Four weeks away (Aug. 2nd).
Partially with an eye to the almost certain upgrades the Yankees and other contenders will be making and to a much lesser extent with an eye to the future, I’ll take:
I believe that extra utillity piece is Dubon.
No catcher. We are fine there. Hard-hitting OFer, please. Dubon is just fine.
I don’t dislike Dubon.
I’m just greedy and want more.
I wonder if an OF move might be as much to block the Yankees as to improve the Astros.
I’m torn about center field. I wouldn’t mind having Bryan Reynolds or Cedric Mullens in center. They both have many years remaining so the cost would be somewhat high. Would certainly cost you Meyers and a very good prospect. I’d hate to part with Meyers because I do believe he is an every day center fielder in this league some day and question if he has more long term upside than Mullens or Reynolds.
Catcher…well, while Contreras would be nice to have and is available, I’m not trading for a catcher when he isn’t going to see the field much. And let’s face it, the Astros are fine with Maldonado behind the plate and so am I. If you can acquire a low cost backup with a better bat than Castro, go for it.
You could always upgrade the bullpen.
Only other position I have concerns with is the offensive production at first base. Josh Bell would sure look nice over there and in our lineup. I know what Gurriel has meant to this team and the fan base since he signed, so comments here will be met with derision from the board, but Bell would not be a drop off defensively, he’s a switch hitter and his bat would be a major upgrade. He’s a rental so in theory he might be somewhat cheaper to acquire, though the list of suitors will be long. I’m not worried about his being a rental because we should be looking for a new first baseman next year anyway.
Why on earth would that be a motivation?
We do not need another utility player, and I sure as hell would not replace Gurriel.
Yuli is the guy at 1st. He’s a hitter. It’s in his blood. You have to believe he’ll come around and focus on other needs.
A reasonable hitter who can play more than 1 OF position would be welcome.
We’re gonna sink or swim with Yuli at 1b, i imagine. Every year i say “add a pen arm”, this year it has to be the right one. CF is the obvious, yet maybe hardest, to upgrade. Click and Dusty have said several times that they don’t want Tucker in CF, but if that changes it sure opens up more options
I think what the Astros need is an insurance policy for the 4 corner positions who can also hit off the bench.
Most of guys mentioned before are intended to replace one of the current starters who is perceived as a liability for one reason or another.
I suggest a different move by keeping the lineup but strengthening the bench.
What about Hunter Dozier?
He plays all 4 corner positions adequately, has an OPS of .750 ( OOS+ 111). His contract is low enough that the Astros can absorb it ($8.375M for 2 more seasons once AAV is recalculated after the trade) but high enough to keep the prospect price down.
Next season he can take over at 1B or LF if needed when Brantley and/or Yuli leave in FA.
I just see him as a ball player.
The Royals are on the cusp of competing so would be interested in young MLB ready players who can help then move up to a competitive team in 2023.
The Astros have a log jam of pitching. I would not give any up for nothing but this may be worth it.
According to baseballtradevalues.com Dozier has negative $11.6M trade value due to his contract but clearly KC won’t just give him away.
I suggest sending J.J. Matijevic and Enoli Paredas for him. 2 MLB calibur young controllable players that the Astros can afford to give up.
I would want my 4th/5th outfielder to be a pretty good defender. Aside from that I don’t want to commit 8+ million on said 4th outfielder. And thats all Dozier really is in my mind, a 4th outfielder who is not good in the field. The outfielder from KC that I would consider is Andrew Benintendi. Better hitter, better fielder, can maybe hold his own in CF if needed, he’d probably be a rental so shouldn’t be too expensive and if he plays well you can sign him to a contract after the season
If the team had Dozier, he might be the 4th/5th OF this year.
But the team has Siri, McCormick, and Dubon as OF who are excellent defenders.
Hunter’s role would be to hit off the bench and be insurance in case of injury at the 4 corner positions.
He has a career .748 OPS and .750 this year. That is a big improvement over who sits on the bench now.
And with Yuli, Brantley, and Diaz all FA this offseason he could be even more valuable next year. Especially if the team rosters a couple more rookies next year.
I like dozier because he went to SFA. Otherwise, that is a lot of money for a bat off the bench.
Dozier is just not a starting level player on a team that wants to compete, he’s probably not even a starting level player on any major league team. I’m not paying a bench bat 8+ million. I’m also not sure I’d want 3 guys whose best position is DH. I’d rather take my chances with Dubon, McCormick and Siri. At least they have speed on top of the defense. By the way, Chas is not far behind Dozier at the plate this seasion, .737 ops vs Dozier .750. OPS+ has it even closer at 110 for Chas and 111 for Dozier. But Chas makes 7+ million less, is younger, and has actually played in games that matter
I would like the team to consider adding Wade Miley at the deadline. Lefty for the bully…with added benefit of insurance for the rotation down the line should it be needed.
I think you said that already.
Correct, but then thought it might be better to post here versus Royals game thread.
Miley is still on the IL after only throwing 3 innings in first start back from the IL. I couldn’t even find a timetable for him so I don’t think that is going to be an option
Ouch. The hole I have dug here can’t get much deeper. Thanks.
Tell us what you think of Maldonado.