Welcome to the weekend and a Free Blog Weekend! With the All Star break just days away and the trade deadline only a couple of weeks out, let’s celebrate.
There are no Oswalts, Berkmans or Pences available to Jeff Luhnow, but the Astros may be active at the trade deadline for the fourth straight season.
The name “closest” to those icons is second baseman Jose Altuve. The diminuitive second baseman may not be a Jeff Kent and he certainly hasn’t shown Biggio stuff yet, but in his three-year tenure in Houston, he’s provided the only consistent production in lineups smitten with holes and .200 batting averages.
Here are three reasons not to trade him.
- Morale. If the Astros move him at age 23, it could signal chaos in the organization. No one is safe. Is Jason Castro next? Maybe George Springer? Hey, maybe teams start calling about Jarred Cosart. No, frankly, trading the closest thing you have to the face of the organization at this point would simply send the wrong message.
- And the replacement is… Yeah, right. No one is busting down the door. You see what happened when the Astros traded Jed Lowrie. How did that work out? Shouldn’t be the only reason not to trade a guy, but if that “hole” is plugged — and plugged well — why mess with it.
- Part of the future. There is no doubt Altuve fits into the future. If he’s hit and performed consistently on this team, imagine his production on a team of players with similar abilities and contributions. He could be a regular .300 hitter, steal 40+ bases, hit 40 doubles every year. Match him with a young shortstop and Springer in center and the Astros could be strong up the center for a decade.
I had written once that trading Altuve could bring riots in Houston. Probably a bit overstated, but this is one move that would absolutely be unsettling for a fan base already unsettled by a potential third straight 100-loss season.
Here are some other thoughts to get your blog brain rolling.
- Have you noticed George Springer’s over 2013 stats? .315/.394/.559 with 26 HRs and 72 RBI. Hard to believe he’ll be in Oklahoma City much longer. Right?
- Looks like Bo Porter’s decision to hold Bud Norris out of Sunday’s start in hopes of getting him added to the AL All Star team fell on deaf ears. Seems to be a no-go for Bud…and for Bo.
- Seems to be a little disgruntlement with Porter. What’s your main beef?