Houston Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow is aware the price a team must pay to upgrade during the trade deadline.
The GM of the Astros saw his Class A pitcher Daniel Menden from a year ago, start against the Astros for Oakland this past Wednesday.
Three more young players were traded to increase last season’s push to the playoffs and are now amongst the top prospects for the Milwaukee Brewers.
In addition, the haul from trades in July last year – Mike Fiers, Scott Kazmir and Carlos Gomez – did not pan out the way the Astros had hoped and the deal during the offseason for Ken Giles a reliever has not either.
However, with Houston cutting its deficit to 3 ½ games from 10 games in the American League West over the past three weeks, Astros management is looking for key elements that might be what pushes them over the top and into the postseason after last October’s playoff berth ended a drought of nine years.
As much as it could pain Luhnow to have to part with a few more prospects who could someday come back to haunt them, it is preferable adding players for a stretch run than discarding veterans after dropping from the race.
Luhnow said that if the team is in a position to make the playoffs, you feel there is a responsibility to your players, the organization and fans to do what you must as the GM to place the club in a best position scenario to reach the playoffs.
This has come about thanks to the Astros recovery from a start of 7-17 during April, which has been fueled by the brilliant all-round play of Jose Altuve at second base, Carlos Gomez at shortstop and the big turnaround made by the team’s pitching staff that ended the first month of this season with an ERA of 4.97.
Since that time, the ERA has been 3.43 with Will Harris a surprise All-Star and Scott Feldman and Chris Devenski two unsung heroes that buoy an Astros bullpen, which boasts the second best ERA in the AL of 3.12.
Even though Texas, the leader of the AL West had been ravaged by injury, with a record of 4-12 over their past 16 games, the Astros could need help to reach first place, especially considering they are 1-9 head to head with Texas.