The Astros could look to trade for pitching depth during the season.
In the hypothetical scenario that the shortstop position is not an issue, the main problem the Astros have is their bullpen and the starting rotation. The starting rotation is solid, but it really needs one more guy.
This would come from a trade at the deadline most likely. The bullpen is shaky at best, but with $30 million left to stay below the competitive balance tax, I expect Houston to either sign some relievers here in the next two weeks or make deals at the deadline.
But, with the amount of guys the Astros lost this offseason, I could see the bullpen being a serious issue, that needs fixing quickly. I personally think that Click and Crane have waited too long to address this, which is quite disappointing. If the bullpen was shaky this past postseason, it is worse now, so how can the front office expect to win?
Many fans have said that it will be hard for the Astros to make trades as the farm system is somewhat depleted, when you look at prospects rankings. Yet, there are players like Jake Meyers, Bryan De La Cruz and others that counter this argument, who show major-league value after not being ranked.
This leads me to believe that a pitcher, another bat or a shortstop will be traded for at the deadline. It seems like the front office thinks the price will be lower around the deadline than it is right now, and I hope that is correct.