With one of the best starting rotations in baseball, you would think the Astros wouldn’t be looking at adding another one.
Last year, the Astros added only Francisco Liriano before the trade deadline. With the Blue Jays, he was a left-handed starter. But with the Astros, he was a left-handed reliever who lost the confidence of the Astros manager AJ Hinch. Could that be the plan for the team again in 2018?
No, don’t expect Liriano to return via trade. After trading for Ryan Pressly, you would think that the Astros bullpen is set with Ken Giles trying to make a comeback. No matter how much you dislike Chris Devenski right now, he’s not going anywhere. Hector Rondon, Brad Peacock, Pressly, Tony Sipp, Collin McHugh, Devenski, and Joe Smith make up the majority of the bullpen.
Were they after Eovaldi?
Before trading for Pressly, could the Astros have been looking for a starter to convert into a reliever? According to Rob Bradford, the Astros were interested in Nathan Eovaldi before the Red Sox traded for him. Bradford took a subtle jab saying that the Red Sox got the upper hand and the Astros responded by acquiring Pressly.
The Red Sox could use Eovaldi the same way the Astros used Charlie Morton in the playoffs last year. Eovaldi had a 3-4 record with a 4.26 ERA while striking out 53 hitters in 57 innings via Baseball-Reference. Like last year, the Astros and Red Sox could clash again in the playoffs.
While Eovaldi is a hard thrower, averaging 96.8 mph, he has a below average spin rate at 2,112 rpm via Statcast. Like McHugh, Eovaldi could have added more velocity as a reliever. But that’s water under the bridge, but it was interesting that they were interested.
Tell me if you heard this one before.
Not sure what year Mark Topkin thinks it is, but he suggested that the Astros are interested in adding Chris Archer. Archer’s value is down with his 3-5 year with a 4.31 ERA while striking out 102 batters in 96 innings via Baseball-Reference. His spin rate is below average at 2,200 rpm, via Statcast. Archer is still under team control through the 2021 season. He will not come cheap, but he would be part of the future for a few years.
I feel like I have heard this Archer rumor for too many years. Until we hear the big boys talking about it, I’m not buying too much stock in the Archer trade to Houston. If he does, they will likely try to get him into the rotation somehow. Cody will address Archer more in a little while.
Several other teams need Archer more than the Astros, but they are one of the teams showing some interest. If they do trade for him, it could be Dallas Keuchel or Morton insurance if they move on via free agency.
As many on Twitter have said recently, we have no idea what Luhnow’s next move is. My Talking Stros co-host, Brandon, said it best, ”Warning: @astros will have to trade prospects for next trade.”