With a shallow farm system and an owner reluctant to exceed the CBT, as incredible as it would be to see the Astros land a massive name like Luis Robert Jr. or David Bednar, it's more likely any trades the Astros make would be fliers.
Here are 3 buy low trade candidates for the Astros this offseason
Houston has a propensity for nailing the buy-low trade candidate. From waiver claims like Will Harris and Collin McHugh to quiet trades like Mauricio Dubón, the Astros do well when acquiring cast-offs, blocked talent, and underachievers with untapped potential.
So who might be available this offseason? Let's take a look at three buy low options for the Astros heading in to 2024.
#1 Cal Quantrill
Coming into 2023, Cal Quantrill had a career ERA of 3.54. From 2020-2022, Quantrill recorded a 3.08 ERA and 1.20 WHIP. His 4.08 FIP in that time did show his ERA was likely a little buoyed by some good fortune, but nonetheless, Quantrill was a very solid MLB starter the first four years of his career.
Disaster struck for Quantrill in 2023. Pitching for a Cleveland team loaded with young arms coming up, Quantrill likely pitched himself out of any future plans the Guardians once had for him. Quantrill made 19 starts, posting a 5.24 ERA and 1.47 WHIP.
He looked nothing like the pitcher he had been for three years prior. Which makes him the perfect buy low candidate. He's under contract for two more seasons, and with some tweaks to his arsenal, could unlock the pitcher of old.
His sinker and cutter got rocked in 2023. He threw his curveball a career-high 11% of the time, but even still, that's a pitch that needs to be thrown more. And he should bring back the slider he ditched after 2021.
With more curves and sliders, his fastballs would play better. Again, he's probably not going to win a Cy Young, but he's better than a 5.24 ERA. He'd provide the Astros some much needed pitching depth as Lance McCullers and Luis Garcia rehab, and could even make an arm like Jose Urquidy expendable in trades elsewhere. With Quantrill believed to be on the move, this is a call worth making.