The Houston Astros have had their hands full at the trade deadline this year. While they were successful in bolstering their bullpen by adding Kendall Graveman, they still need to add at least one starter and another power bat would be a nice touch as well. However, the rest of the contenders in the AL West, the Texas Rangers and LA Angels, have been even more busy so far.
The Angels decided to push their chips in and not only pull Shohei Ohtani from the trade market completely, but they also added Lucas Giolito and Reynaldo Lopez in a deal with the White Sox. All indications are that LA is not done shopping around and they could add on both sides of the ball before all is said and done.
As for the Rangers, it sounds like they are swinging even bigger. Texas has been connected to several big names on the trade market and this evening, the news broke that the Rangers have the framework of an agreement in place with the Mets to trade for Max Scherzer pending approval from Scherzer who has a no-trade clause.
What does Scherzer heading to the Rangers mean for the Astros?
To be clear, this is not a done deal yet. The Mets' collapse this season has been wild given how much of Steve Cohen's money they threw around, but selling in their position makes a ton of sense as a way to cut some of those losses including the rest of the over $43 million they owe Scherzer this season.
However, Scherzer hasn't officially waived his no-trade clause just yet although things are looking positive there. As of this moment, there are still some financial odds and ends to sort out and it is still unknown exactly what Texas is having to send to acquire Scherzer.
For Houston, this is confirmation of what was already suspected: the AL West is going to be a dogfight to the end. Scherzer didn't seem like a guy that was on Houston's radar probably due to the amount of money he is set to make, but Scherzer being on the move means that the starting pitching market could start developing extremely quickly.
With Giolito, Scherzer, and Lance Lynn being moved over the last couple of days, Dana Brown is going to have to strike quickly if he wants to make meaningful upgrades in the Astros' rotation. Whether he will be able to remains to be seen.