Astros GM strongly suggests that Astros may avoid starting pitching at trade deadline

The Houston Astros would love to add a starting pitcher, but the trade market is rough right now.

Washington Nationals v Houston Astros
Washington Nationals v Houston Astros / Bob Levey/GettyImages

Throughout the lead up to the trade deadline this year, the Houston Astros have been clear that they wanted to add starting pitching. Just last month, Astros general manager Dana Brown went on the record as saying that he was prioritizing the Astros' rotation at the trade deadline and that was before Framber Valdez got dinged up.

However, Brown just did an interview where it sounds like that while Houston would still like to add a starting pitcher, they are currently not in the market for a rotation arm at the trade deadline. How does that make sense? Well, one needs to understand the trade market's dynamics right now.

The Astros have a trade supply and demand problem

Nothing has changed about the Astros' roster needs at the trade deadline. With the Astros' injuries on both sides of the ball, they would love to add a starter, a left-handed bat, and some bullpen help. They already checked the bullpen box, but the market for starting pitcher at the deadline is decidedly more complicated.

The fundamental issue here is that there are not very many sellers with starters worth acquiring and a whole lot of contenders that would love to trade for one. Brown was candid in the same interview that the market is heavily slanted towards sellers' prices and that he needs to protect the Astros' future. From the sounds of things, the prices for starting pitching right now are astronomical given the lack of supply and Houston isn't going to pay crazy price tags for rentals and/or back end of the rotation guys.

There also could be a certain amount of gamesmanship here as well. What Brown said is fundamentally true, but he also could be sending a message to the teams with starters on the trade market like the Cardinals, Mets, Tigers, and White Sox that the Astros are not going to be held hostage in negotiations with the hope being that prices will come down closer to the actual deadline.

Nevertheless, for the moment it does seem like Houston could decide to sit out of the starting pitching trade market at the deadline. What happens after that is anybody's guess.

More Astros News from Climbing Tal's Hill