Houston Astros: A few lefties to target outside of Mike Minor

KANSAS CITY, MO - AUGUST 24: Mike Minor /

The Houston Astros lost out on a top target in Mike Minor to the Texas Rangers but here are some lefties the franchise can still target.  Take a look.

Coming off of a good, healthy season with the Kansas City Royals, Mike Minor seemed like a good fit for the Houston Astros. With the team needing a solid left-handed reliever and all around bullpen help, Minor seemed to check all of the boxes.

Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports had it first, while noting that the deal is still pending a physical:

Jon Morosi of MLB.com said that the “Rangers plan for Mike Minor to be a starter.” A switch back to the starting rotation could’ve pulled Minor to Arlington over other offers to stay in the pen.

This deal cuts down on the options that the Astros have for their bullpen, free agent wise at least. There are still plenty of options available for the team to improve it’s bullpen via free agency or trade.

Who could the team target now?

Jake McGee, formerly of the Colorado Rockies, now seems to be the best left-handed pitching

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option left on the open market. The team could look to target him in efforts to shore up the faltering bullpen.

Trading for an even higher quality player may be the teams best option. A guy like Brad Hand of the San Diego Padres would be quite the coup for the Astros. Hand was lights out last year with a 2.16 ERA and 104 strikeouts in 79.1 innings pitched. Hand also took over the closer role halfway through the season and converted 21 saves.

The Astros could also look to pick up where they left off last year with the Baltimore Orioles with a trade for Zach Britton. The Astros seemingly had a deal done for Britton when it was nixed last minute. Britton is a lock-down closer who set an AL record this year with his 55th consecutive save. Britton could provide an excellent closer option as well as a solid left-hander.

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The Astros should pursue bullpen help through a trade. While a trade for Hand or Britton would cost the team some top 10 prospects, it could be worth it. With the team looking to defend its championship aspirations in 2018, the bullpen needs work and getting one of these guys is a great way to do that.