No. 1: The Astros could acquire a frontend of the rotation arm.
The projected starting rotation for 2022 is Justin Verlander, Lance McCullers Jr., Framber Valdez, Luis Garcia and Jose Urquidy. This is a very solid lineup, especially when the last three have their stuff on point.
However, I think that at this point you have to go into the postseason assuming that either Verlander or McCullers will be out. I hate to say it, and I pray it doesn’t happen, but there’s a good chance that it will.
With that in mind, the postseason rotation looks something McCullers or Verlander in the front with Valdez, Garcia and Urquidy to follow. Unfortunately, I just don’t think that is good enough to win a World Series.
I assume that Garcia will have a great year, but that still leaves a cloud of uncertainty over whether Valdez and Urquidy will be great pitchers in the postseason. That is why I think it is essential for the Astros to trade for one, if not two, big name arms.
This could happen at the deadline if they want a better deal, maybe for Charlie Morton, Aaron Nola, Sonny Gray or Mike Minor, all of which will see free agency of some kind after this season.
Morton has a club option coming up, but I include him as if the Atlanta Braves are somehow slumping, maybe he wants to come back home.
The problem with the three guys besides Morton, is that they will cost between $10-15 million each against the luxury tax, so I doubt the Astros would go after them.
There are many pitchers out there for Click to go after, but it really just depends on what teams will be sellers at the deadline.
Gray is the only one I see as a true possibility with the Cincinnati Reds window closing after a rough 2021 season.
To swing that deal I assume the Reds would have to pick up a portion of his contract. If the Astros want to go for some cheaper arms, I could see them trading for a Merrill Kelly from Arizona, Tyler Anderson from Seattle or maybe even Kenta Maeda from Minnesota.