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Astros rumors: 3 biggest trade deadline mistakes

Fansided logo Fansided 8/7/2022 Noah Yingling
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Overall, the Houston Astros had a decent trade deadline. But it could have been better.

Unlike a few other playoff-contending teams, the Houston Astros actually made some moves to make their team better at the trade deadline.

They made a trade with the Baltimore Orioles for first baseman/designated hitter Trey Mancini and they traded with the Boston Red Sox to get catcher Christian Vázquez, who is one of the best catchers in the sport. They also traded outfielder José Siri to the Rays and they traded starting pitcher Jake Odorizzi to the Atlanta Braves.

So, like a few other contending teams, they made some moves to add to their MLB team at the trade deadline but they also subtracted from their MLB team at the deadline as well.

Here are three mistakes that the Astros made at the trade deadline.

Houston Astros trade deadline mistakes

1. Not getting more catching depth

The Astros did address their catching depth by getting Christian Vázquez from the Red Sox … but it's still a little thin.

He and Martín Maldonado have split catching duties thus far but Vázquez has been the superior offensive and defensive catcher on the year. Vázquez has -1 Catch Framing Runs and 6 Defensive Runs Saved (DRS) compared to Maldonado's -2 Catch Framing Runs and -4 DRS.

So despite the Astros front office and pitching staff loving Maldonado, he has not been good on either side of the ball this year.

Their third catcher (in Triple-A with the acquisition of Vázquez) is Korey Lee. Lee is the Astros' No. 2 prospect but he is not having a good year. In 12 games in the majors, he has hit .160/.192/.240. In Triple-A, he has played in 68 games and hit .218/.281/.414. In those 12 games in the majors, he already has -4 DRS.

Both Maldonado and Lee have been disappointments on the seasons and the Astros still don't have much depth, even with them.

2. Not addressing centerfield

With the acquisition of Trey Mancini, the Astros have some more depth at first base and in the corner outfield spot. Yuli Gurriel has been a shell of what he was last year and Mancini should be their primary first baseman going forward. But the Astros could always play Gurriel at first and either have Yordan Álvarez in left and Mancini as their DH (or vice versa). But the Astros didn't fully address their outfield.

Centerfield is the weakest of the positions for the Astros and in the last few days since the trade deadline, Chas McCormick has picked it up with the bat. He was hitting .228/.319/.408 entering Trade Deadline day. Now, he enters Saturday hitting .237/.327/.424. It's still not great but it is definitely an improvement.

Jake Meyers has struggled at the plate on the season (a .215/.267/.327 slash line) so centerfield is a bit iffy. Infielder Aledmys Díaz can play left field (and right field in a pinch) but if Chas McCormick doesn't continue to hit well (as he has for two games), then it could be an issue for the Astros.

3) Not getting more pitching depth

The Astros traded starting pitcher Jake Odorizzi to the Atlanta Braves for reliever Will Smith and while they could use some bullpen depth, the Astros dipped into their starting pitching depth.

Right now, the starting rotation is in a great spot. Justin Verlander will be a Cy Young Award finalist this year. Framber Váldez is having a great season. Cristian Javier is having a good season. José Urquidy and Luis Garcia are both pitching right around league average (106 and 100 ERA+).

That rotation should be great in the postseason. But what if one or more of them suffers an injury? With Odorizzi gone, those five pitchers are the only pitchers that have made a start for the Astros this season.

If Lance McCullers Jr. returns and he's truly healthy, then the potential issue would be alleviated on the starting pitching front. In the bullpen, they don't have much depth either. Brandon Bielak has had a good season as both a starter and reliever (only in relief in a handful of games in the majors) but outside of him, there is not a lot of depth there. In Triple-A, they are 45-58 and in last place for a reason: there's not much quality there.

The Astros are probably the best team in the American League but if they suffer an injury or two, they could suffer a lot because of the lack of depth they have around the team in general.


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