Promote from within or trade for established help
Why do I have a feeling that Kyle Tucker is going to be in the center of any trade debate this offseason? Even though Tucker played in just 28 games, there are sections of the fanbase clamoring for the age-21 outfielder to be traded, preferably for a catcher like Realmuto. There are two quick points that I’d like to make on the subject: 1) Quit using 28 sporadic games as a measuring stick for Tucker’s success. Sure, he looked a bit unsure of his abilities during those 28 games, but that doesn’t automatically erase his impressive minor league numbers. 2) While I think that the Astros should keep Tucker, I understand the viewpoint that he is a prospect who could headline a trade package for a premium talent. If the situation is right, I’d say pursue that Luhnow and the front office need to pursue the opportunity.
If the Astros decide to look elsewhere for help at catcher, Yasmani Grandal and Wilson Ramos are fine places to start. Jonathan Lucroy is an interesting buy-low option. There is also Matt Wieters. But outside of a trade for Realmuto, the options for replacement catchers remain more a short-term fix than a long-term solution.
Besides starting pitcher and catcher, there isn’t a position in dire need of attention. Like I mentioned in the previous slide, another bat in the middle of the lineup would be nice. It is also a luxury at this point, in my opinion. Besides Tucker, Derek Fisher and Myles Straw have a chance to patrol left field in 2019. Kemp and Gurriel could fulfill more of a utility role on the roster like Gonzalez did if he leaves. Manager AJ Hinch prefers roster flexibility, so there probably won’t be a true DH on the roster. The DH role is bound to look more like a revolving door than ever before. This offseason also raises the question of Reed’s future with Houston.