The Houston Astros were the first American League team to reach 60 wins this season, and managed it before the All-Star break. Unless something goes incredibly wrong in the second half, they are all but certain to be in the postseason.
So naturally, leading up to the trade deadline, the team will be attempting to make some moves to shore up their reserves and ensure they have the best possible group to go into the postseason with. Evidently it appears that Tigers’ relief pitcher Justin Wilson might be just what they’re interested in.
The left-handed closer, who also served in non-closing relief innings this season, is one of the hottest trade candidates for the Tigers, and would bolster anyone’s bullpen, especially that of a team aiming for a World Series run.
We recently looked at Wilson’s trade profile and noted how appealing he would be to teams on the market for relief.
Among #Astros’ bullpen targets, per sources: #Tigers’ Justin Wilson. Teams discussed him at winter meetings, could not agree on match.— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) July 14, 2017
What’s interesting about Rosenthal’s note here is that the Tigers and Astros previously discussed this trade without success. The scenario the Tigers now find themselves in is slightly different than that of the winter break, however. At that point it seemed the Tigers were still keen to add pieces in order to build a win-now team. Now the team appears most interested — in theory, at least — in adding depth to their farm system in the hopes they can make a play again in two or three years.
With the 2017 season all but sunk, the Tigers need to be looking ahead. And while trading one of the most reliable arms in their bullpen will certainly hurt for the remaining months of 2017, it might just given the team a valuable return they can depend on later.
Meanwhile, the Astros will be adding a left-handed pitcher to their bullpen with a 2.36 ERA, 2.94 FIP, 0.932 WHIP, and 10 saves on his record. Wilson would be a wonderful addition for the Astros, provided they offer a quality prospect return.