The MLB trade deadline is coming up on Friday, and there should be plenty of movement from teams looking to upgrade their bullpen. And for the Houston Astros, they will likely be one of those active teams.
The Astros are coming off a horrendous Monday night loss where they surrendered a seven-run lead to the red-hot division rival Seattle Mariners. This current Astros team has just about everything you’d want- an amazing offense, a deep rotation and an All-Star closer that is dependable.
But Houston’s clear and present Achilles’ heel – the bullpen – continues to have moments of complete collapse, as it did during the later innings of Monday night’s game. I suspect that last night’s implosion reminded the front office that some significant changes might be needed this week.
If Houston is serious about winning another title in this championship window, the bullpen must be better once the deadline hits on Friday.
The trade piece that has been floating out there for the last month has been Chicago Cubs closer Craig Kimbrel. The Eight-Time All-Star and future hall-of-famer has over 350 saves to his name and is posting an absurd 0.49 ERA this season.
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Without a doubt, the acquisition of Craig Kimbrel would make the Houston Astros seemingly unstoppable. With perhaps the best two relievers in the game (Kimbrel, Pressly) able to pitch the last two innings would give Houston a significant advantage over their playoff opponents.
But there’s a high likelihood other teams are in need for Kimbrel’s services at the deadline and could offer Chicago more than Houston may be willing to give. If that happens to be case, there shouldn’t be despair among Astro fans as there is still plenty of reliever options that Houston can (and must) explore.
Acquiring Craig Kimbrel is the golden idol for bullpen arms this deadline, and hopefully Houston can steal him like Indiana Jones. However, there will be adequate consolation prizes out there for Houston to try and get if Kimbrel slips through their fingers. Let’s take a look at some potential relievers out there (not named Kimbrel) that could significantly boost the bullpen.