3 Astros who won't be back after surviving MLB Winter Meetings

The MLB Winter Meetings made on thing clear: Houston Astros fans should expect the unexpected.

Championship Series - Texas Rangers v Houston Astros - Game Six
Championship Series - Texas Rangers v Houston Astros - Game Six / Rob Carr/GettyImages
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The Houston Astros didn't make any major decisions at the MLB Winter Meetings. However, to keep up with the Texas Rangers in the AL West, there are moves to come. Houston's rotation and outfield are pain points, as Justin Verlander is another year older and Houston lacks an answer in center field.

Expect the Astros to be active at some point this offseason. Once Dana Brown decides what he wants, he tends to act on it. Such is the life of an MLB general manager.

Despite the Astros previous interest in Cody Bellinger at the MLB Trade Deadline, they've been radio silent on his radar this offseason. Bellinger's asking price is said to be high, and he'll have plenty of suitors assuming he comes down from his rumored $250 million price tag.

The MLB Winter Meetings were quiet. Since then, Shohei Ohtani has signed, thus opening the floodgates. Here's what to expect.

Astros who won't be back: Martin Maldonado will sign elsewhere

The Houston Astros did sign a new backup catcher at the MLB Winter Meetings, essentially saying goodbye to Martin Maldonado at the same time. Maldonado has struggled at the plate for some time now. He hits under the Mendoza line, and for that reason he is a liability in the Houston lineup. As great as Maldonado has been at times in managing the pitching staff, it's not worth having a black hole in your lineup, especially since his numbers will likely only go down in that department as he ages.

Yainer Diaz is the expected starter with the Astros. He hit just over .280 last season. Houston signed Victor Caratini, previously from the Milwaukee Brewers, to back him up. There isn't much room on the roster for Maldonado at this point. Red Sox star Rafael Devers has recruited Maldonado via social media as well. Christopher Kline wrote about this possibility just a few days ago.

"It's also fair to question whether or not the Red Soxshouldtarget Maldonado, whose reputation far exceeds his output at this stage of his career. Maldonado's ability to connect with pitchers and call a game has undeniable value, but he's mostly ineffective at the plate. He slashed .191/.258/.348 with 15 home runs and 33 RBIs in 362 AB last season. There's still some pop behind his swing, but Maldonado's inability to consistently make contact and get on base in a sizable strike against him," Kline wrote.

The Astros can do better than Maldonado offensively, period.