In their search for rotation help, the Astros have discussed Phillies' right-hander Aaron Harang and have Reds' ace Johnny Cueto "on their radar", according to a report from Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com. Houston is expected to aggressively search for starting pitching until the July 31 trade deadline.
The Astros, who have also been linked to Jeff Samardzija in rumors this month, are likely to look for upgrades over minor-league signee Roberto Hernandez (4.77 ERA) at the back of their rotation behind Dallas Keuchel, Collin McHugh and Scott Feldman. Their need for rotation help will be amplified due to a serious injury to veteran Scott Feldman, who will reportedly miss 4-6 weeks after undergoing knee surgery and may miss time during the critical month of July. Although youngsters Lance McCullers and Brett Oberholtzer will take over in the absence of Feldman and Sam Deduno, the team is likely looking for a more stable presence to pair with Keuchel at the top of a division-leading rotation.
Houston is unlikely to pursue Phillies' ace Cole Hamels due to financial restrictions, but could look at some other available options as teams fall out of the race throughout the year. While an intradivision trade involving Athletics' lefty Scott Kazmir may not be likely, other arms like Kyle Lohse and Matt Garza (Brewers) or Mat Latos (Marlins) could become available.