Grading the Houston Astros’ trade deadline moves

(Photo by Rob Leiter/MLB Photos via Getty Images)
(Photo by Rob Leiter/MLB Photos via Getty Images) /
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The Houston Astros didn’t go big. The front office didn’t reel in a Craig Kimbrel, Max Scherzer or a Kris Bryant-type player; they played under the luxury tax threshold, while still bolstering the weakest part of the team: the bullpen.

There were other routes we anticipated general manager James Click to explore, but with his tight, sealed ship, you don’t hear many rumors or leaks until the trades happened. For Click, he was given the all clear from owner Jim Crane in regards to go over the luxury tax. While not adding a big contract in the end, Click masterfully added arms and didn’t put the franchise in the spot to be penalized.

The trade deadline has come and gone, but the Astros made some admirable moves. Let’s grade them.

As reported by Michael Schwab, the Astros were exploring big-time names but the asking price was too high in return. Click has mentioned that he did not look to set the franchise back even further in minor-league talent and production at the deadline.

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In the end, it would have been interesting to see if the Astros added another out-of-house center fielder or utility man. There were also rumors of a starting pitcher thrown into the mix, but those talks never came to fruition.

With a luxury tax threshold of $210 million, Click brought in key pieces to push for a World Series, even though he didn’t trade for a big-time name. According to FanGraphs, the Astros now stand at $208 million after the trade deadline, putting them in contention of not being penalized this offseason.

With Alex Bregman returning, the lineup will improve significantly, even without an All-Star trade. For those worried about Bregman not sustaining hits in his rehab assignment, it doesn’t truly matter. As long as he is barreling the ball and hitting it hard, then he is in good shape for his return.