The All-Star break, the unofficial halfway point of the season, is here. A good time to review the Astros’ free agent and trade pick-ups of the offseason.
All winter long, Astros fans kept waiting for that big splash trade or free agent signing. There were talks of J.T. Realmuto for catcher, maybe a big name pitcher like Patrick Corbin, and rumblings about Paul Goldschmidt at first. But as we all know, none of that took place.
It seems as though GM Jeff Luhnow wasn’t about to break the bank or fess up some of the Astros top prospects in the process. He had other plans in mind. From what we’ve seen in this first half of the season, once again, it looks like he’s made the right moves, for the most part.
Not only were the Astros able to maintain their talented pool of athletes in the Minors, but enough money was also saved to have the ability to sign extensions to two of Houston’s key players, Justin Verlander and Alex Bregman.
Even after all of the offseason acquisitions and contract extensions, the Astros managed to stay approximately $7.5 million under that dreaded Luxury Tax Threshold of $206 million. Jeff Luhnow even stated during the offseason that he was willing to get right up close to that limit.
Maybe he’s left a little wiggle room for one of his famous pre-deadline trades for one or two pieces, that could put this team in a great position for another postseason push. We’ve seen him do it before, a.k.a. Justin Verlander in their Championship season, and I would be surprised if he didn’t pull one out of his hat again this season.