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Houston Astros Reportedly Discussing Bullpen Trades With Teams

There could still be additions coming for the Houston Astros before the upcoming season starts.
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It seemed like the Houston Astros were content with how their roster was constructed heading into the upcoming season.

Despite going into the luxury tax threshold for only the second time during owner Jim Crane's tenure, they haven't done much outside of the Josh Hader megadeal and Jose Altuve extension.

Contract discussions for Alex Bregman, Kyle Tucker and Framber Valdez are next on the list for internal candidates, so maybe that's why they didn't pursue any other additions despite a glaring weakness on their roster.

That weakness is the middle relief innings.

With Hector Neris, Phil Maton and Ryne Stanek all finding new teams in free agency, there were three open spots they needed to fill. Kendall Graveman's potential season-long injury made four.

General manager Dana Brown said they'd have to use internal candidates to fill some of the gaps in their bullpen, but after the Astros made their first roster cuts, many of the pitchers in that battle have been reassigned elsewhere.

This has prompted Brown to reverse course.

In an appearance on MLB Network Radio, he shared that Houston might not be done making moves before Opening Day arrives.

"We just have to figure out who's pitching in the middle for us in the bullpen ... we are talking to clubs about trades. I can't get into that but we definitely are having conversations about trades," he said.

What type of pitchers they are interested in, and which teams are looking to trade pieces right now, is largely unknown.

There's also a chance that the Astros could find someone who has been placed on waivers following roster cuts made by teams around the league.

That might be their best course of action to acquire more depth without giving up assets.

However, those players don't guarantee Houston is getting someone who could become an impact arm for them.

Earlier in the offseason, the Astros were able to make a deal for Dylan Coleman, a promising reliever who needed a change of scenery.

It feels like that is the profile of who the front office might target at this point.

Whether or not they will actually pull off a trade is to be seen, but they clearly are more worried about their middle relief innings than they originally thought.