Luhnow expects to improve Astros at Meetings

Luhnow expects to improve Astros at Meetings

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow made it clear last week he hoped to leave the annual Winter Meetings having checked the biggest box on his offseason to-do list, which is acquiring one or two arms to bolster the bullpen.

With baseball's annual gathering set to begin Monday at the sprawling Gaylord Opryland Resort and Convention Center in Music City, activity figures to heat up as the week progresses. The meetings end with Thursday's Rule 5 Draft.

MLB.com and MLB Network will have wall-to-wall coverage of the 2015 Winter Meetings from the Opryland Hotel in Nashville, with the Network launching 35 hours of live Winter Meetings coverage. Fans can also catch live streaming of all news conferences and manager availability on MLB.com, as well as the announcement of the Hall of Fame Pre-Integration Era Committee inductees on Monday at 10 a.m. CT and the Rule 5 Draft on Thursday at 9 a.m.

The Astros so far have spent much of the offseason cutting ties with some players, a list that includes infielders Jonathan Villar and Jed Lowrie, slugger Chris Carter and backup catcher Hank Conger. Villar, Lowrie and Conger were traded, while Carter was non-tendered.

Luhnow has checked in with nearly every value relief pitcher on the market, and the team was in pursuit of Reds closer Aroldis Chapman before he was reportedly traded to the Dodgers. At the Winter Meetings a year ago, the Astros acquired relievers Luke Gregerson and Pat Neshek, but the team wants to add more arms to its bullpen arsenal.

Expect Astros to be very active

Astros manager A.J. Hinch, who guided the team to the playoffs last season for the first time in a decade, will address the media at 5:30 p.m. CT on Tuesday, and MLB.com will have video and a story from his news conference. Hinch finished to second to Rangers manager Jeff Banister in the American League Manager of the Year Award voting.

Meanwhile, Luhnow will meet with the Houston media daily to update the team's activity in Nashville, and coverage of that will appear daily on astros.com. Be sure to use the comment section at the end of each story to sound off with your own opinions on the team's bullpen situation or anything else.

Stay tuned, in other words. At the Winter Meetings, unexpected things can, do and almost certainly will happen.

Brian McTaggart is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, Tag's Lines. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.