Earlier this week, Dallas Keuchel played catch for the first time since he returned to the disabled list for neck discomfort. As manager A.J. Hinch put it, “Playing catch is just playing catch”. There is still no estimated return for the left-handed pitcher, and with the Houston Astros pitching struggling as of late, it’s obvious what they will be targeting in the coming weeks.
Starting pitchers have become the hottest commodity with multiple teams actively seeking to boost their starting rotation.
Some of the most talked about names are Sonny Gray, Jose Quintana, and Gerrit Cole, all of which would be great additions to any rotation given the amount of control their new club would inherit. Lately however, names like Johnny Cueto and Jeff Samardzija are now floating around the rumor mill.
With the second worst record in baseball, the San Francisco Giants have become obvious sellers. With names like Cueto and Samardzija being thrown around, it seems it is time for Houston to tap into their young talent.
On the bright side, Houston’s farm system is so deep, ranked third by Baseball America, that they have talent to give if it means increasing their chances of winning a World Series. However, recently the Yankees have suffered a similar blow to their rotation.
Last week, they Yankees announced that CC Sabathia was placed on the disabled list with a strain in his left hamstring. Given the severity of the strain, he’s expected to miss anywhere from four to eight weeks. With Boston gaining momentum, and now in first place, New York will likely be actively searching for starting pitching. Like Houston, New York also has a deep farm system, ranked second by Baseball America, and are just as willing to spend big if it means winning big.
If there is one thing that Houston’s front office is good at it is thinking long-term. Pending a historic collapse, Houston appears to have the AL West as secure as possible with their 11.5 game lead. Right now, they’re planning for October, and calculating how much they will have to compete to win in October.
Houston and New York now are desperate for starting pitching with the loss of their best pitchers. This has the potential to turn the trade deadline into an auction between these two teams. The only question that remains, who is willing to give up more?
Nothing is confirmed, but rumors have come out that Keuchel’s injury could be worse than expected, which could push Houston to the point of desperation. With the Astros competing for a title, and now for pitching, are they finally willing to trade Alex Bregman?
This past off-season, Houston was in the hunt with Boston for Chris Sale. What made Houston leave the table? The White Sox wanted Bregman, which was out of the question for Houston. They made it clear that he was off the table for any trade because they saw him in their 2017 plans for a World Series run.
This season however has been a bit of a let down for the young third-baseman. He’s only batting .251 with a .747 OPS. He started opening day as the number two hitter in the line up. Since then, he has found himself alternating around the seven, eight, and nine spot in the line up. Even more, Marwin Gonzalez is having a break out season, and has played a decent amount of third this season.
As the July 31 deadline arrives, and push comes to shove, will Alex Bregman find himself on a new team?
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