Astros considered among the top trade deadline suitors for budding star pitcher

Houston looks like they are going to need to load up on arms at the trade deadline, with one prominent name already getting floated.
Miami Marlins v San Diego Padres
Miami Marlins v San Diego Padres / Orlando Ramirez/GettyImages

For those that haven't checked in on the Houston Astros recently, they have themselves a full on pitching problem, as both Jose Urquidy and Cristian Javier are set to have elbow surgeries that will end their seasons. The Astros can make do with what they have for the moment, as they scratched together something resembling a rotation all season long, but it is clear that the front office led by general manager Dana Brown needs to prioritize pitching at the trade deadline.

That is, of course, assuming the Astros are actually going to be buyers at the trade deadline. That is far from a certainty at this point in time when the team is several games below .500. However, if we play along with this idea, starting pitching is now THE priority for the Astros if it wasn't already.

Outside observers seem to agree as the Astros are being predicted as one of the top landing spots for the most obviously available trade deadline starter: the Marlins' Jesus Luzardo.

Astros among favorites to trade for Jesus Luzardo at the trade deadline

The fit here is pretty straightforward. Houston just lost two starters for the year and have no idea what they are going to get from Luis Garcia and/or Lance McCullers Jr. going forward. Their playoff contention window could also be closing, with Alex Bregman set to be a free agent and both Kyle Tucker and Framber Valdez not locked down yet. So, making a play for an arm like Luzardo that could save their season makes sense, assuming it doesn't require them to completely clear out their farm system.

The Marlins' side of things here is a bit trickier. Normally, a starter with swing and miss stuff like Luzardo possesses -- who also has two more years of team control -- would command a premium. However, the Marlins seem willing to make trades with questionable returns and appear perfectly content to be the rest of the league's minor league pitching development lab these days.

As a result, Houston does probably have the prospect pieces to make a move for Luzardo if they want to, although Miami's phone is going to be ringing a lot with offers from around the league. The real question is whether or not Luzardo's 5.30 ERA this season and declining peripherals spook Houston (and other teams) enough to keep them out of the bidding.

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