The Houston Astros have done pretty well this year as they look to defend their title, but they have had their fair share of difficulties along the way. Key free agent departures have been missed this year and injuries to guys like Michael Brantley, Yordan Alvarez, Lance McCullers Jr., and Luis Garcia have caused their own problems. All of that means we could see a rather busy trade deadline out of Dana Brown and the Astros this year.
The specifics of what sorts of moves Houston will need to make have yet to fully reveal themselves, but it is clear that Houston won’t be able to stand pat at the trade deadline. The Rangers, Angels, and Mariners should be pretty good to really good the rest of the way and are going to be motivated to make their own roster improvements.
With the Astros having far from a perfect roster nor do they have any no-brainer prospects that they could promote to give a boost, they are going to have to look outside of the organization for help. That means that Houston will have to part with some minor leaguers to bring in help for the big league roster and the costs could be significant, so tough choices have to be made.
In an ideal world, the Astros would be able to keep all of their better prospects, but you have to give up something to get something. Here is a look at a few players the Astros should try to trade and others that they should keep around.
Trade: Forrest Whitley - RHP
Forrest Whitley has been a pitching prospect of some renown for a long time now. It wasn’t that long ago that he was one of the best prospects in all of baseball. However, things have gone downhill for him since then as multiple injuries including Tommy John surgery that cost him the 2021 season along with a chunk of the 2022 season and a lat injury that is going to keep him out for a few months this year. Putting all of that on top of a 50 game suspension for a positive drug test for stimulants back in 2018 has taken a lot of the shine off of him.
Whitley is still an immensely talented guy and while the Astros seem to be eyeing a move to the bullpen for him once he is healthy again this year, he may have more value to a team that thinks they can keep him healthy and use him as a starter. That might be a pretty narrow bandwidth of landing spots, but that might be better than hoping that he can provide anything for Houston in the big leagues at this point.