So while this might seem fatalistic or defeastist...the following theory might put the Astros in position to better themselves for the future.
Waivers in August, an interesting idea. Put a player on waivers, pull him back if claimed, or perhaps work out a trade with the claiming team. Here's my idea: put Valverde, Hawkins, and Tejada on waivers. See what happens. Tejada will easily clear waivers considering his salary is obese, Hawkins might have a chance of clearing, but I would expect a legit closer like Valverde to be claimed in a second by a team like the Rays, perhaps.
If Tejada clears, the Astros can trade him just like pre-Deadline. Why not give it a shot? Gauge the interest level? I could see a team like the Giants - a team that actually has more offensive woes than the Astros - pursuing Tejada to play 3rd. Perhaps the Red Sox, hoping to bolster a ridiculous lineup with a strong bat like Tejada, would chase. For the right price, Tejada could be moved in August. Another thing to take into consideration is offering Tejada arbitration this winter - if the Astros plan to offer it to Tejada, perhaps they'd rather take a draft pick over whatever other teams might offer. But, if the Astros don't want to, trading Tejada and at least getting SOMETHING for him might be the best option.
Hawkins is an interesting case. I doubt the 'Stros offer him arb, considering he will be one expensive setup man regardless of who wins the case. So, I say that if some team claims him, try to work out a deal to flip him for SOMETHING, rather than lose him with no return. Any contending team would have interest in a strong late-innings reliever.
Valverde will also be berry berry expensive come arbitration this winter. I mentioned the Rays with Valverde earlier because they really don't have an actual closer, and have a loaded farm system. If they really think they can contend in the ridiculous AL East, they're gonna need a true shut-down closer, a la Valverde. I say, why not?
How do y'all feel bout this?