Sign Willson Contreras and Andrew Benintendi
Both names have been mentioned as potential signings for the Astros previously on Climbing Tal's Hill, but this now is looking rather realistic.
In his latest report, Jon Heyman said that Houston is split on whether or not to land Contreras. He writes:
"The Astros and Cardinals seem the most interested in Willson Contreras. Houston’s decisionmakers are said to be split on whether to go for Contreras or go again with the defensive Martin Maldonado and promote a couple prospects to back him up."- Jon Heyman
I'm a huge fan of Yainer Diaz and think he has a bright future as an Astro. Korey Lee still has a great deal of promise as well. But signing Contreras as the DH and second catcher is a no-brainer. You're trying to win the World Series. There is a reason Jeremy Peña was such a success story last year--unheralded prospects don't come out of nowhere to do what he did. Sign the sure thing. Contreras' bat transforms this lineup.
Then, don't stop there. Land Benintendi as well. The Astros are now rumored to be interested in the left fielder.
Benintendi is fresh off of hitting .304 with a .772 OPS. His left-handed stick would bring balance to the lineup and he'd likely rediscover his power stroke here. His five home runs become 14 playing in Minute Maid Park.
Assuming Bryan Reynolds isn't acquired via trade, the Astros can use the money they saved by letting JV walk to send out an outfield combination of Alvarez, Tucker, Benintendi and McCormick, with Yordan and Contreras splitting DH duties, and Maldy and Contreras handling the pitching staff.
Landing one of Contreras or Benintendi would be nice. Landing both would be elite.
Depth and versatility win in October. If the Astros land both of these pieces, they've got it in spades. And with that, they'll have a World Series repeat.