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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Yordan Alvarez provided the offense to back up more stellar pitching by the Astros as they took ALCS game 6 to advance to the 2021 World Series. Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images

After splitting the first two games of this series in Houston then falling behind in the series 2-1 by dropping the first of three games in Boston, the Astros took over the ALCS in Games 4 and 5, sending them back to their home crowd with a chance to finish things off in Game 6 at Minute Maid Park. After another stellar performance by their pitching staff and more timely hitting, they would accomplish that mission, winning the series and moving on to the 2021 World Series.

Final Score: Astros 5, Red Sox 0

ALCS Series (Best of Seven): Houston wins 4-2

Winning Pitcher: Luis Garcia

Losing Pitcher: Nathan Eovaldi

Houston strikes first to start tightly-contested Game 6

After a scoreless top of the first inning by Boston's offense, the Astros capitalized on a chance to be first to score in the bottom of the frame. Alex Bregman started the two-out rally, reaching base on a single against Nathan Eovaldi for the first hit of the night. Yordan Alvarez followed, delivering his sixth RBI of the series with a double to put Houston on top 1-0.

That did not spark further immediate scoring, as the one-run score held while both starting pitchers provided solid outings for their team. For Eovaldi, he was able to limit Houston to just that single run through four frames. He returned in the bottom of the fifth, facing two batters, allowing a single, and getting a strikeout to end his night.

Garcia impresses in big start

For the home team, they were recipients of another expectation-exceeding performance from one of their young arms. Only anticipated to go a handful of innings, Luis Garcia worked efficiently and effectively against Boston, keeping them scoreless and hitless through five innings. He continued in the sixth, getting two more outs before allowing a two-out triple, ending his night as Phil Maton would enter to strand the tying run. Garcia's final line: 5.2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 7 K, 76 P.

With both teams dipping into their bullpens, the Astros took advantage of Boston's as Yordan Alvarez's dominance went on display once again. He led the inning off with a triple, then scored on a double-play ball to extend Houston's lead to 2-0. Kendall Graveman took over on the mound in the top of the seventh and worked himself into a big moment. He gave up a one-out walk, followed by a single, which put runners on the corners for Boston. He continued to struggle with the zone, falling behind the next batter 3-1, but was able to battle back to get the strikeout paired with a terrific throw by Martin Maldonado to cut down the runner from first trying to steal second, ending the inning and maintaining the two-run advantage.

Astros headed to the World Series

Ryne Stake was Houston's next reliever, and he put Houston three outs away by getting a 1-2-3 eighth. With Ryan Pressly warming, he watched and hoped that his offense could give him some more insurance to work with when he went to the mound in the top of the ninth. His wish would be granted, as after getting two on base, Kyle Tucker would put a major exclamation point on the night's offense, hitting a three-run opposite-field homer to the Crawford Boxes to push the lead to 5-0.

Pressly, now with the five-run lead, came on to try and start the celebration by getting the final three outs. Against the tougher part of Boston's order, he would get a 1-2-3 inning, giving the Astros the American League pennant, which along with those won in 2017 and 2019, puts them back in the World Series for the third time in five years.

Up Next: The Astros will have three days off before The Fall Classic kicks off. While Game 1 will be on Tuesday, October 26th, nothing else has yet been determined as Houston awaits to see which of the Dodgers and Braves will advance out of the NL, which will also dictate if the Astros will host or travel to World Series Game 1.

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