A BIG DEAL

Texans trade for Broncos WR Thomas shows changing attitude in NFL toward big in-season moves

Demaryius Thomas is now a Texan. Justin Edmonds/Getty Images

It was not that long ago that people would call into talk shows and suggest NFL deals, and they would be laughed off the air. NFL teams simply did not make major moves, especially in season.

That all changed a few years ago when the Colts dealt Trent Richardson for a No. 1 pick. Then the Eagles dealt LeSean McCoy. Earlier this year, the Raiders parted with Khalil Mack, perhaps the most disruptive defensive player in football, for two No. 1 picks.

The Texans got in on the action before the deadline Tuesday, acquiring WR Demaryius Thomas from the Denver Broncos for a fourth-round pick. It is the biggest in-season deal the Texans have made and it happened a few hours before the 3 p.m. trade deadline.

Thomas has lost a little at age 30 and carries a $14 million cap hit for 2019, but he is also durable and remains productive and offers insurance for the oft-injured Will Fuller, who was lost for the season last week. The Texans have a similar young player to Fuller in Keke Coutee, who has been effective when on the field but has been Fuller lite when it comes to injuries, playing in just four of the Texans eight games.

Thomas is a five-time Pro Bowler, a Super Bowl winner and has not missed a game since 2011. He was on pace for 800 yards with the Broncos - numbers that should go up with Deshaun Watson throwing him the football as opposed to Case Keenum. The trade also means the Texans will not face Thomas Sunday in Denver - a positive considering the injuries in the Texans secondary.

The Philadelphia Eagles also got in on the trading action on Tuesday, acquiring WR Golden Tate from the Lions for a third-round pick. The Baltimore Ravens added Ty Montgomery from Green Bay for a seventh. The unbeaten Rams also acquired pass rusher Dante Fowler, Jr. from Jacksonville for a third and a fifth.

The Thomas deal helps add a key weapon for Houston, and the price was relatively low. They still have holes at cornerback and the offensive line, but at least this trade fixes one main concern.

Thomas just missed 1,000 yards only a year ago with a mishmash of quarterbacks, something new teammate DeAndre Hopkins has dealt with most of his Texans career. He was one of the better wide receivers available, and the Texans snatched him up. 

The Texans last major deal was shipping two No. 1s to Cleveland to draft Watson, and dealing Brock Osweiler and a second-round pick to get the Ostrich and his albatross contract off the roster. 

Now they have gotten involved at the trade deadline, and the result is the roster looks a lot better than it did this morning.

 

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Houston's magic number stays at 2

Astros drop series finale to Mariners after rough start by Greinke

Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images

With their magic number at 2 to secure their spot in the 2020 MLB postseason, the Astros returned to T-Mobile Park in Seattle for this three-game series' finale and rubber game. Here are the highlights from the game:

Final Score: Mariners 3, Astros 2.

Record: 28-28, second in the AL West.

Winning pitcher: Nick Margevicius (2-3, 4.57 ERA)

Losing pitcher: Zack Greinke (3-3, 4.03 ERA).

Greinke unable to complete five innings

While the Astros were being held scoreless, the Mariners were putting up runs on Zack Greinke. They took an early 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first with back-to-back singles followed by an RBI-double with one out. Greinke would stop the damage there, then looked to settle in over the next few frames.

He allowed just one baserunner in the second through fourth innings, a one-out single in the bottom of the fourth. Then, in the fifth, the Mariners would knock him out of the game by getting a one-out single that would come around to score on a two-out RBI-double, followed by an RBI-single to extend the lead to 3-0. Greinke faced one more batter, allowing a single before Dusty Baker would take the ball and move to the bullpen. His final line: 4.2 IP, 8 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 1 BB, 5 K, 0 HR, 92 P.

Astros try a late rally, come up short

On the other end, the Astros were unable to break through against Nick Margevicius, getting just one hit and two walks through the first four innings. They had a chance to get on the board in the top of the fifth, starting the inning with back-to-back singles before a walk loaded the bases with one out to turn the lineup over. They'd come up empty, though, with George Springer striking out before a long flyball to center by Jose Altuve to end the inning.

After finishing the fifth for Greinke, Andre Scrubb returned for a scoreless sixth, working around a one-out walk. Still 3-0, Blake Taylor took over on the mound in the bottom of the seventh, erasing a leadoff single and two-out walk to keep Seattle from extending their lead. Houston had another chance to score in the top of the eighth, getting two runners in scoring position, but again would strand them.

Cy Sneed was the next reliever out for the Astros, working around a two-out walk to send the game on to the ninth. The Astros would avoid the shutout, getting a two-RBI single by pinch-hitting Josh Reddick in the top of the ninth to make it a one-run game at 3-2. That's as close as they'd come, though, as the Mariners would eventually get the final out to take the series and keep the Astros' magic number stagnant at 2.


Up Next: There is one series left in the regular season for Houston, and it awaits them in Arlington with a four-game series against the Rangers, who are well eliminated from playoff contention. The first of the four games will start at 7:05 PM Central on Thursday with a pitching matchup of Lance Lynn (6-2, 2.53 ERA) for Texas and Cristian Javier (4-2, 3.33 ERA) for the Astros.

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