The Houston Astros are looking to move designated hitter/first baseman Chris Carter, according to a report from Joel Sherman of the New York Post. Carter was scratched from today's game against the Athletics, but it appears to be the result of a stomach illness rather than a trade.
The 27-year-old Carter is hitting .212/.291/.474 this season, to go along with a 112 wRC+, 0.6 WAR, and 21 home runs, which is good for eighth in the AL. Carter is the stereotypical slugger, providing little value on defense, as he is mostly limited to DH due to terrible play at first base (-8.9 career UZR) and in the outfield (-11.2). Despite a lack of on-base skills thanks to his poor contact abilities (he led the AL with 212 strikeouts last season), Carter still provides above-average offensive production through his ample power. For his career, Carter has hit for a 110 wRC+ and .232 ISO.
Needing offense, the Mariners figure to be a logical destination, however, the Houston Chronicle's Evan Drellich reports that Seattle does not have interest in Carter. WIthout the M's in play, Carter's market may be limited, and Houston has little reason to deal him now considering the lineup is currently extremely thin, and with both Dexter Fowler and George Springer on the DL, the only other player aside from Carter with an above average OPS+ is Jose Altuve. He is also under team control through the 2018 season, so Houston may view him as a piece of their long-term puzzle. The Astros also seem set on adding to their offense rather than subtracting from it.
Per Sherman, Houston is also listening on a number of starting pitchers including Dallas Keuchel, Collin McHugh, and Jarred Cosart. This is nothing new, as GM Jeff Luhnow told FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal on Monday that the club would consider dealing one of its young starters. Drellich added yesterday that Houston seems reluctant to deal Keuchel, so he may be off the table.