4 difficult roster decisions the Houston Astros must address ASAP

Houston Astros v Toronto Blue Jays
Houston Astros v Toronto Blue Jays / Mark Blinch/GettyImages
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Houston needs to add a power outfield bat

It is really weird to see the Astros' struggle as much as they have when it comes to hitting for power, but here we are. Despite having a roster that is full of guys that have consistently hit the ball hard in the past, Houston finds themselves with a middling offense with a team slugging percentage of just .402 in 2023.

Some of this is good ol' fashioned underperformance as Kyle Tucker, Alex Bregman, Jose Altuve, and especially Jose Abreu are all slugging below their career norms. It also has really hurt not having Yordan in the lineup as he is Houston's best power hitter by a mile. If some of these guys could get going and Alvarez can get healthy soon, that would be a huge plus.

Finding places to realistically upgrade in the power department for Houston is a bit tricky, though. Yordan is a mortal lock for most DH plate appearances once he returns and it is unlikely that the Astros are going to cut bait with Abreu so soon given their financial commitment to him. That leaves the infield minus catcher (more on that in a bit) as pretty set.

The outfield is pretty much all that is left as an option and while Kyle Tucker isn't going anywhere, the other two outfield spots seem to be the best bets for getting some more power in the lineup. Chas McCormick has played well enough to get some playing time especially with his ability to play center field, but an upgrade for that last spot seems like our best bet here.

The Astros' farm system has some outfielders to be sure, but most of them aren't particularly close to being ready to join a big league team that has playoff aspirations. Justin Dirden is an intriguing bat down in Triple-A especially if Houston wants another lefty that mashes righties, but if Houston wants an immediate power upgrade they are probably going to need to look outside the organization.

The trade market for outfielders that hit for power that are also expected to be available isn't particularly robust, unfortunately. Adam Duvall stands out as a guy who is going to be a free agent after this season on a Boston team that looks to have a difficult path to playoff contention this year. Michael Conforto would be a nice option if the Giants decide to sell at the trade deadline, but San Francisco has been playing quite well lately and don't seem to be likely sellers. If Houston wants a guy that has some team control, they could do worse than Lane Thomas as the Nationals are pretty terrible and he has two more years of control after this season.