As per a Chip Bailey tradition, let’s go Free Blog Friday today. You can talk about anything you want Astro-wise, but a hunch informs us that trade deadline talk will dominate, so here are a few trade related nuggets to consider.
What We Don’t Know #1
It is easy to look at teams that are poor performers or are “out of it” and cherry pick the few good players that fill our team’s needs, but what we don’t know…..exactly which players are really on the market. Think
of it this way. Fly back to 2014 and the Astros were out of the pennant race and other teams would like to trade for one of our few good players – Jose Altuve (.341 BA/.830 OPS) or Dallas Keuchel (12-9 2.93 ERA) or Collin McHugh (11-9 2.73 ERA). And the Astros either said they weren’t interested in trades for those folks or set the bar so high other teams weren’t interested. Sometimes teams that are down want to trade one really good player for four “ifs” and sometimes they want to build around the good player.
What We Don’t Know #2
Fans don’t know a lot about our own team’s prospects. Oh yes, we see their rankings and we see their statistics, but rarely do we see them play and we certainly can’t “look” at them with the statistical tools that the team has in its tool belt. We don’t know how the team values its own prospects, don’t know what it projects them to grow into and don’t know how they value one position against another. When they look at Kyle Tucker and Forrest Whitley how do they value one that is 9 months younger than the other, that one is at A+ ball and one is at AA ball, that one is an OF and one is a pitcher? How do they value a potential five tool position player against a 4 pitch starter? Without knowing that, we can’t possibly know who really is untouchable in the organization.
What We Don’t Know #3
We don’t know how many moves ahead the chess players in the front office are playing. When they traded Domingo Santana (and don’t make yourself sick by looking at his 2017 stats) to the Brewers in July 2015, did they take into consideration that Derek Fisher was already rolling up through his 4th minor league level after a little more than a year in the system or did they think they had the future covered with the drafting of Kyle Tucker and Daz Cameron the month before?
What We Don’t Know #4
Fans don’t know the behind the scenes information relative to injuries. We know they value their medical staff’s opinions greatly. Their opinion led them to the embarrassing (at the time) Brady Aiken non-signing and the “re-negotiation” with Cionel Perez after medical issues were identified. How concerned are they with the recent injuries to Lance McCullers Jr., McHugh, Morton and Keuchel? Were they being overly careful with Keuchel especially considering how huge a lead they have in the division? Did the doctors say – “If you keep Keuchel out 4 weeks he has a 95% chance of recovery, but if you keep him out 6+ weeks, it is 100% sure thing?”
What We Don’t Know #5
We really don’t know what exactly the Astro’s front office is looking for out in the world and what value they place on different factors. Are they adverse to picking up a rental? Do they want someone with playoff experience? Do they want control for X amount of years? Do they think they can get better performance out of someone because of them coming to a better team? Do they want someone who has proven it in the pressure of a pennant race? How injury adverse are they? How burnt are they from the Scott Kazmir Experiment? Are they playing to win this year all-in or do they think they have enough horses to make it without a trade?
So…. you can write about whatever you want, but if you want to pick up the thread – what do you know and what do you not know?