Jake Meyers has had his ups and downs since returning to the Houston Astros lineup, which may necessitate a trade for a center fielder at the deadline
Houston Astros fans were sad to see Jake Meyers get injured during last year’s playoff game against the White Sox as he was playing extremely well since being called up in September. They had a similar sentiment when Meyers got injured after starting out hot his first two weeks, slashing .314/.333/.471 with an .804 OPS, 1 home run and 10 RBI. Since July 15, though, Meyers has been a different player, slashing .116/.208/.186 with a .394 OPS and just 3 RBI, It’s hard to get much worse.
The Astros’ fan base waited in anticipation for him to return but now most of them are clamoring for a trade. The question is, however, what is out in the marketplace at the trade deadline, and should the Astros look for more? Since the Yankees acquired possibly the best outfielder on the block in Andrew Benintendi and the Pirates might be asking too much for Bryan Reynolds (although I would be willing to give up some young talent for him), let’s look at who else could be an option.
Yaz for short, and grandson of the great Carl Yastrzemski, has started 59 games this year in centerfield for the Giants, who recently declared themselves sellers for the trade deadline. Yaz would be a great addition as he has 9 home runs and 38 RBI while slashing .227/.322/.395 with a .717 OPS. You might be thinking that’s not that great of an upgrade, but he is hitting in a prime lineup spot rather than the lower-pressure bottom three spots, where he would most likely fit in with Houston. Previous season highs have seen his home run total at 25 and RBI at 71, both of which came last year, and he still has a career .810 OPS. He is arbitration eligible next season and locked up until 2026, however, so he won’t come cheap.
Grichuk would be an interesting trade piece as he is having a down year to date but is slashing .256/.299/.408 with a .707 OPS and 9 home runs, driving in 49. Despite that, he averages 20+ home runs a season, a .760 OPS, and it’s only his first season in Colorado, so his sub .200 average away from home is less concerning as it would be with a lifetime Rockies player. He is a free agent in 2024 and makes $10 million a season so could be a much cheaper trade for the Astros.
Taylor is under control until 2024 and is having the best season of his career. At 31, he has the experience to improve the Astros roster, along with his impressive career postseason stats (.316 average, 4 home runs, 10 RBI). Taylor is slashing .274/.343/.392 with an OPS of .736 and 6 home runs with 28 RBI. He would add some veteran leadership to the young outfield along with his Gold Glove from 2021. If the Astros want to use Kansas City to upgrade at catcher as well, they could potentially create a blockbuster deal at the trade deadline to get Taylor and MJ Melendez for Korey Lee and Jose Siri.
Jake Meyers is only one month into the season at center field and perhaps looking for trade deadline options is premature, but with a team that looks to make big moves this year, it might not hurt. If Meyers doesn’t pan out and he needs more time to fully heal, Chas McCormick would be the only real choice in the outfield to take his place and Michael Brantley’s return timetable is still unknown, if he returns at all. As a result, one of these three options might be worth a shot.