The Houston Astros reportedly have re-ignited their interest in pitcher Robbie Ray as they try to bolster their thin rotation. What will it take to trade?
Houston Astros fans — things are edging closer to the MLB trade deadline that’s scheduled for July 31. The difference is that this is an all-stakes deadline where all trades have to be made before this date. There is no longer a “waiver” deadline one month later so there will be a frenzy of activity in the days leading one of the most important capstones of the season.
It’s no secret that the Houston Astros want to bolster their starting rotation — and hopefully, add a reliever — because this week’s current situation with Brad Peacock‘s injury has forced the bullpen to work a lot harder than usual.
Over the past few days, they’re stitching as much as they can together to keep some sort of continuity with the pitching. Josh James got the quick start yesterday but things quickly went downhill when Framber Valdez stepped in, allowing four earned runs in four innings of work.
The team definitely is in a situation where they need quality veteran arms to help get them through the rotation every five days. Justin Verlander, Gerrit Cole and Wade Miley have been remarkable but it’s when we get to the point after these guys where things start to get dicey.
That’s why a trade is necessitated because there have been little answers in terms of the prospects that they have to try to hold the fort down until the Houston Astros can bring somebody in.
Hector Rondon has been tapped for the start tonight — his first career MLB start by the way — and it’s expected that Rogelio Armenteros will do the lion’s share of the work tonight. We’ll see how this pans out tonight.
Meanwhile, according to MLB Insider Jon Morosi, the Houston Astros have their sights on targeting Robbie Ray, someone that the team was interested in this past winter. The latest word is that the Arizona Diamondbacks may be looking at trying to get some assets for the talented pitcher even though their 47-47 record still puts them very much in the race for a postseason spot.
I had written about Ray back during the time they were interested in him back in January — you can take a look here — and it’s good to know that he’s still an option.
Ray will earn $6.1 million for this season and still has one year of club control left as he has one more round of arbitration to go through before becoming a free agent.
This is the type of contract the Houston Astros would love because the prorated amount that they’d owe him would be about $3M.
The Houston Astros will have to once again get in line to try to land his services as the Philadelphia
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Phillies, the New York Yankees and Milwaukee Brewers have expressed their desire to bring him on board their respective teams.
How is Ray doing?
The left-handed starter has posted a 7-6 record, a 3.81 ERA while tossing 145 strikeouts off 47 earned runs through 111.0 innings pitched in 20 starts this season. His 4.04 FIP and 1.31 WHIP could definitely use some improvement but I think things will change once he gets a new change of scenery.
Who should they trade for him?
I think the Houston Astros should package Freudis Nova along with Tyler White and a lower-level prospect to ship to them in exchange for Ray’s services. Including Kyle Tucker, Tony Kemp or Myles Straw would be too high at this point to exchange for Ray.
However, if they can send a prospect to named later in a potential deal, I might look at letting Kemp go but I don’t want to lose him if the return is good. He’s one of my favorite players and if this roster wasn’t so deep, there’s no question he could be an everyday starter on many teams in this league.
It remains to be seen how long the Houston Astros will take with the process of bringing someone in but Ray’s value will be high as teams are always looking for quality left-handed pitchers.
Let’s hope for the best — 15 days to go — come on Houston Astros!