Astros: Houston would be smart to pursue Trevor Williams

Dusty Baker, left, and new Houston Astros general manager James Click take questions from the media at Minute Maid Park on February 04, 2020 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
Dusty Baker, left, and new Houston Astros general manager James Click take questions from the media at Minute Maid Park on February 04, 2020 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images) /
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The Astros could use another starting pitcher or two, and recently DFA’d Trevor Williams would be a strong fit.

One of the most underrated needs for the Houston Astros is additional starting pitching. The team has young arms such as Framber Valdez, Cristian Javier and Jose Urquidy that they are high on. Veterans Zack Greinke and Lance McCullers are returning.

But the loss of Justin Verlander for the season takes a massive toll on the depth former general manager Jeff Luhnow and now current GM James Click have tried to build in Houston. And it is likely the team will reach out to free-agent starting pitchers in hopes of supplementing that depth.

One name that makes sense is Trevor Williams, a right-handed starting pitcher who cleared waivers Saturday after being designated for assignment by the Pittsburgh Pirates.

It is highly unlikely the Astros spend top dollar on another starting pitcher. The team is much more likely to spend big money on George Springer’s replacement or an additional late inning option in the bullpen. And that is how their potential interest in Williams comes to play.

Williams, 28, was one of the Pirates’ best starting pitchers since 2017. While he was very good in his first three seasons in Pittsburgh, he struggled mightily in 2020 and it led the team to move on. But he drew strong interest at the trade deadline and the market figures to be strong for a starter who has logged 522 innings and a 4.34 ERA and 7 K/9.

He may not be a household name such as Gerrit Cole, who the Astros are very familiar with, but he would be an intriguing tool for pitching coach Brent Strom to work with. He would provide the team with the starting pitching depth it needs and if all works out, could move one of their young pitchers into long relief.

Click and the Astros front office have made it a habit to explore any and all option. Williams should be no different. And if the price is right, it is a move that Click needs to actively explore.

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