In 2014, Sports Illustrated published an article proclaiming the dismal Astros would be World Series Champions in 2017. After losing almost 100 games to finish the 2014 season, this prediction looked to be a long shot. However the next year, the low key Astros got hot early and never looked back. They American League West by storm and surprised everyone by not only making it to the playoffs, but beating the infamous New York Yankees in first round of the playoffs. The underrated Astros were led by standouts Carlos Correa and Dallas Keuchel who won the Rookie of the Year and Cy Young awards respectively. After an incredible 2015 season, the Astros were met with struggles in 2016, and missed the playoffs by a couple of games. However the winning mentality was established in Houston, and they were eager to make changes to continue their newfound winning culture.
With the foundation in place with All Stars such as Carlos Correa, George Springer, Jose Altuve, and Dallas Keuchel; the Astros were a couple of additions away from making this prediction a reality. After missing the playoffs in 2016, the Astros had a busy and productive offseason. The Astros solidified themselves as major threats in the American League once they re-signed veteran slugger Carlos Beltran, who was a playoff hero for the Astros back in 2004 when the Astros made it to the World Series for the first time in franchise history. Next they added defensive standout and fan favorite Josh Reddick. Finally, the Astros traded for All Star Catcher Brian McCann. Between these three additions come 16 All Star selections and over 700 career home runs.
Whether it’s supernatural fate or pressure to win, the Astros were dominant in the pursuit of signing and trading for new players this past offseason. While the season is still young, it looks like these moves may be exactly what they needed to get over the hump of pretenders to contenders. Now it’s simply a waiting game to see if these offseason moves will solidify the Astros’ presence in the American League or if it is still too early to buy into their Cinderella story type of success.