The Houston Astros fell just short of their eventual goal of repeating as World Series champs. If the Astros are to climb back atop the baseball world in 2024, they need to find a left-handed bat, some bullpen help, and starting pitching depth.
It's expected many of those moves will be made in free agency. The Astros don't exactly have a loaded farm system, so they likely aren't going to be able to make a trade for a Gerrit Cole as they have in prior offseasons.
Here are 5 trade targets for the Astros this off-season
But Houston still can get a deal done. These five trade targets could go a long way towards the Astros winning their third World Series title in eight seasons.
#1 Anthony Santander
Anthony Santander to the Astros makes too much sense. The switch-hitting right fielder can also play first base. Santander's ability to play both at an average or better level would allow for DH off-days to be rotated between Yordan Alvarez, Kyle Tucker and José Abreu. After Abreu showed much improvement upon returning from the IL, keeping him fresh and his back in good shape is of the utmost importance.
Santander would give the Astros another left-handed bat to balance the lineup with Alvarez and Tucker, but because he can switch hit, isn't the platoon piece Michael Brantley was.
Santander is heading into his final year of arbitration. He plays for the loaded Orioles, and is currently responsible for blocking some of their young pieces like Heston Kjerstad and Colton Cowser from everyday playing time.
The Orioles have to make some moves this off-season to address their roster crunch. Santander is likely the odd man out as he doesn't fit their timeline. He does, however, fit Houston's, and his bat (.257 with 28 bombs and a .797 OPS) would go a long way to bolstering the Astros lineup.