Every-Thing Sports

Examining if the Astros should be buyers or sellers with the trade deadline approaching

Composite photo by Jack Brame

The MLB trading deadline is normally hot and heavy. It's one of, if not the most exciting trade deadlines in sports. Rumors abound about which teams will be buyers, who's selling, what players may or may not be available. Then, there's the inevitable WOW move that no one expected or thought could be pulled off. However, this year will be different. How different? I can't tell as of yet. But if 2020 has taught us anything, it's to expect anything and nothing is "normal" anymore.

The trade deadline is August 31 this year for the shortened season. The Astros are hovering around .500 on the season. The pitching staff and the lineup both look more like the Bad News Bears than a professional baseball team. While the starting pitching wasn't expected to look as bad, the bullpen was definitely a question mark before the season began. The lineup seemingly has gone from a strength to a liability. This team went from a favorite to win the World Series, to...well, you get my drift. So, what do they do? How can they fix things? Can things be fixed? To trade, or not to trade? Let's explore the question:

Start Selling

In the economic times we're in, the future is uncertain. While things will get better eventually, no one knows when. The Astros have several attractive assets contenders would want for the stretch run and beyond. Sure, trading guys like George Springer, Zack Greinke, or Carlos Correa would be a white flag, but how else are they going to retool the depleted farm system? With draft picks taken away over the next couple drafts, already dealing away top prospects, and not getting what they thought out of Kyle Tucker and Forrest Whitley, they don't have many options. Shedding salary now or future salaries will aid in the economic impact of the pandemic and help start to rebuild the farm system.

Go all-In

If Justin Verlander can come back and pitch this season, that'll help the starters and bullpen if he can eat innings. If Jose Altuve can start to hit at least closer to his career low .276 batting average, that'll serve the lineup well. Lots of ifs here, but they're viable ifs (except Verlander, that scares me). That being said, why not push all the chips to the middle of the table and go for it? Your window for winning a World Series is open for only so long and it's starting to close. Making moves to keep it open as long as possible is what organizations who want to win do and do well. Time for James Click to earn his keep.

Stand pat

With eight teams making the playoffs in each league, the Astros will more than likely make it, even if they're still floundering. This team has the ammo to make a run if they get their act together. Just like I stated above, there are a lot of ifs involved. But players don't forget how to play. Skills diminsh over time. This isn't Space Jam and the Monstars didn't zap the Astros of their abilities. If Jim Crane wants to help his team, he needs to give them their balls back. Josh Innes has said it multiple times that Crane castrated this team's swagger when he made them apologize for the scandal. It has been mentally crippling to several players. Let them get back to being themselves, they'll play like they're capable of playing, and there won't be a need to make any trades. Add this to the hope of some of the younger Astros fulfilling their potential, and you have a contender.


If it were up to me, I'd stand pat unless there's a deal out there I can't refuse. If someone says they're willing to move the moon and stars for an Astros player, I'm making the move. If someone is willing to take my best (or not so best) offer for a player I feel will put this team over the top, I'm pulling the trigger. I won't risk the future of the organization on a whim. It'll be a well-thought out decision. Researching these things have already started hopefully. Whether the team pulls the trigger on anything remains to be seen. We're less than two weeks away from the deadline, so let's wait and see what happens. James Click: you're on notice sir.

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This is getting out of hand. Photo by Ronald Martinez/Allsport/Getty Images.

Dr. Rick warns his patients, young homeowners who are turning into their parents, you can expect to pay more for snacks and drinks at a movie theater. It's the same deal at a professional sports venue. Three years ago, I put a down payment on a cheeseburger at Toyota Center ... I still have three more payments to go before I get it.

But this is ridiculous. The PGA Championship, the lesser (least) of golf's majors, is charging $18 for a beer, a 25-ounce Michelob Ultra, at Southern Hills Country Club in Tulsa. It's $19 for a Stella Artois. You can buy a six-pack for less at the supermarket. Aren't there laws against price gouging, like during a hurricane? Isn't Tulsa where the Golden Hurricanes play? Get FEMA in here. Did tournament directors get together and ponder, how can we piss off our fans? Sure, it's Tulsa and there's not much else to do, but that's no excuse.

Charging $18 for a beer makes the concession stands at Minute Maid Park look like a Sunday morning farmer's market. A 25-ounce domestic beer during an Astros game is $13.49. A 25-ounce premium beer is $14.45. Yeah, that's high for a beer, but at Minute Maid Park there are lots of hands in the till. Aramark wants to make a profit, the taxman has big mitts, and the Astros want their cut, too. Look, you want to sign Kyle Tucker and Yordan Alvarez to an extension or not? Then drink up and don't complain. Some quiet grumbling and head-shaking is permitted, however.

You know the PGA Championship is charging too much for a beer when even the rich pampered players take notice. "18 (!!!!!) for a beer ... uhhh what," former PGA Championship winner Justin Thomas tweeted. "Good thing I don't drink a lot."

Like he will be in line for a beer at a public concession booth, anyway.

Of course there will be fans sneaking in beer in baggies strapped to their ankles, like stuffing your pockets with store-bought Snickers before going to the movies. It doesn't have to be this way. The Masters, the most prestigious golf event, charges only $5 for both domestic and imported beer. I know it's a gimmick, part of The Masters mystique along with pimento sandwiches for $1.50, but still it's a welcome gesture. You never lose when you treat the public fairly. When Mercedes-Benz Stadium opened in Atlanta, Falcons owner Arthur Blank insisted that food vendors charge the same inside the stadium as they do at their regular restaurants. Same thing when Denver International Airport opened, fast food restaurants couldn't jack up their prices to their captive customers. Here? There needs to be a loan window outside the Cinnabon booth at Bush-Intercontinental.

Except for the Masters in Augusta, golf's majors aren't tied to a city. A major comes to a city maybe every few years or in most cases never. There's no need to ride into a city like the James Gang, rob the local bank, and high tail it out of town. Golf should be the last professional sport to stick it to fans. While the game has made strides to open its arms to lower-income youths, golf remains an elitist, extremely expensive sport for regular folk. Equipment is expensive, private courses are exclusive and country clubs are exclusionary. Public courses are less expensive but still expensive and crowded. Plus there's never been a professional sport more dangerously dominated by one person than golf. I can imagine network executives on their knees praying that Tiger Woods makes the cut and plays on weekends. Otherwise, TV ratings go straight into the toilet, you know, like whatever team Mattress Mack is betting on. (I joke because I love, and frankly a little scared.)

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