Price may be too steep for Astros to deal

Price may be too steep for Astros to deal

DETROIT -- The Astros were continuing their pursuit of starting pitching Saturday -- two days before the non-waiver Trade Deadline -- but the high cost associated with landing one of the coveted arms on the market could preclude the Astros from getting involved.

Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow said Saturday he's had multiple conversations with clubs, primarily focused around pitching. The Astros would like to add a starter to upgrade the rotation, as well as a left-handed relief pitcher.

"I don't know how things are going to develop," Luhnow said. "More than likely, if something happens, it will be closer to the actual Deadline, because there's a lot of teams looking for the same group of players. The costs are probably too high to get us to go over the finish line, at this point."

The belief is the market will pick up once the Rays -- who possess starters Chris Archer, Matt Moore and Jake Odorizzi -- start to make some deals, but those deals might not come until closer to Monday's 3 p.m. CT Trade Deadline. Rich Hill and Sonny Gray of the A's and Hector Santiago of the Angels are also among those said to be on the market.

"I think it will take one or two deals to happen for the others to sort of fall in line behind them," Luhnow said. "I don't know. I can't handicap what's going to happen first, but we've been in conversations with multiple teams about several different players we'd like to add to the club."

Based on the deals that have happened so far, clubs are expecting to get a lot of value in return for the players they have available. That might be too much for the Astros to swallow.

Meanwhile, the Astros are much less likely to add a bat at this point, and the club hasn't been involved in talks for Brewers catcher Jonathan Lucroy despite reports to the contrary.

Brian McTaggart has covered the Astros since 2004, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.