The MLB trade deadline is on the horizon and the Houston Astros have a few player they could deal, if they choose to do so. The team has already come out publicly and said they have no plans for trade reliever Chad Qualls or any of their young starting pitchers. While they are currently taking calls on many players including Tony Sipp, Chris Carter and Jason Castro, the Astros should be sure to not sell low on Castro.
There is no reason for the Astros to sell low on a catcher that is still relatively young and has been an All-Star in the past. His walk rate has dropped and his strikeout percentage has gone up. His average is down from .276 last season to .226 so far this year. He is also on pace to finish lower in home runs and RBIs.
If the Astros want to trade Castro, they should wait until next season. He is arbitration eligible again this upcoming season and won’t command a salary the Astros cannot afford. They are not going to get as good of prospects for him this year like they would have at the deadline last year, or during the offseason. The Astros have the luxury of holding onto talent at a position that most teams don’t around the rest of the league.
The Astros should wait to see if Castro bounces back offensively, because his defense has still been strong. Decent catchers are in high demand and the Astros would be smart to wait until they can get top-dollar for their backstop. They have a young catcher in the minors, Max Stassi, who could be the eventual replacement for Castro, but he is still a few years away from being major league ready. This allows the Astros to take calls on their veteran catcher to see if someone wants to blow them away with an offer. If not, Castro should be the starting catcher for the Astros on opening day in 2015.