Given the state of the organization going into 2018, it will be interesting to see if and when the Astros pull the trigger on a trade. The farm system is still very strong, and the Astros’ unwillingness to part with top guys has already yielded dividends. Bregman was a deal breaker in the Chris Sale talks with the White Sox, and Astros fans are eternally grateful that Luhnow and Co. had the patience to stand pat.
Giancarlo Stanton would be a dream, but it would require a significant outfield overhaul. A deal of that magnitude could greatly disrupt the team’s enviable clubhouse chemistry, an overlooked element that the Astros organization proudly prioritizes. It would be surprising to see the Astros trade for relief pitchers the crop of free agents and way the organization values its minor league talent, but the front office covets talented young players with years of team control and will pounce on the right deal.
The Astros are looking at a scary free agency in 2019. Keuchel, Gonzalez, Morton, and McCann join a host of franchise-altering free agent superstars (such as Manny Machado, Clayton Kershaw, and Bryce Harper) in 2019. Altuve’s $6.5 million option will most certainly be picked up.
Given that so much of the team remains on the books for 2018, the Astros are in a good position to make occasional and minor pickups over the next two years to bolster the Major League squad without combating the sea of record-setting contracts in 2019.
***Stats from Baseball-Reference***