#4 Rafael Montero
The Rafael Montero contract is already a great hindrance to the Astros. Last year, on the back of one strong 2022 season, the Astros gave Montero a three-year deal worth elite closer money. Montero responded to his $11.5 million deal with a 5.08 ERA, 1.53 WHIP, and a -0.4 bWAR.
Needless to say, that is not money well spent. Hector Neris, Phil Maton, and Ryne Stanek all hit free agency this offseason, and Dana Brown conceded that all three are likely gone, leaving the Astros looking for bullpen help.
The Astros have to rebuild their bullpen, find a backup catcher, increase arbitration payments for names like Tucker and Valdez, and create some cap space for extensions for Altuve, Bregman, and others.
Simply put, they can't do it with Montero in the fold. Whatever it takes to get Montero off the books, the Astros have to do it. Tag on a couple of mid-tier prospects and pay down his contract. Use the money you're saving on JV through New York to offset the cost.
Either that, or it's time for Crane to blow past the CBT. If he continues to avoid it every year, Montero can't be in Houston. It would take a lot of work, but whatever it takes, the Astros have to move Montero.