Three years out, how do these trades look?


Supposedly, (and I am not sure there is any scientific data supporting this) a trade is supposed to be ripe to be reviewed three years out. So, let’s take a quick look at those trades that the Astros pulled off in the summer of 2011 to help become the 1-1 draft juggernaut of the last 3 seasons.

Hunter Pence for Jarred Cosart, Jonathan Singleton, Josh Zeid, and Domingo Santana – July 29, 2012

Phillies’ side – The Phillies were 66-39 and in 1st place when the trade was made and basically won the same percentage the rest of the way and had the best record in the majors 102-60 at the end of the 2011 season. The wild card Cards beat them in the first round of the playoffs on the way to a WS championship, Pence was traded to the Giants at the 2012 trade deadline and the Phils have been in a free fall ever since.

Astros’ side – This was a clearer win for the Astros before the Cosart trade. They had a good young mlb starter in Cosart, a slugging 1B in Singleton and a future / potential great OF in Santana. After the Cosart trade, Singleton’s early struggles and Santana’s crash and burn so far – the win is a bit murkier – but with guys this young – maybe 3 years is not enough to judge….

Dan’s Call – Astros win – but not as big a win as it appeared earlier.

Michael Bourn for Juan Abreu, Brett Oberholtzer, Jordan Schafer and Paul Clemens – July 31, 2011

Braves’ side – When the trade was made the Braves were in 2nd place in their division (63-46) only because they were trailing the best team in baseball – the Phillies. Bourn cooled off after the trade and the Braves limped in (26-27) the rest of the way missing the playoffs by one game. In 2012, Bourn was much better and an All-Star. The Braves made the playoffs and were tossed out in the Wild Card Game. Bourn left as a free agent after the season.

Astros’ side – At the time of the trade the Astros were chewed on for not extracting one of the better pitching candidates from the Braves and things only went down hill as Clemens has been a HR machine pitching spottily for the Astros, Schafer had his “problems”, was waived and now plays with the Braves again, and Abreu is long gone. However, there is hope. Brett Oberholtzer pitched well in a 2013 audition, then stunk it up early in 2014 and got sent down to OKC. Since returning he has been 4-1 with a 3.02 ERA and like Dallas Keuchel has the look of a long term crafty lefty starter.

Dan’s Call – This is currently a Braves’ win – but Oberholtzer can overturn this, if he becomes a long term mainstay in the rotation.

Jeff Keppinger for Henry Sosa and Jason Stoffel – July 19, 2011

Giants’ side – The Giants were in first place at the time of the trade and fell to 2nd and out of the playoffs by the end of the season (not that Keppinger was the trigger for this). Jeff did not do much down the stretch for the Giants and was released in the off-season.

Astros’ side – Sosa started 10 mediocre games in 2011 was released in 2012 and has bounced around the minors since. Stoffel has pitched fairly solidly as a reliever / closer in the minors for the Astros (except for a high WHIP this season) and you would think he might get a shot at the big team in September.

Dan’s call – Big shrug – this trade has not moved the needle much for either team…… However, since Jose Altuve was called up the same day as the trade from AA….maybe I should call this an Astros’ win.

So with 20/20 hindsight and 3 years under the belt – how do you call these trades?

 

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91 comments on “Three years out, how do these trades look?

  1. Well I would say The Keppinger trade irrelevant, If Obie stays on track we win that one, Bourne to me has been like he was in Houston OK and overpaid big time. Now the Pence trade we were way up before sending Cosart packing, I still think we are up , if the Marsinik (sp) is just decent and Morin does well then we are way up again, maybe Zied comes back decent with his feet fixed. In reality it turns out Pence for 6 or 7 depending how you look at it.

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  2. Fifteen months after we traded Pence he had a World Series ring and a new 5-year $90mil contract in San Francisco. He won the trade.
    In second place was the Astros with a full year of good starting pitching from Cosart, followed by Moran and Marisnick in Cosart’s trade. We got Singleton, who is our starting first baseman right now and may be the 1B for the forseeable future. We have probably gotten as much out of Zeid as we are going to get because his injuries are serious and Santana is a power hitting COF in AAA at the young age of 21. The Astros have the ability to get a ton more value from this trade.
    The Phillies got Pence for a year, got something in trade for him but the goal they had in mind was not accomplished and they ended up the loser.
    Houston could never have paid Hunter the kind of money he is now getting so they wished for great value in return and I think that, so far, they are reaping value from it.
    Philly got Schierholtz for Pence and reaped 33 AB’s from him. They got Tommy Joseph who is hiting ok with little power in AA and Seth Rosin, who has since been with the Mets, Dodgers, Rangers and Phillies again. Looking at what the Astros got for Pence and then what the Phillies got from SF, that trade was terrible for the Phillies.
    Trade:
    Pence- A
    Astros- B with a great chance to move up to an A because of Singleton, Santana, Marisnick and Moran.
    Phillies- D- simply because they had a better chance to win with Pence but didn’t and then got fleeced by SF. The fact that Pence played well for a year kept this from being and F.

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  3. I went to the game today, and saw a GREAT pitchers dual for 4 innings. Obie matched Gibson pitch for pitch, did not walk anyone and no Twin’s got past first base until he gave up a single HR in the 7th. So I say we got the better deal in the Bourne trade. The moron Schafer was picked up by the twins a couple of weeks ago. I have no idea what happened to the bats that came out to play last night……
    ’cause they were DEAD today. I love Matt Dominguez, but we have GOT to get a guy at third that can actually HIT the ball. Speaking of WS rings…….Berkman got his, and Pence now has *2*! Pence and Bourne knew the Astros were never going to give them the money they deserved, and I’m glad they both went on to succeed with other clubs. The Wandy trade has still to blossom…….Asher Wojciechowski
    is doing pretty good in OKC…….and I hope Luhnow will bring him up in September.
    By FAR Ed Wade got more back from the Philly’s than ANY of the last few trades.
    I think we won the Cosart trade as well, because I have a feeling Cosart will never be the “Ace” he thinks he is………

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  4. Fields pitches almost as violent as Linstrom used to, which really bothers me, because he has a hard time getting strikes…….ie, today. Todays game was a punch in the gut for Obie…..he pitched well enough for the guy’s to come back. *sigh*

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  5. If call the Pence deal (and its subsequent deals) a B+ for the Astros. And, yes, the not all precincts are reporting yet. This could easily become an A or A+.

    The Bourn deal looks like a solid B just because I think Obie will be a good No. 4-5 starter in a very good rotation. Wasn’t Clemens supposedly a big haul in this deal? And who was the arm Atlanta wouldn’t let go of? I’d be interested to know who that was and where he is today.

    Altuve’s promotion makes the Keppinger deal a C+ in my book. Otherwise that whole deal was like kissing your sister (which is only thrilling in Kentucky).

    Good post, Dan.

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    • Yes Clemens was considered the biggest jewel back then. I think they wanted Teheran, not sure who else they wanted – Minor? Maybe someone else who they traded off?

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      • Minor is only 26 but after a very good 2013 is hurting this season. It would be a surprise, but a pleasant one if Obie surpasses him.

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    • Pretty sure most of the Astros brass saw Schafer as the jewel. Clemens, if I remember correctly, was thrown in by the Braves to sweeten the deal. That’s about the same time I went on my J.B. Shuck is a better option than Schafer kick, turns out neither one would have been much of an option LOL.

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  6. In the Bourne trade the Astros received two pieces that were worth nothing. Jordan and Abreu. They received Clemens who has not helped the Astros much and they got Ober who has helped them as a starter for most of a year. Brett could easily break out next year in his age 26 season so he could be very valuable for us as a lefty starter who is under team control until the 2020 season. He is very durable! The Braves got Bourne, he played his absolute best in 2012 and he helped them to the playoffs. He left as a free agent and they got the 31st pick in the draft as compensation for him and drafted Jason Hursh who is pitching pretty well in AA.
    Braves- B grade for this trade right now, as Bourne delivered and then they got a good pick.
    Astros C grade for Ober’s rise to the rotation, with a chance for him to stick or be an asset that could bring some good in a trade later on. Chance to raise this to a B grade if OBER sticks.

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  7. Old Pro……….I *LOVE* Oberholtzer’s bull dog attitude. *IF* these guys ever gave him some run support, his numbers would look a LOT different. I think you can put his name in pen, not pencil in the rotation next year. He still has a few games left to pitch and I’m pulling for that kid…….hard! To watch him in person was almost magical today! No walks……4 strike outs, and no runs until the 7th. inning. I’ll take that everyday, and twice on Sunday! Wouldn’t you???

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  8. Oh by the way – am I the only one who thought it was odd to have Dexter Fowler batting cleanup upon his return to the lineup?
    If you thought he was fit enough to be cleanup you certainly would think he was fit enough to be in the 1 or 2 spot and he is much more an OBP machine than an RBI guy. Just struck me weird as he got on twice yesterday.

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  9. I’ll wager that without the Pence trade, the Astros would have been good enough to not finish dead last in all of 2011 (7 GB next worst), 2012 (6 GB next worst), and 2013 (11 GB next worst). I’m not saying Pence would have provided all the wins on his own, but maybe the team does better in 2011 than 9-16 in August and 12-17 in Sept. Maybe they don’t sign Ankiel in 2013. Maybe a few more mid-level free agents come to play with the All-Stat Hunter Pence and that short, but exciting young 2b named Altuve.

    If that played out, we would have had less bonus pool money and slightly lower picks in the drafts. As much as it pained me to see a player like Pence, who gave maximum effort and was FANTASTIC to the fans get traded, I think it is tough to call it anything other than a huge win for Ed Wade (and subsequently Luhnow). It worked well for SF and Pence, too.

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    • I’d like to add that I am glad he wound up with the Giants, my now favorite NL team. Mrs. Flash and I attended a game there, in June, a couple of years ago and I was as cold as I have ever been. And I’ve been in some very, very cold places.

      It is also where I first witnessed people bringing food into the park. How the hell were they able to do that?!

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      • It is a puzzlement Flash – are you sure that there was not a miracle of the loaves involved in getting food in the ball park? .
        I miss Hunter – I always loved his hair on fire – Charlie hustle (without the gambling) approach to the game.

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  10. Dan, I assume bopert was referring to the 70 million that MLB paid the Astros to move to the AL.

    And good effort on the trade front. My preference at this point would be to start seeing trades that will help us in the immediate future. That will also allow us to determine much more quickly which deal is a dog and which a keeper.

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  11. Yeah – I figured it was that – what else would he write about?
    Yes, I agree on the trade front – that is why a lot of fans were disappointed in the Cosart trade – looked like another delay in having mlb ready players.

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      • Yes, but Cosart, in my oponion, will never get better than a #3 SP. I just don’t see a guy with that K/BB ratio ever figuring it out. How does a guy who throws 95 MPH+ not get more than 3-4 Ks in a game? The fact we got 2 top 100 prospects and a supplemental draft pick just makes this trade, IMO, a no-brainer. I have stated before that I was not a Cosart fan and to get the haul we got for him was great.

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  12. The Keppinger trade:
    Astros D minus. They gave up a player who did a good job for them. They have gotten absolutely nothing out of the players they received. Why is it not an F? Because the object was to get rid of his contract and get anything out of him they could and that was accomplished.
    Giants grade C. They got more out of the trade than they gave up although they did not accomplish the goal they thought Kepp might help them achieve.
    I know the next part doesn’t apply, but it’s fun:

    Tampa Bay Rays- B minus grade because they signed him next and got the best year ever out of Keppinger in a 2.7 WAR year in 2012. Since then, nothing. They would have gotten an A if they had signed him to a one year deal instead of three.

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      • I won’t call Altuve a lucky promotion. First of all, he was signed by the organization, in spite of his size. Apparently, no other club had any interest. And he really gave the club no choice. He excelled at every level. Then he got promoted from CC, perhaps when he should have gotten a bit more seasoning, but showed that he could play at the ML level. He did what most All Stars do. He forced his way onto the big club, and at a young age. And I must add that I started watching the kid while he was still at low A ball. There were a couple of us here that were aware of Jose early.

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  13. Yes, but considering what they got for him and their awful SS dilemma since then, I wish they would have kept him for the rest of the year and let him walk and gotten a draft choice for him(if that applied) and brought Altuve up and had them both in the infield at the same time. That might have kept Paredes down in AAA where he belonged and maybe he might have turned out differently. Probably not, but Villar screwed up by smashing his fist and our SS situation really got muddled, but then we brought Marwin up and he has proven to be a decent player. Lots of waves caused by this seemingly bland trade.

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  14. While we are rating trades, may I give an overall for Luhnow (and of course a tip of the hat to the prospects Wade acquired).
    2011 – Winning Percentage for Astros .346
    2012 – .340 2013 – .315 and 2014 – .413 (to date). The old proverb: “Success isn’t how far you got, but the distance you traveled from where you started” It is now 10 years since a playoff team.

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      • My point was we can look at individual trades/drafts etc. But has the team improved while Luhnow has been employed. His record for this year is YES. That is all I care about – what is the MLB teams record and is it better year over year. For the period 2005 through today – a terrible period. But he was hired to improve the team and its record. He started in a hole. TimmyPoo started with a World Series team.

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      • Truth there though some might say that Luhnow helped dig the hole deeper to the point that there had to be improvement.

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    • That is a truly objective way of grading a team that is 23.5 games out of first in their division and 15.5 games out of the last wild card spot. Would you say the Astros are an overweight truck with no brakes going uphill or one going downhill?

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      • Boy you guys are tough. Let me make one more futile try. I would judge all trades and all drafts by a GM’s ability to improve the MLB club. For example, I don’t care if we have the worst farm system – if we are in the playoffs each year. (Speaking of which – Baseball America says out of the top 50 prospects, Astros have Correa and then nobody.) One does not exclude the other, but I would judge any GM by their ability to improve the MLB club- not the farm. Has Luhnow done that? Yes – but only over this year compared to last (with games left to play). But whether it is a truck or sailboat, unless he improves his record against other MLB clubs – he should be gone. If he continues year over year and gets above .500 next year, that is all I could expect. ** I want to add a note from last night Rangers game, Jon Daniels was explaining all the injuries. His comment was he knew they were weak in ST in the minors if they had any injuries. And he took the blame for having no one in the minors capable of stepping in.**

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      • Astro 45 – I know where you are headed but I am just ready for the expectation bar to get a little tougher – especially next season.

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      • I just don’t think a .413 winning percentage is something I’d want to own at any level, or at any time and place. I continue to say that we should expect more, today. As a whole, I firmly believe that the majority of Astro fans on this and other forums are far too passive and willing to accept a less than mediocre product, even after a decade now. I don’t care about the dynamics. We should be one of the larger markets in the US, with funding and revenue to provide our dynamic city with a dynamic baseball experience. Not down the road. Now. I’ve read a whole lot of good conversation back and forth as to whether or not we’ve “won” trades. But with a .413 winning percentage even today, we certainly have not won enough trades, at least enough significant ones.

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  15. Wednesday:
    Houston Astros lose 3-1
    OKC Redhawks lose 4-3
    CC Hooks win 6-5
    Lancaster Jethawks lose 13-2
    Quad Cities River Bandits lose 6-3
    Tri City Valley Cats lose 6-2
    Greeneville Astros lose 6-5
    GCL Astros lose 6-3
    DSL Astros lose 2-1
    In the only win of the night throughout the entire system, Colin Moran hits a game tying 3 run homer in the eighth inning, the Hooks get one more run in that same inning and hold on for the win. Josh Hader pitched great for five innings of shutout ball and tired in the sixth and gave up 3, but Moran bailed him out.

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      • Yes, Moran is the youngest you are thinking of. With him and Ruiz in the system, I am beginning to think one of them might be a future DH for the major league club at some point.

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    • Yep – my brain auto-corrected that Sarge H. I was just reading a bit about Moran in the crawfishboxes – an in depth look at the trade and they really liked him – thought his numbers were a bit depressed by the league he was playing in…

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  16. and Schierholtz, the player the Giants traded to the Phils for Pence was waived by the Cubs this morning and will be released when he clears.

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  17. Michael Bourn for Obie and 3 lottery tickets? I’ll take Obie, and at least scratch offs are fun!

    So let’s talk about what we lost with Bourn. He was a pleasure to watch in CF in his day, but his best year by far was in 2011, mostly with us. He never showed that level of spark again for the Braves or the Indians. This year he has played in only 66 of Cleveland’s games. He has a .267 BA and a .314 OPS. He has 7 steals in 10 attempts. He has hit 3 HRs, 9 doubles, and 7 triples. He has driven in 21 runs. He’s making $12 million. Meanwhile, the Stros have 3 speedy center-fielders in his stead, with our regular CF [Fowler] having played 77 games, having a higher BA of .271, a higher OBP of .379 OBP, twice as many HRs, 3 more doubles, 4 fewer triples, and 3 more RBIs. Dex has stolen 6 bases in 9 attempts.

    In other words, losing Bourn did not hurt us a bit this year – or for the future. But we got a bulldog of a LH starting pitcher who just keeps getting better.

    I think that is a winner.

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    • In 1 year and 2 mos with Atlanta, Bourn accumulated Plus 7.0 WAR
      With the Astros the four players we got currently total:
      Schafer negative 1.2 WAR
      Clemens negative 1.1 WAR
      Abreu Plus .1 War
      Ober Plus 4.1 WAR
      Astros total WAR from that trade, SO Far, is Plus 1.9
      If Ober keeps up his pace the Astros will pass Bourn’s WAR with Atlanta in 3 more years. Right now that trade is in Atlanta’s corner. Hopefully Clemens won’t contribute any more negative War and that trade might end up in the Astros corner.

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      • Nice numbers op – so many different ways to look at trades. Of course it don’t care what Schafer didn’t do back then – I care what Obie will do for this team.

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  18. I took a ball to the game yesterday for Tanner. I got Matt Albers, and Matty D.’s
    autographs. The little boy standing next to me had a poster that said “All I want for my 13th. birthday, is for Matt Dominguez to hit a homerun” When Matt came over to sign stuff this little boy held it up for him to see……the little boy had written Matt a letter, and asked him if he read it. Matt said yes, and thank you Cameron for the kind words. OH MY GOODNESS……..you should have seen this kids face!! His smile was sooo big it took up his entire face! These are the little things that make such a BIG impact on a child. I grinned right along with him! Matt Albers brother married one of my husbands nieces last summer, and he recognized me and
    came over to talk (got his autograph too)……and he said he’s at least two weeks away from coming back. All in all a very good day at the ball park. The joy these little ones get from seeing a big league ball player, is just awesome!
    Thought I share a good story with you fellas. Tanner will be VERY pleased!

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  19. Porter leaves Feldman in too long and the 3 run lead went to a 3 run deficit in one inning. This example is just one of the issues I have with Porter as the manager. He has no pitching staff sense!

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    • To be fair to Porter who should he have brought in? Feldman, up until today, had pitched well in his last 3 starts and our bullpen, sans Sipp, has been very questionable recently. It wasn’t like Downs or Folty stepped up when they were brought into the game. I am not going to lay this one on Porter. I have blamed enough on him already.

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      • I gotta agree with you. This is on the pitchers. Feldman fell apart and the relievers couldn’t bail him out and keep it close. The Astros gave him a decent lead and when the going got rough, he folded. Sometimes people can complicate the obvious. Seven runs in the sixth on a bunch of hits and walks adds up to failure on the mound.

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      • I know there was plenty of blame to go around – but it was obvious watching the game that Feldman let the umpire (who had a terribly inconsistent strike zone) get under his skin. I don’t have a problem when umps have a big or small strike zone – but when they call a pitch a ball that was a strike previously, they are not doing their job. I suppose you are right – Porter was screwed no matter what he did.

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  20. The highlight of the day for the Astros organization had to have been Vince Velasquez’s start for Lancaster. Apparently recovered from his groin injury Velasquez goes six innings allowing no runs 3 hits, 2 walks and 11 strikeouts in a 12-0 victory. YES!

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    • oldpro, my favorite overachiever in the minor league system, Joe Sclafani, thinks Velasquez has the best stuff of all the guys he’s seen. Let’s hope Vince stays healthy. Guys like Hader and Velasquez might end up helping us forget about guys like Appel.

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      • When Appel was pitching in college he faced guys who were quality hitters maybe 20% of the time. Now he faces them 100% of the time. I don’t think Appel has been healthy up until a month ago and I think he needs to spend time with Strom. I think somebody like Strom can turn Appel around. I want to see all three of these pitchers on the Astros’ staff along with McCullers and Feliz in the spring of 2017, contributing to the World Series run.

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      • By the way, isn’t it something how four hitters like Sclafani, Aplin, Perez and Torreyes are the ones keeping OKC competitive right now?

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