Vladimir Guerrero Jr. is reportedly the Houston Astros’ top trade deadline target

Photo credit:Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports
Evan Stack
22 days ago
The trade deadline is getting closer and closer by the day, and that means that rumours on certain players and certain destinations will become more prominent.
On Wendesday, Michael Schwab of The Juice Box Journal reported that, per sources, the Houston Astros have their eyes on Blue Jays 1B/DH Vladimir Guerrero Jr. as one of their “top targets for a trade”.
Especially at this current time, no one can blame a team for wanting Guerrero Jr. in their lineup. Since June 15th, Guerrero Jr. is slashing .349/.364/.628 with a .992 OPS, three homers, three doubles, and 10 RBIs. He’s playing arguably his best baseball of the season, which, in turn, is increasing his trade value. For the season, he’s slashing .288/.368/.435 in 345 plate appearances, accumulating 1.3 fWAR, the same total from the 2023 season.
Houston isn’t the only team that has reportedly been in on Guerrero Jr.’s services. Earlier this month, Bob Nightengale of USA Today reported that the Chicago Cubs had “privately discussed” acquiring Guerrero Jr. prior to this year’s trade deadline. Given Guerrero Jr.’s high ceiling and obvious talent, more and more teams will undoubtedly inquire about his availability, especially if the Blue Jays continue to sink further and further below .500.
Blue Jays GM Ross Atkins has publicly stated that trading Guerrero Jr. or fellow teammate Bo Bichette “just doesn’t make any sense” for the team to do, but that doesn’t mean that he won’t at least listen. Prior to this season, MLB.com ranked Houston’s farm system 27th out of 30 teams, so they may not have the prospects to match 1.5 years of control with Guerrero Jr. It’ll depend on how much they’re willing to give up, especially once other teams with stronger farm systems enter the picture (such as the Cubs).
The “first base problem” that Schwab is referencing is heavily due to the poor performance and recent release of veteran 1B José Abreu. Abreu signed a three-year, $58.5 million deal prior to the 2023 season, but the 3x Silver Slugger award winner experienced a massive decline in his production since then, slashing .217/.275/.351 with a .625 OPS, 20 home runs, and 97 RBIs in his 176 games as an Astro. He was released on June 14th, leaving Jon Singleton and super utility man Mauricio Dubón to handle the majority of the first base duties.
The Astros started this season on an abnormally rough track; through their first 36 games, they were 12-24 and last place in the AL West. They’ve managed to turn things around since then, however, going 28-16 between those aforementioned 36 games and today. After their win over the Rockies on Wednesday afternoon, the Astros got back to .500 for the first time this season.
Abreu’s departure as well as losing several pitchers to injury will prompt the Astros to be making plenty of calls near the trade deadline. It’d be safe to anticipate more of these rumours surfacing for them as the days go on.
Writer’s Note: Statistics are as of 6:00 ET on 6/26/2024.

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