Every team is either a seller or a buyer at the trade deadline every year, and in the case of the Houston Astros, they’ve been buyers for quite a while.
The Astros are one of the best teams in the league this year and are not without flaws. Here are three positions Houston could improve to ensure they make a long run in October.
Martin Maldonado has been outstanding defensively for the Astros, and his bat is slowly starting to improve, but that is not the case for the other catcher on the roster, Jason Castro, whose batting average struggles to stay above .100. The Astros sent Castro to the IL over a week ago and called up catcher Korey Lee, and he hasn’t entirely done as well as he’d hoped.
It would be a good idea for Houston to acquire a slugging catcher; some include Chicago Cubs’ catcher Willson Contreras. Contreras would be a great pickup for the Astros, but the move is unlikely considering what the Cubs would want in an exchange and that Contreras is in the final year of his contract and would most likely be a rental.
The Astros could also trade within their division and get Sean Murphy from the A’s, considering they have a catching prospect potentially moving up, although the A’s probably wouldn’t want to help the Astros out.
2. Center Field
While the Astros have three outfielders that they like to rotate in the center field role, none have been great. There has been talks of the Astros potentially trading some of the three center fielders, Jake Meyers, Chas McCormick, and Jose Siri, but it’s all just speculation.
Assuming that the Astros are going after a CF, some candidates would be a great fit for Houston: Brandon Drury, Andrew Benintendi, Garrett Cooper, and Bryan Reynolds.
Any of these players would be an excellent pickup for Houston, considering the CF position hasn’t been producing much offensively since George Springer left.
3. Left-Handed Bullpen Arm
The Astros bullpen has been outstanding this year, but it’s full of right-handed relievers. Lefty Blake Taylor was sent to the IL early in the season, and the Astros have used Parker Mushinski when he’s on the big-league roster. The Astros could use a lefty reliever to handle some of the more powerful left-handed hitters in the game.
The top candidate is Andrew Chafin. Chafin has been great for the Tigers this season with a 2.22 ERA and a WHIP of .953. Chafin would be an excellent fit for a bullpen that has been dominant this season.
Agree with these picks? Let us know in the comments who you’d like to see the Astros trade for and why.
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