Astros Trade Rumors: Possible LHP Bullpen Targets
The trade deadline is a week away, and the Astros have been linked to having interests in acquiring both starting and relief pitching.
With the return of Collin McHugh and soon to be Dallas Keuchel, the rotation looks to be good enough to give the Astros’ high powered offense a chance to take early leads. The bullpen, however, has been taxed due to injuries to the starters and has shown a bit of a weak spot. Ken Giles has been solid as has Will Harris, who is currently on the DL. Chris Devenski has been great except for a few outings. Besides those three, there has been much inconsistency across the bullpen.
One thing that has been missing since opening day is a dominant left-handed reliever. Tony Sipp has taken on a role of an “innings eater,” and cannot be trusted in high leverage situations. So a southpaw reliever should be at the fore front of GM Jeff Luhnow’s priorities.
Much has been speculated about the Astros interest in Justin Wilson, Brad Hand, and Sean Doolittle. Doolittle was recently traded. The asking price for Wilson and Hand seem to equal what an above average starting pitcher would cost. The line between trying to “win now” versus keeping a competitive window open for five or more years is a thin line.
With that in mind, here are some possible targets for the Astros to pursue. These guys could upgrade the current bullpen, and shouldn’t cost as much as the players mentioned above.
Wandy Peralta – CIN (2.80 ERA, 0.97 WHIP, 3.55 FIP)
Another Wandy to the Houston pitching staff, why not? The 25-year-old is having a great season statistically, and he doesn’t hit arbitration until 2020. Peralta is a power arm whose fastball averages 96 mph and has a solid slider and changeup to boot. LHB’s are hitting a mere .179 against him. The Reds are definitely in line to sell for prospects.
Sam Freeman – ATL (3.78 ERA, 1.53 WHIP, 3.69 FIP)
The journeyman lefty is in his first season with the Braves. He also can bring the heat with 95 mph average heater and gets a good amount of hitters to whiff (9.2 K/9). His flaw this season has been free passes, allowing 4.9 BB/9, which is extremely high. However, he is a ground ball pitcher. Lefties are hitting .218 against him, and he would bring more of a veteran presence to the pen.
Tyler Lyons – STL (3.81 ERA, 1.30 WHIP, 3.43 FIP)
While the Astros and Cardinals relationship might have been strained as of late, a deal for Lyons might start the healing process. Lyons is having a solid campaign for St. Louis and could be a prime player to be dealt since he will be arbitration eligible next season. Lyons throws a slider about half the time and is enjoying the best strikeout season of his career. Lyons does a good job of limiting free passes and keeping the ball in the yard and could be had relatively cheap.
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Of these three players, Peralta seems to have the most upside. He will likely be a part of some trade this season. Will the Astros send top prospects and try to land big fish like Hand or Wilson? Or do they feel one of these players could do the job at less of a cost?
***Stats from Baseball-Reference***