5 Left-Handed Bats the Astros May Target At the Trade Deadline

Dana Brown recently indicated a starting pitcher is his priority, but if Houston decides to pivot to a bat, or if they pursue both, these five bats may shore up some of their offensive imbalance.
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The Astros enter trade deadline season with some glaring needs: a starting pitcher to alleviate the workload on an injured and young staff being carried by rookies, potentially a bullpen arm to limit the work of their top relievers (Maton, Neris, Abreu and Pressly), and a left-handed bat that can preferably play left field.

Dana Brown had previously indicated a left-handed bat would be their priority at the deadline, but he has now pivoted to landing a starting pitcher, preferably one with team control, as priority number one.

But they haven't ruled out offense entirely. While getting a healthy Yordan Alvarez and Jose Altuve back changes everything, both have been banged up all year. It's no guarantee they hold on to the finish line. And while José Abreu was resurgent and the Abreu of old in June, he did regress again before the deadline. If those three stay healthy and perform to their standards the rest of the season, they may not need a bat after all.

But if the Astros end up getting outbid for a starter due to their diminished farm system and pivot back to a bat, or if they simply go all-in and acquire both, these are the five left-handed bats the Astros should target at the trade deadline.

Jeff McNeil could be an Astros target

The Mets may not be likely to put the reigning NL batting champ on the trade market, especially after giving him a 4-year, $50 million extension this offseason, but McNeil's 2023 season has been a nightmare followup to 2022. The same can be said for the team that employs him.

Pete Alonso isn't going anywhere. Nor are Brandon Nimmo, Edwin Diaz, Francisco Alvarez, Francisco Lindor and Brett Baty. The Mets still have a great core moving forward, and could load up even further if they unload names like Tommy Pham and Jeff McNeil.

If the Mets come out of the break slow, they may be very inclined to sell.

McNeil would be an interesting target. He's hitting only .253 with a .659 OPS this year, but he's still a solid, if unspectacular, defender at 2B and in the corner outfield spots. He's only 31, and while his contact quality hasn't been great, it's often the under the radar moves that move the needle in October (Daniel Hudson in Washington, Steve Pearce in Boston).

His versatility would go a long way to keeping everybody fresh, and if the price isn't obscene, he could be a prime "buy low" option in hopes that a change of scenery and deeper lineup (assuming health) gets him back to normal production.