Astros' trade deadline dream could hinge on Diamondbacks' next stretch

The Astros could make out quite well if the D-backs go on a losing streak.
Arizona Diamondbacks infielder Christian Walker
Arizona Diamondbacks infielder Christian Walker / Orlando Ramirez/GettyImages

While the Astros and their fanbase may have been rooting for the Arizona Diamondbacks to win last fall in order to knock off the Texas Rangers in the 2023 World Series, Houston should be pulling for the exact opposite to happen this summer.

Why? Because an utter collapse on the part of the D-Backs could open the door for All-Star snub Christian Walker to fall right into their laps. Arizona, thanks in large part of the recent shortcomings of Paul Sewald, are barely treading water in the chase for the final Wild Card spot in the National League.

If Arizona falters over the next 10 games, there's a possibility that Walker could be made available in trade negotiations. After the mess at first base that the Astros endured earlier this season that resulted in the eventual dismissal of Jose Abreu, nothing would be sweeter for GM Dana Brown and the Houston front office than the opportunity to solidify the position for a postseason run. Adding Walker would do just that.

If the D-backs stumble, the Astros may be able to trade for Christian Walker

Heading into play on Wednesday, the D-backs are on the outside of playoff race and sit 2.5 games back of the final Wild Card spot, which is currently held by the San Diego Padres. The Atlanta Braves hold the top spot in the NL Wild Card and the St. Louis Cardinals are in the mix as well.

Arizona, meanwhile, has a losing record and is in a battle with the New York Mets, San Francisco Giants, Pittsburgh Pirates, and Cincinnati Reds, with all five teams less than five games out of the postseason picture.

The D-Backs face a mixed bag of opponents over the next couple of weeks with the Braves, Toronto Blue Jays, Chicago Cubs, and Kansas City Royals on the docket. Arizona also has a three-game series against the Pittsburgh Pirates before the MLB trade deadline.

If the D-Backs emerge from the upcoming two-week stretch with a winning record, the Astros' dreams of swinging a deal for Walker will likely be terminated. But, if Arizona falls flat, the D-Backs could go from World Series contender to seller rather quickly.

Walker represents the Diamondbacks' best tradeable asset. The 33-year-old is in the final year of his contract and will be a free agent next winter. Adding Walker and his 139 OPS+ would certainly help to push the Astros into the catbird's seat in the AL West while also taking the slugger off the board for the offensively starved Seattle Mariners.

If the D-Backs become losers over the next couple of weeks, the Astros could emerge as gigantic winners. The Astros fanbase won't have to hold their nose while rooting against the D-Backs over the next 10 games — none of their upcoming opponents play in the AL West.

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