A playoff team last year that was lacking on the offensive side of things, if the injury bug hits the Milwaukee Brewers pitching staff early they could fall out of it quickly. And if that’s the case another former Astros prospect could be reunited with his first franchise though it would be for a hefty price.
Josh Hader will be a free agent in 2024 so that means the Astros would have control of him for a full year and a half (the only non-rental on this list aside from Yu Darvish and Blake Snell.) Having Hader would be good insurance if Ryan Pressly leaves in 2023 when his contract is up.
The downside is how expensive it would be to bring in Hader, but the upside is adding a left handed reliever who can go multiple innings to a bullpen that has been lacking that for quite some time now.
The last time the Astros had a reliable lefty in the bullpen you have to go back to 2017 when Tony Sipp had a career year. Since then the Astros have relied on right handed pitchers with strong change-ups/cutters (Chris Devenski, Will Harris, Phil Maton) to face lefties.
Hader would make the Astros already formidable bullpen almost unbeatable. But since we get an extra year of control it would cost more and most likely mean Hunter Brown plus three other highly rated prospects would have to go. Or potentially even Cristian Javier plus a prospect or two.
While all of these teams are expected to be competitive this coming season, if any single one of them are out of it by the midway point, they have the kind of talent that can fill the needs of the Astros. Of course, there needs to be a season first for that to happen. Fingers crossed a deal gets done so we can keep speculating.