Two trades to reload Astros for 2022-2024

The Astros are very unlikely to reach the World Series in 2021. They will have a chance to win the west because of the quality of the competition but an early playoff exit would be likely. This offseason they should focus on building a team to compete in 2022-2024.

Springer will not return unless no one pursues FAs this offseason. It would be too risky to bring Brantly back for more than two years especially since Alvarez seems to be limited to DH.

Unless the budget is unlimited some creativity and daring are needed. I would offer these two trades if I were GM.

1. McCullers and Pressly to the Yankees for Clint Frazier (RF) and Anthony Seigler (C).

2. Grienke and Correa to the Braves for Cristian Pache (CF) and Shea Langeliers (C).

All the Astros have one year before FA except Pressly who has an option for a second year. All the the players being acquired would be rookies except for Frazier who is under team control thru 2024.

Why the Yankees would make the trade

They feel they are very close to winning the World Series. They are loaded on offense but need pitching. They can bring back Gardner and would not miss Frazier. They have several catching prospects. McCullers would be cheaper and possibly better than any FA they can sign. Pressly is a great set up guy and would serve as insurance in case an aging Chapman has physical issues. They would be in good position to resign McCullers if he performs well.

Why the Braves would make the trade

They too feel they are very close to winning the World Series. They are looking for a quality veteran pitcher and an impact player on offense to replace Ozuna. Neither player they are giving up are being counted on in the near future. They have a low payroll and could sign Correa long term.

What the Astros gain

Frazier will be very similar to Springer except for speed. He is a quality right fielder who is a Gold Glove finalist. He hits for power and should love Minute Maid. He could also play left but would be a stretch in center.

Seigler is more of a defensive catcher and is more ready for the majors. He could share time with Maldonado next year, and then share the catching duties with Langeliers.

Langeliers is probably a year away but projects as a plus catcher - possibly an all star.

Pache is the number 2 outfield prospect in MLB. He would be a Gold Glove contender immediately and projects to be better than average offensively. It will likely take a year or two for him to be really productive.

Adding the two catchers would allow the Astros to move Kory Lee to first where he could focus on offense.

The Astros would immediately have one of the best defensive outfields in baseball.

The Astros would be in great shape in terms of payroll for the next four years. The players who left by free agency and those being traded would clear well over $100 million in salaries, and another $35 million comes off after next season (Verlander). None of the Astro players shown on the depth chart below become free agents until 2025. I expect the Collective Bargaining Agreement expiring after 2021 and Covid uncertainty will lead to a lot of one year contracts this offseason. The Astros would have the money to fill any holes revealed next year.

Projected depth chart 2022-2024

Catchers - Seigler, Langeliers

First - Lee, Toro, Jones

Second - Altuve, Pena, Nova

Third - Diaz, Bregman, Toro

Short - Bregman, Pena, Nova

DH - Alvarez

Left - Tucker

Center - Pache

Right - Frazier

Outfield subs - Straw, McCormick

Starting Pitching - Valdez, Javier, Urquidy, Whitley, James

Relief Pitching/Setup Man/Closer -The youngsters who performed so well in 2020. Use next season to sort them out. Bring in FAs to fill any holes.