4 moves the Astros need to make immediately after the All-Star break

The Houston Astros need to make some changes to their roster right after the All-Star to save their 2023 season.

Seattle Mariners v Houston Astros
Seattle Mariners v Houston Astros / Bob Levey/GettyImages
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The Astros need to strike early in the starting pitching trade market

The Astros' rotation has done really good work for them this year, but there is a real question of depth here. Framber Valdez has been amazing, Hunter Brown and Cristian Javier have done their jobs, and Jose Urquidy should be back soon. However, season-ending injuries to Lance McCullers Jr. and Luis Garcia means the back end of the rotation has been a bit of a challenge and you don't want to be thin at starting pitching in the second half.

However, the Astros don't necessarily need to swing for the fences for a starting pitcher that has multiple years of team control. Those guys are going to be expensive at the trade deadline anyways and assuming all of their injured arms stay on track to getting healthy, they can better evaluate their position for next year once free agency opens after the season.

That means we look to the rental starter department where there are a number of options. Lucas Giolito is going to be the hottest name there as he has pitched pretty well this year and everyone knows that the White Sox are going to be selling. Jordan Montgomery is a name that the Astros should look at as well with the Cardinals' first half collapse all but complete. Kyle Hendricks and Rich Hill are a couple interesting options as well.

Houston needs to find a power hitting left fielder ASAP

This has been a need for the Astros for a while now. The offense has improved a bit thanks to Jose Abreu having a good June, but the Astros still need another bat and left field seems to be the best option. The Astros have already signaled that Chas McCormick or Jake Meyers could get moved at the deadline, so the Astros seem to agree that they need to upgrade out there.

Unfortunately, this isn't a great trade market for outfielders. Tommy Pham may be made available by the Mets as bad as they have been and he can hit a bit, but he is a pretty poor defender and has some personality quirks that may not be the Astros' speed. Adam Duvall could be a trade target as the Red Sox are too far back to be realistic contenders in the AL East and the wild card looks rough for them as well. Lane Thomas is a controllable option, but the Nationals aren't just going to give him away.

One internal option that could be interesting is Justin Dirden. He has put up an .834 OPS in Triple-A this season and he has always hit for power in the minors. However, it may be a bit risky to hope that a rookie will give a contending Astros team an offensive boost in the second half.