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July 24, 2017

Barring an apocalypse, the Astros will win the AL West this year and likely do it in a walk. That lowers the urgency to make any splashy trades that could cost Houston some of its dynamic young core, which extends all the way to the minors. On the other hand, opportunities like these don’t come around often, and the Astros have to be considered one of the two favorites right now (along with the Dodgers) to romp to the World Series.

That’s why they’re aggressively shopping around, their insanely loaded offense promoting GM Jeff Luhnow to turn his attention to pitching needs. With staff ace Dallas Keuchel out since early June due to a neck injury and wildly talented young righty Lance McCullers Jr. on pace to shatter his previous career high for innings pitched in a season, a reliable mid-rotation option would be a perfect insurance policy—especially with The SI Prophecy starting to look more and more realistic. If they’re willing to dip into their deep collection of young talent, A's ace Sonny Gray could be in Houston in a matter of days, if not hours.

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