TRADE ALERT

Texans bolster offense with trade for Rams receiver

Texans bolster offense with trade for Rams receiver
Texans add another toy for Stroud. Photo via: Wiki Commons.

At this point in the offseason, all the Texans receivers from 2023 are set to return to the team this season. Which is why it shouldn't have come as a surprise when they elected not to select any receivers in the 2024 NFL Draft.

However, according to multiple reports, it appears the Texans made an addition to the receiving corps on Thursday by trading for Rams receiver Ben Skowronek. Skowronek was set to be released by the Rams, but Texans GM Nick Caserio made a deal to bring him to Houston before he was let go.

What did the Texans give up?

Dianna Russini is reporting that the Texans and Rams will swap 6th and 7th rounders in 2026.

Skowronek (age 26) only has 58 catches and 575 receiving yards over the course of his three-year career. Skowronek was drafted out of Notre Dame in the 7th round in 2021, and is in the final year of his contact.

With Tank Dell expected to miss OTA's in June as he recovers from a gunshot wound to the leg, perhaps Skowronek will add some depth to the position group, and he could also contribute on special teams this year.

Here's another possibility. The Texans could save some money against the cap by releasing WR Robert Woods. Could this be the reason for the trade? Skowronek wouldn't be expected to see the field much, even if they do release Woods. But the Texans could use the added cap room to address other areas of the team.

Either way, Skowronek should be familiar with the Texans' version of the West Coast Offense, after playing three years under Sean McVay.

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Astros defeat the A's, 6-3. Photo by Richard Rodriguez/Getty Images.

Jake Meyers hit a three-run homer to highlight Houston's six-run fourth inning that backed Justin Verlander's winning start, and the Astros beat the Oakland Athletics 6-3 on Friday night.

Verlander (3-2) struck out nine over six innings to increase hit total to 3,377, passing Hall of Famer Greg Maddux (3,371) for 10th on the career strikeouts list. He gave up two runs — one earned — on eight hits and didn't walk a batter for a second straight start and seventh time this year.

After another milestone to add to a long list of them, Verlander wasn't sure exactly how to feel.

“I feel like I should be more excited but I feel like I’m a little more introspective and reflective,” Verlander said. “A lot of sacrifices you make in this game, a lot of time away from the family, but I love it, so it’s pretty amazing. I don’t know if as a 21- or 22-year-old kid in professional baseball if I’d thought I’d be in the top-10 in anything. This sport’s been around for so long. Hard to put into words, but a lot of thoughts, a lot of thoughts went through my mind.”

When his teammates celebrated him once the special outing had ended, Verlander allowed himself to ponder the meaning.

Verlander remembers his first strikeout and he recalls one against Hall of Fame slugger Frank Thomas here at the Coliseum — and the pitcher wears No. 35 because of Thomas.

“I have a lot of great memories here,” he said.

A's manager Mark Kotsay, a former Oakland outfielder, has been witness to some of those.

“He’s just tough. He’s a Hall of Fame pitcher. He knows his game plan and he executes it really well," Kotsay said. "He doesn’t make a ton of mistakes.”

Yordan Alvarez added an RBI double and Josh Hader finished the 2-hour, 31-minute game with his seventh save for the Astros, who began a seven-game road trip.

After right-hander Ross Stripling (1-9) retired the first nine Houston hitters in order, Jose Altuve singled to start the fourth for the first of four straight hits that included Alex Bregman's two-run single.

The A's drew an announced crowd of 9,676 for the series opener after winning two of three against Colorado following an eight-game losing streak.

Miguel Andujar came off the injured list and immediately hit an RBI single in the first off Verlander and finished with three hits in his A's and season debut — including another run-scoring single in the seventh.

Andjuar's RBI marked the first time the A's have scored first in 18 games — ending the longest streak in franchise history. Batting cleanup, he also singled in the third.

Astros left fielder Chas McCormick robbed Max Schuemann of an extra-base hit when he crashed into the wall to make a great catch ending the eighth.

“That was a big play at the moment,” manager Joe Espada said.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Astros: RHP José Urquidy was pulled from his rehab start with Triple-A Sugar Land because of right forearm discomfort. He has been on the injured list with inflammation in his pitching shoulder. ... 1B José Abreu is scheduled to rejoin the club Monday in Seattle after playing at least two games with Triple-A Sugar Land as he works to regain his hitting rhythm.

Athletics: Andujar had been sidelined all season after having meniscus surgery on his right knee. He was claimed off waivers from the Pirates on Nov. 6. Oakland created roster room by optioning INF Brett Harris to Triple-A Las Vegas.

UP NEXT

RHP Spencer Arrighetti (2-4, 7.16 ERA) pitches for the Astros in the middle game opposite A's LHP JP Sears (3-3, 4.31).

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