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anonymous 3 weeks ago in By Screen / Manage 0


As Houston Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow looks for ways to upgrade  his pitching staff at Major League Baseball s non waiver trade deadline, he reminds himself daily that he is operating from a position of  strength.

We re not going to overpay dramatically, because we re not in a  situation where we have to, Luhnow told ESPN at Citizens Bank Park. We  have a pretty good team, and if we can improve it without giving up too  much of our future http://www.astrosfanaticsjersey.com/evan-gattis-jersey-c-15.html, we will.

Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow will make a move to upgrade the  team s pitching staff if he can do so without drastically overpaying, he said Wednesday. Scott Halleran/Getty Images

The Astros entered Wednesday s series finale against the Phillies  with a 67 33 record and a 17 game lead over the second place Seattle  Mariners in the American League West. They ve been fueled by an offense  that leads the majors in runs, hits, doubles, home runs, total bases and OPS.

Houston s pitching also has been effective, with a lot less national acclaim. The Astros rank first among the 30 MLB clubs with 1,018  strikeouts, and they re second in batting average against .234 and ERA  3.98 . Staff ace Dallas Keuchel will return from a neck injury on Friday and join Collin McHugh and http://www.astrosfanaticsjersey.com/carlos-correa-jersey-c-17.html Lance McCullers Jr. in the rotation for a three game road series against the Detroit Tigers. 

Houston has been mentioned in speculation as a potential landing  spot for Yu Darvish and Sonny Gray, the two most coveted starters  available in advance of Monday s 4 p.m. deadline. If the Astros add a  starter, it most likely will be someone who is accomplished enough to  slot in with Keuchel and McCullers at the beginning of a playoff series.

Luhnow also has the postseason in mind as he scours the relief  market. The Astros have been scouting Tigers left hander Justin Wilson,  San Diego Padres lefty Brad Hand and several other options.

Houston manager A.J. Hinch has received a lot of mileage out of his  middle and back end of the rotation starters. Mike Fiers went 6 3 with a 2.51 ERA over a span of 12 starts entering Wednesday s outing against  the Phillies. Brad Peacock has struck out 97 batters in 71⅓ innings as a starter and reliever. And Charlie Morton threw seven innings of three  hit, shutout ball in a 5 0 victory over the Phillies on Tuesday.

One of those three pitchers will have to shift to the bullpen now  that McHugh and Keuchel are back from the disabled list. Peacock, the  most versatile member of the group, appears to be the leading candidate  to pitch in relief.

Luhnow made it clear the Astros are aiming high in their deadline discussions with teams.

I think if we are going to acquire a starting pitcher http://www.astrosfanaticsjersey.com/jose-altuve-jersey-c-16.html, that person is going to have to be a clear upgrade to the group [we have], and that s a very small list of pitchers, Luhnow said. To a certain extent, that makes things a little bit easier.

Right now, the rotation is healthy. Whoever we get Tony Sipp Jersey, we re not acquiring them to help us win the division. We re acquiring  them to help us in the postseason. It s a very advantageous position to  be able to focus on that exclusively. That s what we re doing.