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José Abreu was supposed to bring power and average to the Houston Astros at first base. The Astros paid him $58.5 million over three years to do just that.

He’s been little more than an albatross for the Astros at a position that demands production and consistency.

Entering Tuesday’s game at St. Louis he’s slashed .232/.283/.326/.609 with five home runs and 36 RBI. If the season ended today it would be the worst year of the 10-year veteran’s career.

Whether it’s age — he’s 36 — or an off-year, this is not what the Astros paid for. And with the American League West-leading Texas Rangers struggling a bit, the race for the division title isn’t over.

The defending World Champions also need a bat for more reasons than just Abreu. The Astros are 18th in batting average and 15th in home runs. They need a jolt, and it’s unlikely to come from the farm system.

That means a trade. Could that mean going all-in and getting St. Louis Cardinals first baseman Paul Goldschmidt?

The Cardinals have their own issues. They’re dead last in the National League Central. St. Louis may be the only team out of the race in that division.

The Cardinals may have to sell at the deadline, and Goldschmidt has become a popular target. Why?

Well, he’s producing, despite the Cardinals’ woes. Entering this series with Houston he’s slashing .286/.376/.486/.862 with 13 home runs and 40 RBI. The Cardinals may see this as a chance to restock their farm system. Goldschmidt has one year remaining on his deal, which pays him $26 million in 2024. While he’s 35, he hasn’t experienced the offensive downturn that Abreu has this season.

That’s why the Astros could be scouting him hard this week in St. Louis.

Goldschmidt’s right-handed swing would play well at Minute Maid Park. It’s made to put baseballs in the Crawford Boxes in left field. But, Goldschmidt has played just 14 games at Minute Maid — all with the Arizona Diamondbacks — and only hit one home run in 57 at-bats.

It might seem redundant for the Astros to trade for Goldschmidt when they have Abreu for two more seasons. But, the universal designated hitter helps. The Astros don’t have to remove Abreu from the lineup. They could simply move him further down the order and slide Goldschmidt into a prime spot in the order. Doing so might give Abreu the opportunity to work through his issues.

Goldschmidt is producing, and the Astros needs someone that can produce now. A championship window only stays open so long. If the price is a few prospects to get a year and a half of the former MVP, well, that may be worth it.

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