4 big moves that the Astros need to make at the Winter Meetings

With Winter Meetings approaching, the free agent and trade markets are about to heat up. Let's look at four things the Astros must get done in that timeframe.
Championship Series - Texas Rangers v Houston Astros - Game Seven
Championship Series - Texas Rangers v Houston Astros - Game Seven / Rob Carr/GettyImages
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#4 Sign a backup catcher not named Martín Maldonado

The Yainer Diaz era is here. With Dusty Baker officially retired, Diaz will be the Astros primary catcher in 2024. Houston needs a backup for off-days, and it simply can't be Martín Maldonado.

Maldonado was great here for many years, but he was a shell of himself in 2023. If Houston brings him back, it's likely Justin Verlander and Framber Valdez again insist on throwing to Maldy. Houston can't afford to have Maldonado as their starting catcher in two of the first three games of a playoff series moving forward.

There are plenty of suitable backup options on the market. Gary Sanchez has quietly improved on the defensive end, and he would bring plenty of power to take aim at the Crawford Boxes. Sanchez helped pilot Blake Snell to the NL Cy Young after all.

Tucker Barnhart, Victor Caritini, and Austin Hedges would all bring solid defense and be trusted to call a game. Hedges, for his offensive shortcomings, is one of the most elite defensive catchers in the game.

Hedges or Sanchez would make a great deal of sense in Houston.