Los Angeles Angels
Obviously, the Astros hope the Angels aren’t competitive because they’re in the same division. But also because the Angels have a one year contract with Noah Syndergaard that if they’re far out of it by mid-summer they’d maybe be willing to flip Syndergaard if he’s healthy and having a good season.
It’s always hard to trade within the division, but the Astros did it last year with the Seattle Mariners, trading away Abraham Toro and Joe Smith for Kendall Graveman. And the Mariners were still in the hunt for the division at that point being only five games behind the Astros, so anything’s possible.
If the Angels suffer from another injury ravaged season where they have no Anthony Rendon and no Mike Trout, the Astros could pounce on Noah Syndergaard which would be a huge upgrade to the rotation. Think about going into the playoffs with Justin Verlander, Lance McCullers Jr and Noah Syndergaard with Framber Valdez as your number four option.
Last year in the playoffs our lack of starting pitching depth was exposed when McCullers Jr. went down in the ALDS and our bullpen had to be nearly perfect just to get us out of the ALCS with the Red Sox. This is a trade that if it presents itself, the Astros should jump at it.
And again because Syndergaard would be a half-season rental, they should be able to pull the trade off without giving up too much, though again, I’d imagine Whitley would have to be involved if Syndergaard is pitching back to his old Thor self.