The Houston Astros have already taken steps towards solving their pitching woes from last year. With the signings of Luke Gregerson and Pat Neshek, the Astros bullpen should be much better than it was last year. Now, they may want to set their sites towards an upgrade in their starting pitching.
The top trio of Dallas Keuchel, Scott Feldman and Collin McHugh all put together solid seasons last year, and may well be a solid trio for the Astros to rely upon. However, the rest of the Astros rotation generally struggled last season. Brett Oberholtzer and Brad Peacock had their moments, but were certainly not the most reliable of starting pitchers last year.
With that in mind, the Astros may well want to make one more move, looking to pick up a starting pitcher. With free agency all but picked over at this point, aside from the rather expensive James Shields and Max Scherzer, that quest to add a starting pitcher is likely to result in a trade.
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Fortunately, the Astros minor league system has become quite deep over the past few years, and there is enough overlap where they may well be able to trade solid pieces to add a quality starter. Prospects such as Rio Ruiz and Tony Kemp may not have a clear path to the majors with the Astros, but they could be of interest for a team looking to get younger and move a starting pitcher.
Even if the Astros do not anticipate being a truly contending team in 2015, bringing in another starting pitcher could help propel them forward in the coming seasons. Another veteran starter, specially one who has spent time on a winning ballclub and can teach the young Astros what it is like to be a winner, could prove to be quite beneficial.
The Astros still have work to do this offseason, and looking at their starting rotation may be on their agenda. With the upgrades they have made in their bullpen, this would be the next logical move.