Last but not least, the Houston Astros are the only other team I could see as buyers, at least at this point. They have a strong roster once again, and will be battling the Seattle Mariners for the division title in the AL West, with the loser set up to be in one of the Wild Card spots.
Out of all the teams I’ve talked about in this article, they strike me as the least likely to pay for a starting pitcher like Happ or Estrada. An injury could change that in a hurry of course, so never rule out the possibility.
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To me, the more likely fit would be in the outfield, where they’ve had mixed production from their group this season. George Springer isn’t going anywhere, but Marwin Gonzalez and Josh Reddick have both been on the disappointing side. Tony Kemp has been solid in his limited playing time, but it’s hard to say if the Astros want to count on him down the stretch.
The Blue Jays don’t have a huge upgrade to offer them, but someone like Steve Pearce could be a decent fit for the Astros. His ability to play an outfield corner could be a decent platoon match with Reddick, and he could also play a bit of first base in the right matchups.
The Astros could also be interested in some of the Blue Jays bullpen arms, but that might cost a little more than Pearce would. They do have some talent there and showed last year they weren’t afraid to be creative once the postseason started, but an upgrade would make the strong team even better, even if they could add Charlie Morton back to the bullpen for the postseason.
Overall, there likely isn’t much of a match to be had here, but as I said early, an early could change everything, and there are still more than six weeks until the July 31st trade deadline. As we’ve witnessed with the Blue Jays as well, things can go a lot differently than we expect.