TRADE: Astros, Orioles Swing Deal For Starting Pitcher

We're still over a month away from the trade deadline, and the really big moves will most likely take place closer to the Aug. 1st date, but that won't stop teams from making moves around the margins now. 

The Houston Astros have swung a deal with the Baltimore Orioles to acquire starting pitcher Spenser Watkins, who the O's had DFA'd earlier this week. 

The Orioles receive cash considerations in return. 

Watkins is a 30-year-old right-hander who started 20 games for Baltimore last season, pitching to a 4.70 ERA and 1.41 WHIP. He also started 10 games for the Birds in 2021, to much worse results, with an 8.07 ERA. 

In the minors this year, Watkins has struggled to a 7.27 ERA, with a 20:17 K/BB ratio in 26 innings. The Astros have been able to "fix" pitchers before, and they'll get Watkins into their system and try to work their magic. 

He'll likely serve as depth in the upper minors for now for the Astros. 

In associated moves to make room on the roster, the Astros moved perennially injured Michael Brantley, along with Jose Urquidy, to the 60-man IL, while also calling up Bligh Madris to the big club. 

 Photo: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports