Wade feeling out trade market

Wade feeling out trade market

HOUSTON -- Astros general manager Ed Wade was extremely busy during the offseason, signing Kazuo Matsui, Darin Erstad, Doug Brocail, Geoff Blum, Brian Moehler and Shawn Chacon and trading for Miguel Tejada, Jose Valverde, Michael Bourn, Geoff Geary and Oscar Villarreal.

All that offseason dealing doesn't mean Wade will be sitting on the sidelines when the summer trading season picks up steam in the days ahead. With roughly six weeks until the July 31 deadline to make trades without going through waivers, Wade has started working the phones.

"I've had some conversations with clubs -- just general lay of the land," Wade said. "And you really can't get the lay of the land yet because people don't know whether they're in it or out of it, whether they're buyers or sellers. So there's really no way of determining it, and some of it will come down to what teams view as their needs."

Wade also said it's too early to tell whether it will be an active or slow market this year.

Early indications are most teams will be looking to add pitching, just like the past offseason. And just like then, there's not much available at the moment.

"If there's a whole bunch of teams out there viewing starting pitching as their needs, then there's going to be a lot of disappointed clubs, because I just don't think there's going to be a lot of it available," Wade said. "But it's way too early at this point [to gauge]."

The Astros are obviously looking for pitching. The team ERA of 4.50 (entering Sunday's game) ranks 21st among MLB's 30 teams. Houston's rotation is 20-25 with a 4.77 ERA and has allowed a Major League-high 65 home runs.

Still, it is too early for Wade to speculate on whether he will be as active in acquisitions as he was in the offseason.

"I would love to be in position for us to improve the club. I'd like to do that today if I could," Wade said. "We'll pay attention to what opportunities are out there, and if there are ways to do things that make sense, we'll go ahead and try to do them."

Jim Molony is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.