Don’t trade for just another arm! The Astros need to go big at the trade deadline.
This Houston Astros team is the talk of the town. Not only because Sports Illustrated anointed them the 2017 World Series champs a few years back. Because they are the best team in baseball with their 41-16 record on a ten game winning streak. As we talked about on Talking Stros last night, they will add another starting pitcher at the trade deadline.
Jeff Luhnow is apparently vacationing in Cabo with his family before the chaos begins next week. Next week the 2017 MLB draft begins on June 12th. Luhnow has faith in what Mike Elias can do come draft day, so his job when he returns is to focus on the Astros. That is, improving this Astro team for the stretch run and winning the championship.
How should he do this? The offense seems to be okay as they lead baseball in runs scored. While the bullpen could use someone a little more consistent than Ken Giles, that might cost a lot. Collin McHugh has yet to throw a pitch and Joe Musgrove and Charlie Morton on the DL. Despite those three pitchers out, the Astros have not skipped a beat.
Do they need to trade?
Some people don’t want the Astros to trade the future just to win this year. If that is the case, you want to aim high and not low at the trade deadline. A trade will happen, Luhnow and the Astros stood pat last year, and it cost them the season.
Soon after the trade deadline, Dallas Keuchel and Lance McCullers both went on the DL for the year. The team found themselves scratching and clawing to find people to put in the rotation. On the plus side was the reemergence of Brad Peacock last year. Peacock has forced his way into the rotation by reinventing himself. Still, this team could use one more top starter, ask the 2016 Cubs.
Don’t look for a trade anytime soon.
The Astros will wait to make sure they know who will be on the market. In 2015, they jumped early on Scott Kazmir. However, had they waited, they could have gone after David Price. The trade conversations should start soon.
They should be proactive this year after the draft starting to see what’s out there on the market. Luhnow will be the aggressor and will try to hold onto Kyle Tucker. He will be calling the Pirates about Gerrit Gole, the Giants about Johnny Cueto, and the A’s about Sonny Gray.
There have been some other names out there including Justin Verlander, Chris Archer, and Matt Harvey. Not sure if Harvey would be a fit in this clubhouse but all those pitchers could be upgraded over what we have. If the Astros are to give up prospects for a pitcher, you don’t want another arm. If the Twins fall out, maybe Ervin Santana.
We already have the other arms. We need to use our resources to get the best of the best. Let’s not trade for Matt Garza‘s and Jeremy Hellickson‘s of the world. This team is one controllable starting pitcher away from becoming a dynasty. Look for a pitcher with team control beyond this year.
This team has very few holes, so one big trade would be all these team needs. It would appear that Derek Fisher and Francis Martes would be the headliners of a possible trade. Luhnow did a good job handpicking his players this offseason. He will do the same at the trade deadline. Whoever he trades for will fit between Keuchel and McCullers or third, we will see.