Are the Houston Astros the Most-Improved AL West Team?
1. Houston Astros
All bias aside, the Houston Astros made the strides they needed towards becoming a perennial contender without overspending or giving up top organizational talent. After trimming the fat before the non-tender deadline, they tackled off-season needs one by one with careful trading and smart signings. Colby Rasmus is the interim corner outfielder they needed.
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It will be interesting to see how the Astros approach the position in preparation for next winter’s weak outfield free agent class, as the Astros have considerable OF depth in the minors. The re-signing of Tony Sipp is monumental, as the Astros get a stellar lefty specialist for a very reasonable price in a very shallow left-handed pitching market.
The Ken Giles trade is huge for the team both now and in the future, as the Astros finally landed a flame-throwing closer with excellent command and an extremely team-friendly contract. GM Jeff Luhnow mentioned that the team is still looking to add a starter and a bat of some sort.
Next: Houston Astros: Revisiting the trade that jump started the rebuild
Mutual interest between the Astros and Scott Kazmir could bring the lefty back to Houston and provide necessary depth for an exciting rotation.