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Astros Crawfish Boil: 7/31, 2018

Unpack yesterday’s hectic day in baseball with your daily Crawfish Boil

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MLB: Los Angeles Angels at Houston Astros Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

It has been a bumpy ride for the Astros over the last couple of days, who probably didn’t envision their World-Series follow-up season causing so much dissent.

On the baseball front, the Astros have hit rock bottom over the past week. The Astros are losers of five straight, as the offense has been non-existent and the bullpen has been a train wreck. Many are wondering when the Astros of last year (and this year - the Astros are still first in run differential) will show back up, as Seattle is now only three games back in the AL West.

The acquisitions of Maldonado and Pressy should provide Astros’ roster some support, but many were unhappy with the price the team paid. The Astros gave up several highly regarded prospects for players seen as temporary, unspectacular band aids, who don’t address any of the Astros’ primary needs.

Yesterday’s acquisition of Roberto Osuna provides the Astros a clearer upgrade on paper, but this time the move was controversial for all the wrong reasons. Osuna is currently suspended for an alleged domestic abuse case, which we have limited information about, but some of the player’s alleged reactions to the trade are worrisome. I hope the Astros front-office did their due-diligence on the situation, because I agree that the cases’s ultimate outcome will tell us what we need to know. Osuna has a court date in Toronto tomorrow.

Still, I can see why many are upset by the apparent hypocrisy in Luhnow’s assertions that the Astros are a “zero-tolerance” organization that is also in the business of granting “second chances”. The move has unsurprisingly drawn comparisons to the Yankees acquisition of Aroldis Chapman in 2015, who was facing similar allegations at the time of the trade.

Yet, despite all the bleakness, the Astros still have a very good shot at winning the World Series this year. The Astros are hitting a crucial stretch in their season with the Dodgers on deck in Los Angeles, followed by by a short-trip trip to San Fran, before another important four game series with Seattle.

Astros News and Notes

Last Night: Astros lose 5th straight to Mariners, 2-0

Fangraphs: Astros Trade for Elite Closer Currently Suspended for Domestic Violence

Olney: Astros must own everything that comes with acquiring Osuna

Chron: The Astros’ trade for Randy Johnson, 20 years later

Around the League

The Ringer: The Yankees Are Fine, and the Yankees Are Screwed

MLB: Examing 2019 Hall of Fame Ballot

Fangraphs: Is Pitch Framing Cheating?

Kevin Pillar to pay for Dansforth Shooting victim’s funerals

Phillies ground into double-play with outs at third and home:

Hot Stove Central

Bryce Harper is available

UPDATE: Bryce Harper is NOT available

Red Sox acquire Ian Kinsler

In return for Kinsler and cash, the Angels received RHP Ty Buttrey and LHP Williams Jerez, two of Boston’s Top 30 prospects.

Braves acquire OF Adam Duvall from Reds

Former Astro Preston Tucker is on the move, as he, RHP Lucas Sims, and RHP Matt Wisler, will all be sent in return to the Reds.

Yankees acquire Lance Lynn for IF/OF Tyler Austin, P Luis Rijo

Mariners acquire RHP Adam Warren from Yankees, LHP Zach Duke from Twins

Pirates acquire RHP Keone Kela from Rangers for two players to be named later

Six teams pursuing Chris Archer