The Houston Astros don’t have too many needs as the 2018 non-waiver trade deadline nears.
Some may say that the Astros need a closer or a piece to the bullpen. There also may be a need for a catcher, but a trade will be costly. The Astros are giving Kyle Tucker a shot to see if they need to target a left fielder. There are a few nice to haves, but no must haves.
Of all the players the Astros don’t need, it’s a first base/DH type of player. With Yuli possibly an All-Star, if Astros fans were able to vote him in, you don’t need a first baseman. Gurriel is batting .303 with six homers and 46 RBI. While he is not the big bopping hitter at first base, he has the highest batting average with runners in scoring position on the team. He also was a clutch hitter in last year’s playoffs.
At the beginning of the year, I could see why some people would think we needed a DH. Evan Gattis was struggling to produce at the plate. However, Gattis made some adjustments at the plate and and is red hot! Gattis is now batting .257 with 18 homers and 62 RBI. In the past 28 days, Gattis is batting .306 with eight homers and 30 RBI. While some of the offense has been struggling, Gattis has been a nice pick me up. They also like to rotate position players into the DH spot like today with Springer. All stats are from Baseball-Reference.
Those two positions seem semi-set, right?
On the way up to MMP today, I get a notification of an Astros rumor by Nick Carfardo. Let’s click on it and see if it’s a closer or catcher. It’s neither. According to Cafardo, the Astros are interested in trading for Jose Abreu. Nothing against Abreu, but that makes no sense at all, right?
Carfardo mentioned that Abreu has a better track record than Gurriel or Gattis. Like Scrooge McDuck liked his money, the Astros like their prospects. They won’t make a move for a player unless it is a significant upgrade. The 31-year-old Abreu has been consistent at hitting 30ish homers and driving in 100 plus runs every year.
This year, Abreu is batting .259 with 12 homers and 50 RBI. He is having a down season on a team in a rebuilding mold. A change of scenery could help, like what we saw with Justin Verlander last year. Abreu will likely start the All-Star game for the Anerican League at first base.
Is Abreu that much of an upgrade over the Astros players?
This is also not the first time that Jeff Luhnow has targeted Abreu, they tried to sign him as an international free agent. He’s also been speculated as a trade target before. I don’t discount the Astros interest in trading for Abreu.
Abreu has one year left of control left in 2019, meaning he will be a free agent in 2020. That extra year of control will raise the price tag for the Astros. Don’t get me wrong, I think that the Astros are gearing up to trade multiple top prospects. But is the aging Abreu worth trading a large package for?
Technically, they didn’t need to trade for Gerrit Cole this offseason. Instead, they took on the gamble of him becoming the pitcher he is now. As he could be named to the All-Star game later tonight, it was a great move. Maybe the same can be said for Abreu, it just does not make sense. Don’t fix what’s not broken. You could get J.T. Realmuto or Rasiel Iglesias for the package it would take to get Abreu. Just my opinion.