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Astros Hitting Needs as the Trade Deadline Approaches

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Jul 3, 2016; Houston, TX, USA; A view of the helmet and batting gloves of Houston Astros second baseman Jose Altuve (27) before a game against the Chicago White Sox at Minute Maid Park. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports
Jul 3, 2016; Houston, TX, USA; A view of the helmet and batting gloves of Houston Astros second baseman Jose Altuve (27) before a game against the Chicago White Sox at Minute Maid Park. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports /
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Looking at the Astros hitting needs at the trade deadline

Jul 3, 2016; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Astros right fielder George Springer (4) hits a home run during the first inning against the Chicago White Sox at Minute Maid Park. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports
Jul 3, 2016; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Astros right fielder George Springer (4) hits a home run during the first inning against the Chicago White Sox at Minute Maid Park. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports /

The Houston Astros held a spot in the Wild Card standings for the first time in 2016 Saturday before losing to Chris Sale and the Chicago White Sox. The Royals won as well to get back into the wild card slot but don’t expect that to be the only time the Astros find themselves in the playoff picture in 2016. By being labeled buyers this season, this means that there will be plenty of rumors going around in July and even in August.

Let’s look at some fact or fiction of what the true needs are for the Astros not only now, but for the playoff run. Some of these moves could also be done with 2017 in mind as well.

Trade for a Catcher?

Jun 19, 2016; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Astros catcher Evan Gattis (11) and relief pitcher Chris Devenski (47) celebrate after defeating the Cincinnati Reds 6-0 at Minute Maid Park. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports
Jun 19, 2016; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Astros catcher Evan Gattis (11) and relief pitcher Chris Devenski (47) celebrate after defeating the Cincinnati Reds 6-0 at Minute Maid Park. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports /

With Jason Castro and Evan Gattis in the fold for 2016, this is not an area of need for the Astros at this point barring an injury, knock on wood. There is one exception, with Castro in his walk year, the Astros could look at possibly bringing a player like Jonathan Lucroy in the fold. Lucroy has a $5.25 million team option for the 2017 season, which will be a bargain with the way he is playing this season.

However, the Astros will have to pay a hefty price to a team that already has several of our former prospects. The catching slash line below is not that great, but ignore the batting average, and the rest is decent for a catcher. Gattis playing catcher will help solidify this position, which is better than the Erik Kratz era earlier this year.

Catchers 2016 slash line .213/ .306/ .419/ .726

Prediction: Unless the Astros trade for Lucroy for 2016 and 2017, don’t expect an upgrade here.

Next: Trade for an infielder?

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