Cody Bellinger could give the Astros the lefty bat they need
Cody Bellinger does sort of break the rules set earlier as he has a mutual option with the Cubs for 2024 at $12 million. However, given that Bellinger has posted a .938 OPS this season for Chicago, there seems to be little chance that he will pass up on a free agency payday and exercise that option. If he hits free agency as expected, he could present Houston the opportunity they have been looking for.
Dana Brown made it very well known before the trade deadline that the Astros were looking to add a left-handed power bat, but they were unable to do so because those types of guys just weren't available. Bellinger could very well be that bat, plus it could convince other players on the roster (Tucker, Valdez, etc.) that the Astros are in this for the long haul and to stick around. Houston had also hoped that Jose Abreu would be a steady offensive presence, but he has been anything but that so far. Adding Bellinger could pick up Abreu's offensive slack and take the sting out of that deal. However, don't expect Bellinger to come cheap.
Brent Suter would shore up the Astros' 2024 bullpen
Every single team that is looking to contend next season is going to be looking for bullpen arms and Houston is no exception. Ryne Stanek and Phil Maton are set to become free agents for Houston's pen after the season which could create a couple openings. Hector Neris also has a club option for $8.5 million for the 2024 season, but it is all but a mortal lock that Houston keeps him around.
There are going to be no shortage of interesting relief options available in free agency, but Brent Suter gets the nod here. Suter has put up a 2.56 ERA with outstanding peripherals despite the fact that he plays in Colorado aka The Pitcher Graveyard. His track record of being a reliable bullpen arm won't go unnoticed across the league, but he should still be a reasonable affordable bullpen option once free agency gets here.