Astros Hitting Needs as the Trade Deadline Approaches
Trade for an Outfielder?
At the beginning of the season, Astros fans felt that we had one of the better outfield trios in the game with George Springer, Carlos Gomez, and Colby Rasmus. Fast forward three months, Springer should be going to the All-Star game with his play, but the other two players have had ups and downs. Rasmus had a great April, getting some early votes for the All-Star game, but his numbers started falling in May. Gomez got off to a terrible start but has shown signs of waking up.
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Gomez may not be the same player he was during his All-Star seasons with the Brewers, but he could be the make or break player for the Astros this season. Some feel that Jake Marisnick is the best center fielder on the team, but Gomez wants to play center field. While the outfield appears to be set, could the Astros trade for an outfielder?
The answer is yes, you trade for a clutch high OPS guy such as Ryan Braun or Jay Bruce, with the latter being the easier target. No, you don’t need an outfielder, but imagine what adding Braun or Bruce to the existing lineup. You can play an extra outfielder as the DH and split more time between Gattis and catcher to open the spot at DH.
With two outfielders possibly checking out after the 2016 season, they could be looking to upgrade now and not wait until the offseason. The Braun move would be not overly welcomed at first, but people will eventually grow attached to him. Some other names would be Carlos Gonzalez and Jon Jay, but I am having a hard time seeing Gonzalez as a trade target with his high price tag.
Outfield 2016 slash line .245/ .319/ .403/ .722
Prediction: If we trade for any hitter, I think it would be an outfielder with team control past 2016. The Astros could look to upgrade their outfield now versus wait for the offseason. It would require a few platoons for other players, but to add an impact bat could be the difference between the streaky offensive output.
Next: Astros are moving on up, to the Wild Card slot
Tomorrow, I will preview the pitching market for the Astros because they need a shutdown pitcher to pitch in a potential Wild Card game in a one-game play in series. This pitcher was supposed to be Dallas Keuchel, but he’s struggled in 2016. Could he rebound to his Cy Young form, yes, but it wouldn’t hurt to have plan B?
***Stats from Baseball-Reference***