Encore? Champion Houston Astros Loaded Again For ’18

Encore? Champion Houston Astros Loaded Again For ’18

HOUSTON (AP) — Not long after the Houston Astros won the World Series, third baseman Alex Bregman got another big reason to smile.

FILE – In this Oct. 9, 2017, file photo, Houston Astros relief pitcher Justin Verlander, left, and third baseman Alex Bregman cheer after Josh Reddick hit an RBI single in the eighth inning in Game 4 of the baseball team’s American League Division Series against the Boston Red Sox in Boston. Soon after the Astros won the World Series, Bregman learned that Verlander wasn’t simply a late-season rental but was under contract with the team for two more seasons. Bregman’s reaction, which was caught on a teammate’s Instagram Live account, was one of pure glee as he repeatedly shrieked and hollered with an immovable grin on his face. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer, File)

Justin Verlander wasn’t simply a late-eason rental. He was under contract with the team for two more seasons. Bregman’s reaction, caught on a teammate’s Instagram Live account, was one of pure joy, filled with shrieks and yelling.

The Astros could have more grins in store this season: Manager A.J. Hinch will not only have the ace right-hander for the whole year, he will have a loaded rotation and pretty much every key player who helped Houston win it all last fall, from American League MVP Jose Altuve to World Series MVP George Springer and All-Star Carlos Correa. READ MORE>