5 best trade chips the Astros have going into the trade deadline

The trade deadline is coming up fast. Here are the best trade chips the Houston Astros have to offer to get deals done.

Houston Astros v Los Angeles Angels
Houston Astros v Los Angeles Angels / Sean M. Haffey/GettyImages
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Drew Gilbert

There will be plenty of folks upset that the mere suggestion of trading the Astros' highest ranking prospect, Drew Gilbert, but the Astros have to have the option to be aggressive at the deadline if the opportunity presents itself. Gilbert made short work of high-A this year and while he has struggled more in his first look at Double-A, most evaluators agree that he looks like a guy that should have a very well-rounded, high energy game that should allow him to be a significant contributor in the big leagues.

However, the Astros can't just hope that the ideal rental starter or power bat just falls in their laps as the quality options available there are pretty thin this year and are in high demand. To make a deal for good players with some additional team control like all of those rumored Dylan Cease connections, Gilbert is going to have to be on the table. The right deal may not present itself to warrant moving him and Houston should not force anything, but having Gilbert as a trade chip needs to be on the table.

Justin Dirden

Sellers at the deadline come in a lot of different forms. Some teams are truly rebuilding and are just looking to maximize the amount of long-term talent they want to get back in a given deal. However, there are others that may be out of the playoff hunt this year, but who are looking to quickly retool their roster to compete as soon as next season. The latter is where a guy like Justin Dirden could be particularly appealing.

Dirden is a outfield prospect that is already at Triple-A and while he has only posted a .789 OPS in Triple-A so far this season, he is coming off back-to-back seasons where he posted OPS-es north of .930. To get a deal done with team looking for near major league ready bats, Dirden is exactly the kind of power to all fields kind of guy that could get their attention.

One note here: the Astros could use a power bat at the deadline, so there is an argument for Houston to hang on to Dirden if they decide to move one of their existing outfielders (more on them in a second). If that is the case, the Astros have a lot of outfield depth in the minor leagues to deal from, although none are as close to big league ready as Dirden.