All Things Astros and a whole lot more
“They” say that trades cannot be judged until three years have passed. This blog has attempted unsuccessfully to locate and bring in “them” for an interview, but in general “their” wisdom is probably a decent baseline for looking at trades.
The Astros are likely to make a deadline trade in the next few days, but there is no way this will match the wheeling and dealing that occurred in July 2012. Remember those trades were performed mostly to dump salary and age from a team that was in deliberate tank mode. The results were frankly pretty ugly for both sides involved.
Analysis. Carlos was at the end of the road and making serious cash. Most fans were surprised they got more than a bucket of balls for him. El Caballo knocked in 48 runs in 81 games (while posting the worst batting average and OPS of his career) and then retired. Matty D came in and played well the last month of 2012 and then watched his bat get worse rather than better in 2013 and 2014 until he was sent back to the minors this season and released. Rasmussen was flipped for pitcher John Ely, who never overcame injuries to do anything.
Winner. Slight advantage Astros – as they got something out of what looked like nothing at the time.
July 20, 2012. Mega-trade with the Blue Jays as the Astros send J.A. Happ, David Carpenter and Brandon Lyon north for Ben Francisco, Francisco Cordero, Asher Wojciechowski, David Rollins, Carlos Perez, Kevin Comer and Joseph Musgrove.
Analysis. Happ gave the Blue Jays his normal mediocre, mind numbing, starting pitching for the equivalent of two seasons, Carpenter was bad for half a season and then traded with manager John Farrell to the Bosox. Lyon had a nice half season and then was released. For the Astros, Cordero was almost immediately released, and Francisco was traded for flotsam (Theron Geith – who? right). Rollins was pretty good in the minors, grabbed by Seattle in the Rule 5 and immediately suspended for PEDs. Comer has rattled around the lower minors. Perez was part of the trade that brought Hank Conger in to back up Jason Castro. Wojo has proved to be a AAAA type pitcher so far, but he is a flyball pitcher and might thrive elsewhere (San Diego anyone?). Musgrove, who was 19 when the trade occurred is the wild card in the bunch. At 22 he was brilliant at pitcher-killer Lancaster and is pitching well at AA. If, he became a solid starter for the big club, this trade would be a positive.
Winner. Slight advantage to the Blue Jays that could be wiped out by one Joe Musgrove.
Analysis. Myers gave the White Sox a nice two months of pitching and then was not re-signed. Heidenreich and Walters pitched extremely badly for the Astros minor league teams, were let go and are now pitching in other organizations at A+ ball at the ages of 24 and 25 respectively. Devenski is the Astros last chance to get something from this trade as he is pitching very well at Corpus (2.64 ERA and 1.128 WHIP). But remember he is a 24-year-old (turning 25 in November) at AA.
Winner. The White Sox needed a short-term rental and they got good work out of Myers without giving up really anything. Devenski could flip this, but he has to get to the majors soon if he will at all.
Analysis. Wandy pitches solidly for the remainder of 2012, pitches well, but is injured in 2013 and is terrible and released in 2014. Cain is not Abel (terrible pun intended) to pitch above AA for the Astros. Owens fought through injuries and made one major league start for the Astros before being released. Grossman has had flashes in parts of 3 seasons with the big club, but he is currently floundering at AAA Fresno and would seem to be a prime candidate to give up his seat at the 40 man roster spot table.
Winner. Pirates win this one. I always felt like we did not get a great deal for Wandy, who had been a very solid pitcher for the Astros. Would have hoped to get at least one very good prospect for him.
Analysis. CJ had a nice stretch (35 RBIs in 44 games) for Arizona, but they immediately made him a throw-in on the Justin Upton trade with the Braves. Borchering butchered the minors while Kraus butchered the majors.
Winner. D’Backs are a slight winner, but really neither side got much from this trade in the end.
In general, none of these trades moved the meter much for either team and only a bust out by a Musgrove or Devenski could likely make any of these trades memorable for the Astros.