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Report: Astros eyeing starting pitching, White Sox ace Cease

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The Houston Astros' "dream acquisition" prior to Major League Baseball's Aug. 1 trade deadline is Chicago White Sox ace Dylan Cease, according to Jon Heyman of MLB Network.

Heyman also notes that the Astros are "definitely looking at" Chicago Cubs right-hander Marcus Stroman, while the Detroit Tigers' Eduardo Rodriguez, St. Louis Cardinals' Jordan Montgomery, and Cease's teammate Lucas Giolito are all considered possibilities as Houston seeks to bolster its rotation.

Despite the White Sox being well out of the playoff hunt at 40-55, Cease is one of four players on the team considered close to untouchable in trade talks, Heyman adds.

If made available, Cease would garner widespread interest after finishing as the runner-up in AL Cy Young voting last year with a 2.20 ERA and 3.10 FIP over 184 innings. The righty has regressed this year, though, posting a 4.18 ERA and 3.76 FIP over 20 starts. He has two years of arbitration remaining after this season and will be eligible to test free agency following the 2025 campaign.

The Astros are currently without Luis Garcia, Lance McCullers Jr., and Jose Urquidy in the rotation and are awaiting injury news on Framber Valdez. With an injury-plagued starting staff, the reigning champs are 52-42, 3.5 games back of the first-place Texas Rangers and currently occupying the final AL wild-card spot.

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