5 Astros starting pitching targets that need to be at the top of their wish list

The Astros chances at a World Series repeat were severely hampered by a diminished starting rotation. Let's look at five targets to bolster their rotation for 2024.
World Baseball Classic Semifinals: Mexico v Japan
World Baseball Classic Semifinals: Mexico v Japan / Eric Espada/GettyImages
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#3 Seth Lugo

Seth Lugo is the type of swiss-army-knife arm with eye-popping spin rates that has long been linked to the Astros. His name isn't as flashy as Yamamoto or Gray, but he gets the job done and would be cheaper than both.

Lugo does hold a player option with the Padres, but he will likely decline it after starting again in 2023 for the first time since 2017. Lugo finished this year with a 3.57 ERA, 115 ERA+, 3.83 FIP, and only 2.2 BB9. His strikeouts have trended down in recent years, but he still knows how to get outs.

Lugo could start for Houston while LMJ and Luis Garcia rehab, then slide back into a relief role when they're back. Signing Lugo would fill both a rotation need and a bullpen need with Hector Neris, Phil Maton and Ryne Stanek all hitting free agency.

The Astros could sign the 33-year-old for a two-year deal and kill two birds with one stone. While it may not move the needle as much as the first two, this is a much likelier move.