The deadline is right around the corner. Photo by Frederick Breedon/Getty Images
There is a huge day coming in early November. And no, not the election; the NFL trade deadline. The Texans could be 1-6 by then, and should be sellers at the deadline. But with no GM in place other than Jack Easterby, who signed off on the ridiculous DeAndre Hopkins trade, it's unlikely anything will happen, and if it does, we can assume the Texans get the wrong end of it.
But if they were to field offers, here's who they could move to recoup lost draft stock:
THE BIG NAMES UNLIKELY TO MOVE
1) J.J. Watt: It seems unlikely the Texans would move Watt, a Houston sports icon. But they would also be doing him a favor by sending him to a contender. Most teams that would want Watt are near the cap, though, and taking on Watt's salary would be problematic. But he would have value to a top team and if the Texans were willing to move him, he would bring the best return.
2) Whitney Mercilus: Overpaid and underproductive, getting out from under his deal would be a win for the Texans. Teams covet pass rushers, and Mercilus has a reputation for that, even if it is undeserved. The Texans would take a warm bucket of spit for him.
3) Zach Cunningham: Another player the Texans would love to dump just to get out from under his horrible contract. He has been terrible this year, but in a better system he might help a team. Unlikely to happen, but maybe there's a sucker out there.
4) Bradley Roby: Productive corners are always valuable, and Roby could be of great help to a team. It might be better to keep him around, but a nice offer should not be ignored.
5) Will Fuller: This would be the best player to move. Fuller is in a contract year and is playing well, but he will break again soon, and getting him moved before that would make sense. It would also make sense before they give him a big contract for one year of production. Would be a rental for a team, but any team needing a wideout might bite.
SMALLER NAMES THAT COULD MORE LIKELY BE MOVED
1) The other receivers: Brandin Cooks and Randall Cobb have value, but Cobb's contract makes that unlikely. Cooks could be moved as a rental and a team could easily drop him next year. Kenny Stills might have some value for a team as well.
2) Zach Fulton/Senio Kelemete/Nick Martin: Several teams are desperate with offensive line injuries. While none of these players are above average, they could be key pieces for teams who have had bulk injuries on the line. While not the sexiest names, they could have some value, and the Texans could move on from one and not really miss a beat.
While moves are unlikely, if the Texans could get some draft picks back, it would give the new GM some instant capital to work with. Most of these guys could be replaced with cheaper, better options. It's unlikely anything happens, but the Texans would have options.
The Houston Astros were in need of some serious help in the bullpen with Phil Maton, Hector Neris, and Ryne Stanek likely leaving this year in free agency.
The Houston Astros have acquired RHP Dylan Coleman from the Kansas City Royals in exchange for RHP Carlos Mateo. pic.twitter.com/hDYuBLn2Kv
— Houston Astros (@astros) December 6, 2023
While some fans were getting concerned about the quiet offseason, the club has made two moves this week to get the ball rolling.
First the team signed Victor Caratini to be the backup catcher, and now they have added some relief pitching.
The Astros traded pitching prospect Carlos Mateo to the Royals for RHP pitcher Dylan Coleman.
Coleman appeared in 96 games in the past three seasons for KC, including 68 games in 2022 and 23 games last season. He has a career 3.88 ERA and 1.37 WHIP. He’s fastball (95 mph), slider (81) and cutter (90) and walked 57 batters and struck out 99 in 92 2/3 innings.
— Brian McTaggart (@brianmctaggart) December 6, 2023
Coleman is under club control for the next several years, and made just over $700,000 in 2022. With the Astros right up against the tax threshold, this is a good way to add to the bullpen without having to hand out a large contract.
The Royals had a tough roster decision to make with Coleman, and the Astros made the decision easy for them by making the trade.
Something to note
There's a reason Kansas City wasn't determined to protect Coleman from the Rule 5 Draft. Despite his decent numbers over the last three seasons, 2023 was a rough year for him, posting an 8.84 ERA over 23 games.
In fact, Coleman pitched more innings (30.2) for the Royals AAA team than he did for the big league club (18.1) in 2023.
Hopefully, the Astros can get him back on track this season with some help from their highly touted player development program.
You can watch some of his 2022 highlights above.