Astros Trade Deadline: 3 approaches to the trade deadline

(Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
(Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /
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Houston Astros, Whit Merrifield
Houston Astros, Whit Merrifield (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images) /

1. Long(er) Term Options

Whit Merrifield – The Royals All-Star has circled the trade rumor rounds recently and might be a huge asset come playoff time. A career .300 hitter with a low strikeout rate would be a welcome addition to Houston (or any playoff team for that matter). He won’t be a free agent until 2024, so the Royals asking price might be a little steep, but a trade like this would be a short-term and long-term play. With the potential of losing Gurriel, Reddick, Springer and Brantley in the offseason, Houston might have to consider recalibrating their roster now to continue their winning ways beyond 2020. Merrifield could convert to a full-time outfielder, and the thought of an interchangeable Altuve-Bregman-Correa- Alvarez-Tucker-Merrifield batting order for the next few years is appetizing.

Yasiel Puig – The former Cuban sensation isn’t with a team at the moment, so Houston could sign him without leveraging their future. He’d obviously bring his flaws with him—he’s been known to be a problem in the locker room, has had three 100-strike out seasons, and struggles against power pitchers and lefties—but don’t forget he’s only 29 years old and still has immense power in his bat. And it’s not like he’s Chris Carter at the plate. He batted .297 last year for the Cleveland Indians. Teaming him up with some of his fellow Cuban teammates (Alvarez, Gurriel) and placing him in the 7 or 8 spot as a DH could spell success for this year’s Astros and strike fear into the opposing pitchers.

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Considering this funky shortened season, the trade deadline might be a dud for everyone. Nevertheless, if Houston wants to win that piece of metal again (as Manfred likes to say) in front of thousands of cardboard cutout fans, James Click might need to kick the tires on a few options.