The 44-64 Astros could jump into this seller-friendly market before Thursday’s 4 p.m. ET trade deadline.
Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports that Houston is “looking to move” first baseman and designated hitter Chris Carter, who owns a weak .212 batting average and .291 on-base percentage in 350 plate appearances this year but has slugged 50 homers since the beginning of the 2013 season.
Carter is arbitration-eligible for the first time in 2015 and is under contractual control through 2018, so the ‘Stros will probably want something substantial in return for the 27-year-old.
But with very few difference-making bats on the block, they might just find a willing trade partner.
Sherman also says starting pitchers Jarred Cosart, Dallas Keuchel, and Collin McHugh are available.
Sportsnet’s Ben Nicholson-Smith reports that the Blue Jays and third baseman Josh Donaldson are tabling extension talks as the two sides weren’t able to build any momentum towards agreement on a new contract.
Donaldson said, “We’re not quite there. That, to me, right now is not the major focus and I’m turning the page.” He added, “I want to play this season and really focus on winning games because, ultimately, our goal is to win a World Series and I don’t want to hinder that at all.” Donaldson also said he expects to hit free agency.
The 32-year-old avoided arbitration with the Blue Jays last month, agreeing on a $23 million salary for the 2018 season. He’s a free agent at season’s end. Last year, the three-time All-Star hit .270/.385/.559 with 33 home runs, 78 RBI, and 65 runs scored in 496 plate appearances. Donaldson missed six weeks in the first half with a calf injury, but was able to return and post terrific numbers, so his health — at least that aspect of it — shouldn’t be a concern going into spring training.
If Donaldson does reach free agency, he’ll join a star-studded group that will likely also include Bryce Harper, Manny Machado, Charlie Blackmon, and A.J. Pollock.