What’s Next for the Houston Astros Before Trade Deadline?


After the addition of Scott Kazmir from the Oakland Athletics yesterday afternoon, many Houston Astros fans were left wondering whether the team would be pursuing any other options before the deadline. The move to acquire Kazmir was a great one because it added a great starting pitcher with postseason experience while not totally depleting the farm system.

In conversations throughout Thursday afternoon and evening, Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow stated that the Astros weren’t finished with their conversations leading up to the deadline. He also didn’t rule out the possibility of acquiring a hitter or reliever. There’s also this, which surprises me:

With all the big names out there, I guess it doesn’t surprise me to see that the Astros are still actively listening in conversations for the aces like Johnny Cueto, Cole Hamels, and Andrew Cashner. I don’t think the Astros need another starting pitcher, however. I think when you look at a rotation of Dallas Keuchel, Lance McCullers, Scott Kazmir, Collin McHugh, and Scott Feldman/Vincent Velasquez, you’ve got a pretty solid group that can win a playoff series.

What worries me about the Astros going forward is the lineup. I don’t want this feast or famine, home run or strikeout offense that we have gone empty in a five-game division series and be out of the playoffs almost immediately after working to get in. I think it would be good for Luhnow to target guys like Adam Lind, Jonathan Lucroy, Yoenis Cespedes, Ben Revere, and so on.

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Some Astros fans believe that the additions of George Springer and Jed Lowrie over the course of the second half basically equal any trade that Luhnow could make in the next few days. I agree that bringing back Springer and Lowrie will have a tremendous impact on this lineup’s success, but Springer won’t be back until September 1. That may seem like a short amount of time, but it’s really far out there. The Astros will play 35 more games before that date, enough to make or break a season.

As much as I would love to solve the Chris Carter/Jon Singleton dilemma at first base by trading for Paul Goldschmidt, that’s not going to happen. I think the Astros could get Lind or Revere at a reasonable price, maybe something close to the price Luhnow had to pay to acquire Kazmir from Oakland.

The vibe that I got from hearing the news that the Astros traded for Scott Kazmir was one that said Luhnow isn’t finished yet. If this is the case, I’m very happy with how Luhnow and the rest of the Astros management played this deadline. The Astros have a deep farm system in place that they can use to their great benefit in these deals and not give up their top prospects for quality major-league players. Luhnow knows this, and he will attack the rest of July with that thought in mind.

All in all, I’m not satisfied enough with the Kazmir deal to say we are over the hump in playoff contention. If the Astros truly want to win now, there are pieces out there and work still left to be done.

Next: Scott Kazmir Trade: Astros Rotation Implications

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