ups; the biggest remaining needs

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MLB: World Series-Houston Astros at Washington Nationals Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

FanGraphs | Tony Wolfe: The Astros signed Joe Smith to a two-year, $8 million contract, hoping to retain some of the bullpen that is destined to partially leave via free agency. Smith has an excellent slider albeit in a small sample, but that could very well be worth the price considering how low.

Baseball Prospectus | Jon Hegglund ($): Wouldn’t it be cool if a team actually called up a player for Opening Day? A player like Jo Adell or Luis Robert, for example, would be such a draw for fans desperate for a new star, and given the altar of financial flexibility, we really would need the magic of Santa to make that a reality.

The Athletic | Eno Sarris ($): The offseason is chugging along and teams are checking off their Christmas list, but there are still a few pressing needs for a few teams. The Angels could really use a pitcher after missing out on Gerrit Cole, for one. The Brewers could really use a third baseman, and hey, Josh Donaldson is still a free agent. The White Sox, too, could also use a pitcher in what could be a top-heavy rotation with Lucas Giolito.