Five positions of need for the Houston Astros before the 2022 trade deadline

Martin Maldonado
Jul 24, 2022; Seattle, Washington, USA; Houston Astros catcher Martin Maldonado (15) celebrates with first base coach Omar Lopez (22) after hitting a two-run single against the Seattle Mariners during the eighth inning at T-Mobile Park. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

Even with so much going right for them at the moment, there will still be plenty of Houston Astros trade targets in 2022 as the trade deadline approaches.

Year after year, the Astros seem to be bonafide contenders, which means they always seem to be going after the best players available at the baseball trade deadline. They also have a history of pulling off some of the most successful trade deadline deals in recent memory, so when Astros trade news hits the wire, it’s usually good news for the club.

Astros trade targets 2022

For the Astros, the trade deadline in 2022 will give them a chance to put themselves over the top.

But what do the latest Astros trade rumors say about who Houston will be targeting at the deadline? What are the positions the Astros need to address the most and which players will be a good fit?

Let’s take a closer look at the Astros dead deadline, their needs, as well as the Astros trade targets in 2022.

First Baseman

Before the season, nobody thought the Astros trade targets in 2022 would be first basemen. However, Yuli Gurriel is starting to show his age. While he’s been a big part of Houston’s success in the past, Gurriel could be a little bit of a liability moving forward with an OPS well under .700.

Youngster J.J. Matijevic has made a few starts at first base but hasn’t made an impact offensively. While it’ll be hard to bench Gurriel or move him into a complementary role, the Astros might be better off exploring their trade options for a new first baseman.

The obvious solution is Washington’s Josh Bell, who’s having a strong season for the lowly Nats with an OPS that’s pushing .900. He may not come cheap but he is undoubtedly a player who could make a big impact on a contending team. Baltimore’s Trey Mancini is another option, although he hasn’t put up the same numbers as Bell. It’s also questionable whether the Orioles will part with him now that they’re in the playoff race.


Dominic Smith of the Mets, Garrett Cooper of the Marlins, and Hunter Dozier of the Royals could also be options, although the availability of Smith and Cooper remains uncertain, as they also play for teams in the playoff race.

Catcher

Houston’s offense has clicked for most of the season without much production from the catcher position. But the profound lack of productivity from Martin Maldonado and Jason Castro has led to plenty of Astros trade rumors involving catchers.

Plus, Castro is currently on the IL with no timeline for his return, so even if the Astros don’t add an impact catcher, acquiring a veteran backup to provide additional depth isn’t a bad idea either.

Of course, one of the best players on the market happens to be a catcher in Willson Contreras. He would immediately solve Houston’s problems behind the plate and provide a much-needed offensive boost.

Also, Contreras wouldn’t be a huge drop-off defensively, even if the team’s pitching staff might still prefer Maldonado behind the plate. If the Astros want to go a different route, Sean Murphy and Stephen Vogt of the A’s and Kurt Suzuki of the Angels could both be more affordable options to help complement Maldonado behind the plate.

Bullpen 

There shouldn’t be too many complaints about the Houston bullpen this season. All of the top arms in the Houston bullpen have an ERA under 4.00. In fact, the trio of closer Ryan Pressly and setup men Ryne Stanek and Rafael Montero is one of the best relief trios in the majors.

However, added depth is never a bad thing for a team with championship aspirations. Perhaps more importantly, the Astros are a little light on lefties in their bullpen, which is something that could become a priority at the trade deadline.

The Astros and Tigers have had a good trade history with Justin Verlander coming from Detroit a few years ago, which is worth mentioning because the Tigers have a slew of relievers who could be traded this summer.

Gregory Soto and Andrew Chafin are both lefties who could fit Houston’s needs. David Robertson and Mychal Givens of the Cubs are right-handed relievers but would add quality depth to the Houston bullpen. The same could be said of Alex Colome and Daniel Bard of the Rockies, who are another team that could be a good trade partner for Houston.

Outfielder

With Michael Brantley on the IL and Jake Myers and Chas McCormick contributing more defensively than offensively, the depth in Houston’s outfield could be called into question.

Brantley’s age coming back from an injury could be a concern as well. That doesn’t mean the Astros have to jump into the Juan Soto sweepstakes or make a push for Andrew Benintendi.

But adding outfield depth wouldn’t be a bad idea.

David Peralta of the Diamondbacks could be a good insurance policy for Brantley. Ian Happ of the Cubs would give them an all-star who has some versatility as well. The likes of Ramon Laureano, Tommy Pham, and Michael Taylor could also be cost-effective options who would improve Houston’s outfield depth.

Rotation

If the Astros add to their rotation at the deadline, it would be more of a luxury move than a pressing need.

Houston already has four starters with at least eight wins this season. They also have six starters who have made at least 10 starts this year and all but one of them has an ERA under 4.00, so depth isn’t an issue either.

Of course, the Astros know that the goal is to build a team that can beat the Yankees, which means they would consider a trade for a topflight starter who can be a difference-maker in October.

Luis Castillo and Frankie Montas are two starters who fit that description and could be on Houston’s radar.

Follow us on social media

About Bryan Zarpentine 251 Articles
Bryan Zarpentine is a freelance writer and editor with most of his work focusing on the world of sports. He is a 2008 graduate of Syracuse University and still resides in upstate New York.

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply