Baltimore Orioles Trade Talks Initiated With Houston Astros

Will the Houston Astros trade starting pitching before the 2018 MLB season begins?

Collin McHugh With Houston Astros
Christian Petersen / Getty Images

Will the Houston Astros trade starting pitching before the 2018 MLB season begins?

A Baltimore Orioles trade to improve the starting rotation still interests the front office. The Orioles have reportedly contacted the Houston Astros about that very idea. The topic of conversation, according to a new report by Roch Kubatko at MASN Sports, is Astros starting pitcher Collin McHugh.

It appears that McHugh will be the odd man out when the Houston Astros set their starting rotation for the 2018 MLB season. It means he could be available in the right trade, even though the Astros haven’t stated that he is available. While the Orioles continue to look at possibly signing Lance Lynn or Alex Cobb, the team is also kicking around the idea of trading for more pitching.

As MASN Sports reported, the Orioles contacted the Astros about the right-hander. It’s unclear how willing the Astros are to deal him, though, as he could be an insurance policy should one of the five primary starting pitchers deal with an injury. At the same time, the Orioles have also reportedly been in discussions with the Tampa Bay Rays about Jake Odorizzi. Executive vice president Dan Duquette is said to be working the trade angle as the slow free agency period continues.

Collin McHugh was dealing with injuries during the 2017 MLB season. He made only 12 starts for the Houston Astros, posting a 5-2 record, 3.55 ERA, and 1.295 WHIP. The 30-year-old pitcher has made 111 starts over six MLB seasons, posting a combined record of 48-36, an ERA of 4.08, and a WHIP of 1.293. Last season, McHugh made $3.85 million for the Astros and he will make around $5 million in 2018 through arbitration. As for team control, McHugh has another arbitration year in 2019 before he becomes a free agent.

While there are likely to be additional Baltimore Orioles trade rumors about acquiring pitching this offseason, this is an interesting one, as it indicates that the front office is trying to entertain every possibility. With the signing of Yu Darvish by the Chicago Cubs, it’s possible that the market could start moving, either leading to more free-agent pitchers signing or teams starting to pull the trigger on trades to acquire it.