Report: Astros could increase payroll to make an upgrade

Houston owner Jim Crane isn't afraid to spend money in order to help his Astros make some noise at the deadline.

Troy Taormina/Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

With the non-waiver trading deadline coming up on July 31, clubs like the Houston Astros are looking for upgrades.

In a bit of an intriguing update regarding the trade plans of those upstart Astros, owner Jim Crane is apparently not afraid to boost his club’s payroll in order to catch a big fish.

As Crane told the Houston Chronicle’s Jose de Jesus Ortiz, "If we get a deal we’d like, we’d certainly like to pull the trigger. We also don’t want to sacrifice the future. We think we’re in good shape for the future. We have a little room to increase payroll if necessary.”

General manager Jeff Luhnow also recently indicated the team could be in the market for bullpen help, and they have already been linked to big-ticket starting pitchers such as Johnny Cueto, Cole Hamels and Scott Kazmir, though Crane doesn’t expect to mortgage his team’s rich future in exchange for a rental.

He expanded on that to Ortiz in relation to the club’s attendance figures at Minute Maid Park this season: "Attendance is better and numbers are better, But we won’t make a deal that gives away the future. We’re stacked pretty deep. We just have to keep moving forward."

Should the Astros stay in contention long enough to either wrestle the AL West away from the Los Angeles Angels or secure a Wild Card spot, they’d need another pitcher to join Dallas Keuchel in order to attempt a deep postseason run – so they’re definitely a club to watch with the deadline coming up in less than two weeks. 

(h/t Houston Chronicle)