The 2018 Houston Astros had one of the game's best rotations, but now with Lance McCullers out for 2019 and Dallas Keuchel and Charlie Morton both free agents, they find themselves in the market for starting pitching this offseason. The Astros are reportedly among teams (Yankees are also one of them) who have inquired about potentially trading for Seattle Mariners left-hander James Paxton, Ken Rosenthal reports.
#Astros on list of teams talking to #Mariners about a trade for LHP James Paxton, sources say. Market described as “active,” including HOU, NYY and a wide variety of other clubs. Paxton in his career against HOU: 2.89 ERA in 71 2/3 innings, .605 opponents’ OPS.— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) November 11, 2018
Paxton is coming off two impressive seasons with the Mariners. The 30-year-old posted a 2.98 ERA in 2017 and 3.76 in 2018. He was 11-6 this year in a career-high 28 starts and struck out 208 in 160 1/3 innings. Paxton is signed through 2020, and he's projected to earn $9 million in 2019 which adds to his value this offseason.
The Astros, World Series contenders for 2019, would be a logical match for Paxton especially given that they own one of the best farm systems in Major League. But they're going to face plenty of competition for the lefty starter.