Could Yankees pillage Astros at the trade deadline this summer?

MLB: Seattle Mariners at Houston Astros, framber valdez, yankees
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The New York Yankees are currently neck and neck with the Baltimore Orioles at the top of the American League East, while the Houston Astros find themselves struggling, positioned second to last in the AL West with a 16–25 record and a .390 winning percentage.

Astros’ Struggles and Potential Trade Deadline Moves

This season is shaping up to be one of the worst in recent years for the Astros. If they fail to improve their performance, they may transition into sellers by the trade deadline in late July.

This scenario could open the door for the Yankees to explore acquiring one of Houston’s premier talents, such as starting pitcher Framber Valdez. According to Mark Feinsand of MLB.com, insiders suggest that players like Alex Bregman and Valdez could be on the Yankees’ radar.

Bregman, despite being in a downturn at age 30 and in the last year of a five-year, $100 million contract, remains an elite third baseman. His potential availability could be particularly appealing to the Yankees, especially if DJ LeMahieu continues to underperform.

MLB: Oakland Athletics at Houston Astros
Credit: Thomas Shea-USA TODAY Sports

Valdez’s Value and Yankees’ Considerations

However, acquiring Valdez might come at a high cost. The 30-year-old pitcher has posted a 3.64 ERA across 29.2 innings this season, with his strikeouts per nine innings dropping to 6.98, along with a 77.1% left-on-base rate and a 61.6% ground ball rate.

Valdez, who has one more year of control after the 2024 season, wouldn’t be an inexpensive option for the Yankees. Yet, with his 80.2 innings of postseason experience and proven ability to perform in elimination games, he could be a valuable asset for New York should they face injuries or inconsistencies within their pitching staff.

While there’s still a lot of the season left, and the Astros could potentially recover from their slow start and contend for a playoff spot—they are only 6.5 games behind the Seattle Mariners in the West—the Yankees might find an opportunity to strengthen their team. Whether it’s shoring up the hot corner or bolstering the starting rotation, the Yankees could benefit from Houston’s current predicament as the trade deadline approaches this summer.

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