With the Astros continuing their recent slump and offensive slumber, it’s time to quickly take a look at a few trade options especially if Houston has to begin looking at 2011 rather than making plans for late October.

Big names that are obviously wanted by other clubs include the likes of starting right-handed pitcher Roy Oswalt (who has a no-trade clause), first baseman Lance Berkman (also has a no-trade clause in his contract), and All-Star youngster outfielder Hunter Pence (whom is likely untouchable as a major part of the future of the franchise).

Some other Houston players who may draw some trade interest include outfielder Carlos Lee (who has a big contract that most teams will aim to avoid), second baseman Kaz Matsui (whom has been overpaid and underachieving since joining the Astros), left-handed starting pitcher Wandy Rodriguez (a lefty in the rotation is always something big league managers are looking for), and reliever Chris Sampson (who has a sparkling 1.64 ERA this season).

Of the seven aforementioned names, I truly believe Berkman and Pence are in Houston to stay. All five others, however, (including starters Oswalt and Rodriguez) could very well be used as part of a major trade as the Astros begin building towards the future around the young guys like outfielders Pence and Michael Bourn, pitcher Bud Norris, and infielders Jeff Keppinger and Tommy Manzella (just to name a handful of the up-and-comers in the majors).

Could Roy Oswalt be pitching elsewhere come late summer?

Will Carlos Lee still be an Astro in August?

Is Wandy Rodriguez going to be with the ball club next year?

All these answers and more as we quickly delve into possible trade scenarios surrounding the Houston Astros and the future of the franchise…

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