2) The Astros will eventually consider trading Kyle Tucker to the Cubs
The Chicago Cubs have one of, if not the best farm system in all of baseball, and have a bevy of prospects and young players that the Astros would want in a hypothetical Kyle Tucker trade.
Their current top prospect, Pete Crow-Armstrong, likely won't have prospect status at this time next winter, but he's just 21 years old and could be Houston's center fielder of the future if they choose. Other prospects like pitchers Cade Horton, Jordan Wicks, and Ben Brown could be of interest, as well as position players like Matt Shaw, Owen Caissie, and Kevin Alcantara.
The Cubs have a young core looking to win now and in the future, and 27-year-old Tucker could fit in nicely with their timeline.
While the Cubs are currently paying Ian Happ and Seiya Suzuki through the 2026 season, they're both on tradable contracts and would not prevent the Cubs from pursuing a player of Tucker's caliber. The Cubs don't have much long-term money invested outside of Dansby Swanson, so they'll have more than enough money to give Tucker whatever he wants while also having the ability to add more pieces around him to be competitive.
The Cubs being a team Houston has no recent history with could make them a more appealing destination than the Phillies or the next team on this list.