The Astros may not have a big trade this season.
Those of you who have followed the Houston Astros coverage at CTH have probably wondered why we haven’t had a flood of Astros trade ideas articles this July like we did last season. Every time I sit down to write a trade idea, it’s hard to find a piece of the team that really needs an upgrade that is not in the system. I will still look at trades, but I really am starting to feel that there will be no major trades this year.
One thing that makes me wonder if there will be any trades this year is that there has been very little chatter this year about Astros trade rumors. Last season, the rumors were out there as early as June, but all we have heard about this season is the possible interest in Hector Santiago or the Blue Jays interests in Francis Martes. It’s quiet for the Astros as the trade deadline approaches.
The Astros have some weaknesses on this team but do they have to make a trade in order address those needs? Remember last year’s trades that Jeff Luhnow made to improve the team before the trade deadline? They traded Jacob Nottingham and Daniel Mengden for Scott Kazmir and Josh Hader and Brett Phillips and more for Carlos Gomez and Mike Fiers. These trades were made to address areas of need for the 2015 season but has affected the future.
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This season, the Astros don’t have the holes like they did last year when they were seeking a fifth starter or an outfielder due to George Springer‘s injury. The Astros depth is at an all-time high with major league and minor league talent at the moment. Scott Feldman, Michael Feliz, and Chris Devenski are in the bullpen when they could all be easily in the rotation. Half of the Triple-A team could be on some major league teams at this point.
There are some transactions that the Astros will make before the July 31st non-waiver trade deadline. Luhnow could make a bold statement and not make any trades this year, proving that they have faith in the team that they have. The Astros have built a team that was designed to replenish itself, so unless something amazing falls at their feet, they will acquire talent from within. This is something I talked about on Talking Stros this Sunday.
One of the trades the Astros will make at some point will be with the Fresno Grizzlies. The Astros will trade Danny Worth for Alex Bregman to improve production at first base. Luis Valbuena will be the primary first baseman, with A.J. Reed and Evan Gattis splitting time at DH, with Gattis starting 2-3 times a week at catcher. This will be like trading for an impact third baseman at the deadline.
Fiers looks like the odd man out of the rotation when a more suitable option becomes available. This option could be Joseph Musgrove at some point this season. Last season, they traded for Kazmir, which didn’t turn out the way they wanted. Musgrove is a strike-throwing machine who could become a big part of the rotation for the stretch run in 2016.
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Some would say that we need to trade for an ace, a sure thing for a potential Wild Card game. However, the Astros could be satisfied with Dallas Keuchel‘s bounce back or the power arm of Lance McCullers Jr. in a winner take all game. Unless, someone is available at a low price.
Let’s say we need help in the bullpen, and the Astros have James Hoyt and Josh Fields in Triple-A ready. The only possible trade I could see happening is a trade for a second left-hander, especially with Tony Sipp‘s struggled this season. Hoyt is one of the best relievers in the Triple-A system.
Picture this, as the 2016 MLB Network trade deadline comes to a close on July 31st. Harold Reynolds will say that the Astros are big losers at the trade deadline. A few minutes later, Luhnow will make an announcement that Bregman and Musgrove were both being called up. Astros fans will forget that they didn’t make a trade, but now it was Bregman day!