The Houston Astros nearly broke MLB hearts once again this season by getting to the World Series, but the Washington Nationals shocked us all by coming out on top. Despite that result, Houston remains as dangerous as ever.
With the Winter Meetings underway, you better believe Houston will be ready to target some big names in order to instill even more fear in clubs around the country, and here are three players the rest of the league better hope the Astros don't get their hands on.
3. SP Madison Bumgarner
With Gerrit Cole having one foot in the Bronx and his bags packed to leave Houston, will the Astros will look for a stud starter to take his place? Enter Madison Bumgarner. Dear Baseball Gods, if you're reading this, please don't let it happen. MadBum, obviously being targeted by countless teams this offseason, is getting ready to embark on his age-30 season. Last year, he went 9-9 for the lowly Giants and posted a 3.90 ERA. However, you can't forget about how special of a talent he is. Should he sign with Houston, it'd be a nightmare since he'll be behind Justin Verlander and Zack Greinke.
2. OF Nicholas Castellanos
Should Castellanos make his way to Minute Maid Park, we'd have the Cubs to thank for this one. Chicago reportedly won't be bringing back the slugging outfielder despite the fact that he was a total stud at the plate for them. The man litereally led the club with his .646 slugging percentage after coming over in July. For the season, he posted a .289 batting average with 27 home runs and 73 RBI. Chicago not bringing him back will prove to be a major mistake. Imagine his bat with the likes of Jose Altuve, George Springer and others? Yikes.
1. Kyle Schwarber
While Cubs fans are hoping Kyle Schwarber returns next season, that's not a guarantee with the team looking to shed payroll. Schwarber was outstanding last campaign, really catching fire after the All-Star break. His .997 OPS after the mid-summer classic sure stands out. For the season, he belted a career-high 38 homers. However, he's not known for being a stud in the outfield, and the club could save millions by moving on from him. The Astros could send him out each night as their DH, providing even more problems for the AL.