Examining potential moves Astros could make before deadline
After losing two of three games against the Chicago White Sox over the weekend, the Houston Astros still sit atop the American League West Standings with a 56-38 record.
As it currently stands, Houston is ahead of the Oakland A's by 3.5 games and the suddenly ascending Seattle Mariners by 6 games.
To keep pace and remain ahead in the A.L. West, the Astros will look to make some roster moves with players returning from injuries and making a move or two before the July 31st trade deadline.
Alex Bregman, Aledmys Diaz, Brooks Raley and Jose Urquidy are all on the 10-day IL and should be coming back soon.
Bregman is eyeing a rehab stint with Triple-A Sugar Land soon. He has been on the IL since he strained his left quadricep on June 16th running the bases. His return could give the Astros some much-needed production at 3rd base.
Diaz on the other hand is closer to a return as he has played in two rehab games with the Florida Coast League Astros. His goal is to rejoin the club before the end of the month and give Houston some depth at all four infield positions.
Raley is close to a return as he is on the IL for health and safety reasons. As soon as he's eligible to come off that list he will rejoin the club instantly.
Urquidy has been on the IL since July 7th when he was pulled from a start against the Orioles. He will resume throwing again soon and hopes to rejoin the team some time in August, we presume.
The Astros could also bolster their bullpen with the eventual return of Pedro Baez. The 33-year-old is currently doing a rehab assignment with Low-A Fayetteville and Baez could return to the team as early as August.
Astros G.M. James Click said that Houston will be buyers at the trade deadline. The team as already been connected to multiple key players who could be on move this month.
Closer Craig Kimberl is having a great season for the Chicago Cubs and looks to be on the move. The Astros have reached out to the Cubs about the All-Star reliever, but the asking price may be too high for their liking. He is in line to make $16 million next season and could solidify this Astros bullpen. If the price isn't too high, Houston should take this consideration seriously. Kimbrel could become the new closer on this staff and All -Star Ryan Pressly could move to the 8th inning setup role like he did in 2019.
Phillies, Astros and Yanks are among teams to check in on Starling Marte who seems likely to be traded. A sizable gap remains in contract talks with the Marlins as @BNightengale said. Miami's offer is for more than the reported $30M for 3 years but extension hopes are fading.
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) July 18, 2021
According to MLB Network's Jon Heyman, another name the Astros have been associated with is Miami Marlins outfielder Starling Marte. The 32-year-old has a batting average of .290 this season with 22 RBI's and 19 Stolen bases.
The Astros don't necessarily need another outfielder as they already have Michael Brantley, Myles Straw and Kyle Tucker. They don't need a DH either, as they have Yordan Alvarez.
What they could use though is a lead-off hitter. Jose Altuve has been solid at the top of the batting lineup, but having Marte and Altuve at the top of the lineup could be a deadly combination.
Houston could make him the everyday center fielder and make Myles Straw the fourth outfielder. Too much depth is never a problem.
The Astros have also been rumored to have interest in Nationals pitcher, Max Scherzer. He would clearly be a great addition for Houston, but he won't come cheap.
The Astros are showing interest in a trade for Max Scherzer, according to people familiar with the situation.
— Michael Schwab (@michaelschwab13) July 18, 2021
There are plenty of opportunities for the Astros to improve their roster with players returning from injuries and some moves that could be made before the trade deadline. Needless to say, the Astros are in great position to make their 5th straight playoff appearance and their 6th postseason run in 7 seasons.
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