Trade season is about to really heat up over the next few weeks and the Astros should be in the thick of it despite having one of the best teams in baseball. This is the time of the year that you go over the top when you know that you have a real chance at winning the whole thing.
The Astros are still very much a mystery in the James Click era. He inherited a team that really has had very few holes and little work to be done overall. Last year at the deadline the club had a GLARING need in the bullpen and he went out and made multiple moves to get it solidified for October. But this year there is not something that is so glaring that it might require them to do anything. They do not need starting pitching. They do not need bullpen. They may not even really need a bat. But this is the time of year that you cannot be afraid to take some risks when you are a general manager. The Astros are in their golden era as a franchise and the window should not be closing anytime soon. Like any other year, this version of the club deserves every available resource to make the club better. For myself, I see three places that they very well could use an upgrade. Today we will focus on the positions of need. Next week I will have a post up about some names I think could really be targets for the ballclub.
This one is painful to write, because Yuli Gurriel has meant so much to this team and franchise. Defensively he is still spectacular and you take a risk of irking the clubhouse if you do something at this position, but you would be foolish to not be looking into potential help for him the rest of the season. I can see them adding someone that can play first, but also splits some time with him or is a designated hitter when they are not playing at first. The biggest fish out there is Josh Bell of the Washington Nationals. He makes a ton of sense for this club because you can DH just as much as you play him at first, given that you are comfortable enough with Yordan playing left. He would also provide you some insurance if the Brantley injury lingers or gets worse at some point. You would of course be forcing yourself to play Yordan in left everyday, but at this point you owe this team whatever it takes. For me, if you are looking to upgrade or supplement at first, you have to go big or go home. There is no good reason to rock the clubhouse with something that is not making you way better overall.
There is no lock that they are chasing an outfield bat anymore unless they are truly scared of Yordan and Brantley’s injuries. Jake Meyers has returned and calmed some nerves, showing that he is clearly the best option to play centerfield everyday. Getting a bat in the outfield to me would be about protection for the lineup with those injury concerns. It would also speak wonders about how they do not feel about Chas McCormick and Jose Siri. McCormick has clearly separated himself from Siri, but if you can upgrade enough over him, you make that move for sure.
Left Handed Reliever
Blake Taylor will continue to be out for an extended period of time and Parker Mushinski is working his way back, but if there is something you probably want in the bullpen it is a left handed pitcher for a club that has been running without one most of the regular season. Having one is completely overrated in today’s game given the three batter minimum and there being so many right handed pitchers that are elite at getting left handed bats out, but it is probably smart to have at least one in your bullpen come October where one single matchup can completely change the outcome of your season.
The Astros are in a great spot this year given just how good this club is. The trade market however is going to be very tough. With more teams making the postseason starting this year, there will be more buyers at the deadline than we have probably ever seen before. Without a prospect rich farm system, James Click and his staff will have to get creative on how they improve this club. One thing is certain, nobody will ever complain about a club willing to go big or go home.
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