If the Astros were going to go after a big fish like Juan Soto or Willson Contreras, Cristian Javier is a solid young piece to include in a trade. The Astros have said they see him long term as a starter but there’s no place for him in the rotation right now and there definitely won’t be one when Lance McCullers Jr. returns.
As a young, talented pitcher who would be under team control until 2026, the Astros would not have to give up much more in the prospect department considering Javier has proved his abilities at the major league level and in the postseason.
While he still has his blow-ups as we saw in his most recent start against the Washington Nationals where he yielded seven earned runs in 3.2 innings, he is still very young and talented and unlike our previous two pitchers mentioned, has great strikeout stuff having struck out 30 batters in 25.1 innings this season and 214 batters over 181 career innings.
Javier’s value could actually put the Astros over the top in a deal for a top tier player that would be more than a rental but will the Astros part with someone who could step into the rotation next year with the impending departures of Jake Odorizzi and possibly Justin Verlander? That remains to be seen.