Since the start of the truncated spring training, excuses have been lobbed in many directions regarding the slow start the Houston Astros had, especially including their history of slow starts.
Now that the month of April has passed and the Astros have a full month of play in May to evaluate, we can start to examine where the Astros need to add production. With just under two months until the trade deadline, trade talks will be ramping up in the next three or four weeks, and the Astros should be in the mix.
In addition, when Jake Meyers returns to the Astros, potentially around the last week or two of June, the Astros might want to pull the trigger on a move to free up a roster spot for Meyers by trading Jose Siri for more production at other positions.
Catcher is the easiest place to add production at a lower cost for the Astros as compared to other premium positions.
In 21 games in May, Martin Maldonado hit two home runs and drove in seven in 72 at-bats, hitting .147 with a .265 slugging percentage and an OPS of .448. In the same time frame, Yuli Gurriel played in 26 games and hit three home runs, droving in nine and slashing .214/.264/.357 with an OPS of .621.
Those aren’t the stats you would expect at a power position such as first base. Finally at center field, the Astros have struggled with Chas McCormick playing in 21 games and slashing .172/.254./.422, while hitting four home runs and driving in 10.
Comparatively, Jose Siri played in 17 games and slashed .218/.307/.364 with one home run and four RBI. If you add up all of that minimal production and include multiple days a week for one producing player, it spells disaster for the Astros’ offensive production.
The team needs to make a trade, and as MLB.com recently reported, the likely sellers at the deadline are the following teams — the Cincinnati Reds, the Pittsburgh Pirates, the Baltimore Orioles, the Chicago Cubs, the Washington Nationals, and the Oakland Athletics.
The A’s aren’t likely trade partners being in the same division, so I will focus on the rest for options, and add a few teams I think are also potential sellers in the Miami Marlins and the Colorado Rockies.