What’s that delightful smell? Chili? Yes, a unique brand of ‘Hot Stove’ chili. Do the Astros like chili?
Like I needed a good bowl of chili last night, the Astros need a catcher. Not just any catcher, though. Preferably a high-quality catcher. You know, someone who can hit well, play above-average defense, and terrific at handling a pitching staff. Marlins’ catcher J.T. Realmuto checks all the boxes, and he is available via trade. But the asking price, well, is much higher than a good bowl of chili. One could argue that it is cost prohibitive.
As noted here by Jon Morosi of MLB.com, the Marlins are “insisting” for the Astros to include either Forrest Whitley or Kyle Tucker in any trade offer. The pair is also considered Houston’s top two minor league prospects. It is understandable why Miami would place such a high price on baseball’s best catcher. Probably too high, but what do you expect? At the same time, the Astros may balk at such a price. It is the age-old question in baseball: The trade-off between future value and current value.
Currently, Houston only has two catchers on the 40-man roster, Max Stassi and Chris Herrmann. Both profile more as backup catchers, although Stassi did post a .795 OPS in the season’s first half. Unfortunately for the age-27 catcher, his season essentially cratered in the second half when he posted a .485 OPS. What should the Astros look to do?