#3 Lance McCullers Jr.
At this point, what type of return would McCullers even fetch? He's great when he plays, but as we said last week, he just never does.
His rehab process has slowed once again, now not even throwing off a mound. Houston can't afford to sit around and wait for LMJ for two reasons.
One--the Rangers aren't going anywhere. Their division rival is legit. Houston needs depth in the lineup and rotation to keep pace.
Two--they've got guys that actually play that need extended. José Altuve and Alex Bregman's contracts expire after next season. Framber and King Tuck expire in 2025. LMJ's five year, $85 million deal seemed like a bargain when he signed the extension, but he's made eight regular season starts since it went into effect.
Houston is paying $17 million a year in dead money. They may try to unload McCullers if for no other reason than cap flexibility for other trades and future extensions. A team not quite ready to contend yet, say Detroit, may be able to be patient while McCullers rehabs this year before sending him out in 2024 to mentor a young staff.