3 Houston Astros trades to help team retool after ugly start, including Alex Bregman to Yankees

Houston Astros trades
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The Houston Astros are near the bottom of the MLB standings, going from potential World Series contender to the biggest disappointment in baseball this season. While it’s only May, the reality is that the Astros might have to be sellers at the MLB trade deadline.

Houston made a few moves to improve this past offseason, adding All-Star closer Josh Hader, but the fact of the matter is this team isn’t good enough right now to compete. Already far behind the Seatle Mariners and Texas Rangers in the AL West, with the gap seemingly widening by the week, Houston might have to retool.

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Here are a few Astros trades that could help the club improve its long-term outlook.

Alex Bregman traded to the

Houston Astros, Alex Bregman trade
Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

The Astros and Alex Bregman have seemingly never come close to a contract extension. With the All-Star third baseman poised to become an MLB free agent this winter and Astros owner Jim Crane not interested in massive additions to the payroll, a summer trade might be the best path forward for both sides.

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  • Houston Astros trade: Alex Bregman, $8 million cash considerations
  • New York Yankees trade: RHP Will Warren, OF Francisco Vilorio, IF Jorbit Vivas

Yankees’ third basemen currently rank 23rd in FanGraphs’ Wins Above Replacement (0.3), dealing with below-average fielding and a 19th-ranked OPS (.665) on the season. With DJ LeMahieu’s foot causing him further problems, Bregman provides an instant upgrade at third base. Plus, playing in a competitive environment with great hitters around him should lead to a turnaround at the plate.

The headliner of the return is right-handed pitcher Will Rarren, rated by MLB.com as the seventh-best prospect in the Yankees’ system. Warren, age 24, posted a 3.61 ERA across 99.2 innings at Triple-A last season. While his ERA (4.86) is higher in 2024, he raised his K-BB rate to 18.6 percent). Francisco Vilorio (Yankees’ No. 14 prospect), signed for $1.75 million out of the Dominican Republic and is a high-upside international prospect. Jorbit Vivas, age 23, could make his MLB debut later this season.

Houston Astros ship out Kyle Tucker before contract year

Houston Astros, Kyle Tucker trade
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If the Astros are comfortable with the price Bregman wants for a new deal, they have to know a Kyle Tucker contract extension will be even costlier. Tucker is far less likely to be traded but this would be an opportunity for Houston to move him without his acquisition cost being automatically lowered as it would if he’s shipped off as a half-season rental in 2025.

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  • Houston Astros trade: Kyle Tucker
  • Detroit Tigers trade: Colt Keith, Kevin McGonigle, Dillon Dingler

For the Detroit Tigers, this is all about becoming more aggressive as their window of contention opens. Detroit has the assets to pull off a deal for Tucker and 1.5 seasons of control adds additional incentive. Plus, the All-Star slugger’s bat would dramatically improve a Tigers lineup that ranks 23rd in slugging (.363) and batting average (.227) with the 22nd-most runs (149) in MLB.

In exchange, the Astros get a potential long-term Bregman replacement in Colt Keith. While the 22-year-old is struggling this season, he still offers the talent to develop into an All-Star player. He’s also more dependable for Detroit because of the looming presence of Jace Jung. Kevin McGonigle, the 37th overall pick in the 2023 NLB Draft, would become one of the top Astros prospects and could play either spot in the middle infield, potentially in 2027 when Jose Altuve is in his late 30s.

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Ronel Blanco shipped off to Milwaukee Brewers

Houston Astros, Ronel Blanco ntrade
Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Ronel Blanco has been one of the lone bright spots on the Astros roster this season. Thrown into the Opening Day rotation due to injuries, Blanco threw a no-hitter and still has a 2.80 ERA in his last six starts outside of that brilliant season debut. However, if the Astros can’t compete, there’s no use keeping an old second-year starting pitcher around.

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  • Houston Astros trade: Ronel Blanco
  • Milwaukee Brewers trade: Dylan O’Rae

Once a strength for the Milwaukee Brewers, pitching has been a weakness in 2024. Through the first 37 games, Milwaukee ranked 26th in quality starts (nine) and is 19th in rotation ERA (4.23). At this point, Milwaukee just needs steady pitching and Blanco (.161 batting average allowed, 1.02 WHIP and 2.23 ERA) provides it.

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Naturally, moving a 30-year-old pitcher who has just 102.2 career innings in the majors, doesn’t net a strong return. With that said, now is the best time to maximize Blanco’s trade value. O’Rae, age 20, offers outstanding steed and his hit tool could become a ‘plus’ sill as well.

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