MLB Rumors: Astros and Rays In Trade Talks Over First Baseman

The Houston Astros are definitely active as the deadline approaches, just a day away now. They've been linked to a number of first baseman, as they look to improve their production significantly at the position. And while the Washington Nationals' Josh Bell appears to be their first choice, they've got another one—from the Tampa Bay Rays—on their radar. 

"The Astros, according to sources, are showing interest in (Ji-Man) Choi as a possible alternative to their apparent No. 1 choice at first, the Nationals’ Josh Bell," writes Ken Rosenthal in The Athletic. Choi has torched the Astros in the past, so they are well aware of what he can do. He also hits well against the New York Yankees, a team the Astros could very well face in the playoffs. 

As Rosenthal notes, this would seem like a strange move for the Rays, when they themselves are looking for offense, but they are always able to be creative in assembling their roster, no matter what the circumstance: 

"The Rays currently are playing short-handed with shortstop Wander Franco, and outfielders Manual Margot and Harold Ramirez on the injured list," writes Rosenthal, "but if they traded Choi, they would make other moves to recoup the offense they lost, trying to create the best possible13-man position-player group."

Tampa is always a team that "considers all the angles," says Rosenthal.

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