in 2024, the Houston Astros will look to bounce back from an ALCS defeat and return to the World Series for a fifth time in eight seasons. They still have a great roster, but as the division rival Rangers continue loading up, the Yankees are beginning to operate like the evil empire again, and plenty of free agent dominoes still to fall, Houston may not want to rest on their laurels.
If the Astros look to make an upgrade, they can likely trade from their surplus of starting pitchers. If they make such a move, one starter in particular is likely to be moved.
3 trade packages for the Astros involving José Urquidy
Urquidy debuted in 2019 and has been a solid #5 for the Astros ever since, but with Justin Verlander, Framber Valdez, Cristian Javier, Hunter Brown, and J.P. France back in 2024, and Luis Garcia and Lance McCullers Jr. set to return, the Astros don't exactly need a solid #5.
Moving Urquidy could help them shore up their bench depth or solidify their bullpen. Let's look at three ways the Astros could trade Urquidy to address areas of need.
#1 Astros trade José Urquidy for Dauri Moreta
Dauri Moreta is far from a household name, but he'd go a long way towards solidifying the Astros bullpen. Moreta made 55 appearances in 2023, posting a 3.72 ERA and 11.8 SO/9.
There's plenty to love under the hood. His Statcast page is littered with red. Moreta's 3.02 xERA was in the 93rd percentile, his .188 xBA was 97th percentile, and he missed bats at an incredibly high rate, with a 33.6% whiff rate and 31.8% walk rate.
Moreta doesn't hit arbitration until 2026, and while relievers are volatile, he's worth targeting. He won't be nearly as expensive as David Bednar, but would be a great middle inning arm now with the potential to grow into a leverage arm as Ryan Pressly ages.
Baseball Trade Values (far from a perfect source as evidenced by the -40+ value it assessed Justin Verlander before he cost the Astros their top two prospects) gives Moreta more trade value than Urquidy, so it may take another prospect, but this move would get the Astros under the CBT and shore up their bullpen. This would be a huge move if Houston can pull it off.