It's hard to define a season that ended in a seventh straight trip to the ALCS as a failure, but for the Astros, it's World Series or bust. Houston was defeated by the Rangers in all four of their home games, mostly as a result of their offense's disappearing act at home.
Here are 4 outfield targets for the Astros in this offseason
You can blame it on the batter's eye if you'd like, and it is almost a sure thing the Astros will again renovate it this offseason, but the bigger issue was the lineup just didn't produce. The Astros started Mauricio Dubón or Michael Brantley in most of their playoff games. Dubón is a singles hitter at best and Brantley struggled mightily down the stretch in an attempt to recover from his shoulder injury.
If the Astros are to make another deep playoff run, landing one of these outfielders this offseason would be huge.
#1 Lourdes Gurriel Jr.
Astros fans were very upset when Houston didn't bring back Yuli Gurriel for 2023. La Piña is an Astros legend. Just imagine if the Astros signed his little brother.
Lourdes Gurriel Jr. is currently playing for a World Series with the Diamondbacks before hitting free agency. He's coming off of a 3.0 WAR season in which he hit .261 with 24 home runs and a .772 OPS. He made his first all-star appearance this year.
Gurriel is a .279 hitter with a .791 OPS in his career. Like his brother, Lourdes is a high-contact, low strikeout hitter.
In 95 games in left field this year, Gurriel was worth 14 DRS. The Astros defensive regression was a big piece of their struggles throughout the year. Gurriel would immediately help shore this up.
An outfield of Gurriel in left, Chas McCormick in center, and Kyle Tucker in right would be potent offensively and defensively. Gurriel is the only outfielder on the market that would make the Astros better both offensively and defensively.
He'll be hitting free agency for the first time since coming over from Cuba, and while he won't be as expensive as a Marcus Semien, he'll be in line for quite a raise from the $5.4 million he made in 2023. If the Astros are serious about getting back to a World Series, they'll pay it.