Houston Astros  could complete Vladimir Guerrero Jr deal soon

Vladimir Guerrero Jr. Is Traded To An Unexpected Team in A Three-Player Swap

the Houston Astros have been one of MLB’s biggest disappointments to start the 2024 season. Their 12-23 record before games began on May 8 has them in last place in the American League West. But could they turn things around and become trade-deadline buyers? And would they make a run at Toronto Blue Jays first baseman Vladimir Guerrero Jr.?

Jim Bowden of The Athletic would like to see it happen. He proposed the following hypothetical trade between Houston and Toronto in a May 6 article:

  • Astros receive: first baseman Vladimir Guerrero Jr.
  • Blue Jays receive: first baseman/outfielder Joey Loperfido and outfielder Kenedy Corona

“Guerrero will be a free agent after the 2025 season and the Blue Jays have yet to sign him to a long-term deal. They’d get a much better return in a trade now than they would in the offseason or in the leadup to next year’s trade deadline; therefore, they’ll need to seriously consider dealing him this July if they fall out of the race,” Bowden said. “Guerrero is still only 25 years old and just entering his prime years. Could you imagine him hitting between Yordan Alvarez and Kyle Tucker over the next two seasons (at least)?”

According to MLB.com, Loperfido (sixth) and Corona (12th) are top 15 prospects in the Astros’ system. Loperfido recently made his MLB debut for Houston and Corona is currently in Double-A.

How Would Guerrero-to-Houston Actually Work?

At first glance, Houston going after Guerrero might not make much sense. After all, the Astros have first baseman Jose Abreu under contract through the end of 2025. However, his production has been nonexistent amid the club’s awful start.

His first 77 plate appearances of 2024 have led to a .059/.156/.113 triple slash. It includes just one extra-base hit (a double), a -20 wRC+ and -1.2 fWAR. Abreu’s first year in Houston wasn’t terrific, either. His counting stats looked decent (18 home runs, 90 RBI and 62 runs scored), but it was still accompanied by a .237/.296/.383 line, a 86 wRC+ and -0.5 fWAR.

He agreed to be optioned to the minors on April 30 to work through this deep slump and get his timing back. But what if it doesn’t work and the Astros need to acquire some power on the trade market?

That’s where Guerrero could come into play. Toronto likely isn’t ready to declare itself a seller, but they’re another team off to a rough start. The Jays entered action on May 8 with a 17-20 record while residing in the AL East basement.

Guerrero has also underachieved based on his early-season performance. His first 158 plate appearances have yielded a .234/.335/.365 line with four home runs and 15 RBI. Those numbers aren’t great, but they’d be a drastic improvement over Abreu. Especially if the current combination of Loperfido and Jon Singleton isn’t cutting it from a production standpoint.

Are the Astros Thinking About Selling at the Deadline?

Even with a rough start, the beginning of May typically isn’t the time to surrender on a season. While it was true for the Miami Marlins, the Astros entered 2024 with different expectations.

They’ve reached the American League Championship Series seven years in a row, winning two World Series titles. MLB’s expanded postseason field also makes it more possible for underachieving teams to remain in the hunt after the All-Star break.

Will the Astros be a seller before the July 30 trade deadline? Houston general manager Dana Brown isn’t ready to seriously entertain that thought.

“I don’t see any chance of us becoming sellers. I think the team is too good,” Brown said during a May 7 appearance on MLB Network’s MLB Now“If guys start to turn a corner, good things will happen.”

Although Houston isn’t ready to wave the white flag, this question will keep appearing until the club turns things around.

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