MLB Rumors: Rumors: Astros, J.D. Martinez, Twins, Machado

The Astros already added a big bat to their lineup when they signed José Abreu earlier this offseason, but they remain in the hunt for outfield help, and MLB Network insider Jon Heyman reports that Houston continues to show interest in Michael Brantley and Michael Conforto. The club also is considering Jurickson Profar.

A five-time All-Star, Brantley spent the past four seasons with the Astros after signing a pair of two-year, $32 million contracts. He hit .288 with a 125 OPS+ over 64 games last season before undergoing season-ending right shoulder surgery.

Conforto also had right shoulder surgery in 2022 and sat out the entire season after becoming a free agent the previous offseason. He had an underwhelming season for the Mets in 2021, producing 14 homers and a 100 OPS+, but he had a 134 OPS+ from 2018-21.

Profar opted out of the final year on his contract with the Padres to become a free agent last month after hitting .243 with 15 homers and a 111 OPS+ last season.

On the trade front, the Astros have engaged in talks with the D-backs for outfielder Daulton Varsho, according to USA Today’s Bob Nightengale. Varsho is one of three young, lefty outfielders that Arizona has reportedly discussed in trade deals with numerous teams, including the Yankees, Blue Jays, Reds, Blue Jays and others. Nightengale said the asking price for the 26-year-old Varsho “remains steep.” MLB Network insider Joel Sherman wrote about the Yanks’ interest in Varsho for the New York Post on Monday (subscription required).

Varsho hit 27 homers, stole 16 bases and led all outfielders with 18 Outs Above Average this past season. He won’t be able to reach free agency until after the 2026 season. Varsho came up through the Minors as a catcher, which would fill a need for the Astros after they missed out on Willson Contreras and saw Christian Vázquez sign a three-year deal with the Twins on Monday (per a source). However, Varsho has spent much more time in the Majors in either center or right field, where he has been a much better defensive player than behind the plate.

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