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Astros: Who Needs an Outfielder - Trades

I have given you multiple examples of deals that COULD happen. I am NOT here to click bait you or fool you. I have taken you on a journey with me to explore. Here are the 2023 trade articles I have given you.

I was asked a REALLY good question on Twitter, and we explored it together some more in a Twitter Space late Monday night. As Dana Brown has referenced, he intends to execute an old fashion contender for contender deal- a win - win deal for both sides. If the Astros intend to trade an outfielder, the question is who needs an Outfielder? What deals could the Astros make?


Most of the trade work I have done so far has started from the opposite perspective- which non-contending teams have what the Astros want? Today, we FLIP the exercise- which contending teams NEED the outfield help the Astros have?


For each option, THEN we will look for a Starting Pitcher option and a LH Long Relief Pitcher option for the Astros to acquire.

To answer this question, I explored the delivered WAR in the OF from fangraphs.com. The teams marked in yellow in the table to the right are:

  • Contending Teams with overall OF delivered WAR YTD in the bottom half of the MLB.

  • Contending teams with very low delivered WAR in LF/ CF/ RF positions.

You will note the Astros have delivered the greatest WAR YTD in the MLB.


These seven teams are the teams I consider to POSSIBLY have a need to improve the OF:

  • Twins

  • Orioles

  • Marlins

  • Giants

  • Phillies

  • Yankees (LF)

  • D-Backs (RF)

This is a view backward and to refine that list the next step is to look at the projections forward from Fangraphs.com. Which of the seven teams are likely to STILL have an OF need for the rest of the season?

I believe the Twins and Orioles can be eliminated from consideration as potential trade partners for the Astros if the Astros are focused on offering Julks and Meyers. They are highly unlikely to be viewed as a material positive to either team.

Now let's explore each of these five teams in search for a trade.



Phillies

The projected WAR in the OF for the Phillies appears to be driven lower by the terrible defense of Schwarber and Castellanos. IF the Phillies want a good defensive OF, both Julks and Meyers could be an upgrade. Is there a deal here?


The Phillies have the highest projected SP ROS WAR and the fifth highest RP ROS WAR. There should be options here.

Here is the deal I would do.

Strahm is a LHP who can start and do long relief. Here are his stats and projected stats.

THIS is the sort of deal I am looking for if I am the Astros. How desperate are the Phillies?



Giants and Marlins


After studying them in detail, I really do not see a great OF opportunity for the Astros with the Giants nor the Marlins.



Diamondbacks

I know the Diamondback have prospects in the OF. Carroll is a likely Rookie of the Year but some of the others have disappointed or don't appear ready in 2023. This year, there MAY be an opportunity to have the D-Backs interested in Meyers or Julks as an OF option for a possible postseason run.


There may be an option to get one of the bullpen arms from Arizona. Here are two possible deals.

Here are the pitching stats for both Arizona pitchers involved here. Either could help.

I am not sure the value proposition is enough for the D-backs here.



Yankees

The Yankees OF situation without Judge is a mess. Bader is locked in at CF. Bauers and McKinney who start now are both left-handed which does give a Julks trade option some credibility.

I think there are three options here.

1. If the Astros pursue Clarke Schmidt, it will likely cost them Meyers, a higher-level prospect like Barber, and another prospect.

2. If the Astros pursue the LH long RP Nick Ramirez and a top ten MLB- ready Yankees prospect like Randy Vazquez, it will likely cost them Julks and a higher-level prospect like Barber.

3. In a previous article about fixing the pitching, I pointed to Ian Hamilton as a really good option. I would think Meyers and Barber could get the Astros into Hamilton and Vazquez as shown above too.


Here are the relevant stats of the Yankees.

I think the Yankees are more likely to pursue Bellinger, but we will see. I personally think the third deal might be the best deal of any of these for the Astros.


These are the contenders I THINK would be interested in Julks and Meyers and possible deals the Astros could make. What ideas do you have?

 

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