Astros: Who’s available to trade?


We’ve previously discussed who the Astros might target in this slow-starting trading period.

But to make a trade you have to be willing to offer something of value and on this blog we are not proponents of the trade Tyler White (too late anyway – Good luck in L.A. except against the Astros, Tyler) and Framber Valdez for Mike Trout fantasies you may find elsewhere. But truthfully at this point, what are the available internal trading chips that the Astros’ Front Office may be considering to offer others?

Available full time major leaguers Players who will likely be on the 25 man after all the injured return

  • Tony Kemp – no he would not be a major piece but he would have some value as a low cost, experienced, flexible (outfield and infield) piece to be included in a trade. However, he might also be a candidate for DFA…. Note after writing this section – Kemp was DFA’d – now there is a good chance he will be part of a trade before the deadline.
  • Jake Marisnick – Has more value defensively than offensively, but his speed and overall game make him a potential valuable add-in to a trade.
  • Josh Reddick – This is not likely to happen for a lot of reasons, including how much he means to the team emotionally, showing a decent bat and a great glove. But if the Astros need to shed money to complete a trade – he is owed about $5 million this season and $13 million next and could be sent off in a side dollar dump trade.
  • (Note – Max Stassi would be on this list, but he might have negative trade value)
  • Collin McHugh. Yes, the Astros need pitchers, but despite some struggles Collin has value as both a starter and a reliever and he is a free agent at the end of the season
  • Chris Devenski. He has been average to below average this year, but has a decent track record, is cheap and has been a durable innings eater out of the pen
  • Hector Rondon. Has been actually a bit better than Devo, but his disastrous 6 run “opener” appearance makes his ERA look a lot worse than it is. He is not likely to get traded because he would only be a rental, but he would only cost the other team about $1.5 million for a former closer
  • Joe Smith / Will Harris. The Astros would not likely unload them, and teams out of the race would not likely ask for them – but if a team did want them thrown in – the front office might not say no.

Of this batch, the ones that might head out the other way would most likely be Kemp, Marisnick or Devenski since they have future control. Josh James might have been on this list, but his injury has killed his trade value.

Call-ups – Players who have spent some time at the MLB level this year as subs

  • Jose Urquidy / Cy Sneed / Rogelio Armenteros – These three pitchers in small samples looked like they were not overwhelmed and Urquidy at least for the short term may have earned himself a rotation spot. These arms might be intriguing to those who think they might be able to siphon from the Astros surplus
  • Cionel Perez, Brady Rodgers, Reyman Guduan and Framber Valdez – All of these four pitchers earned their trips back to the minors based on performance. Guduan, Rodgers and Valdez all had problems hitting their targets. Guduan, Rodgers and Perez all had problems keeping the other team from hitting their pitches. Valdez might have the most value of the four based on some decent performances mixed in over the last two seasons.
  • Myles Straw. If Straw was available for a trade it is likely the Astros would not have DFA’d Kemp. He is not only a speed demon he gets on base at a high rate and is the type of player who could be of high value in a playoff situation where the team might carry less pitchers.
  • Garrett Stubbs, Jack Mayfield and Derek Fisher. All three of these guys have been called up this season. Fisher hit poorly and the other two hit very poorly. Fisher probably has the most value in a trade based on his speed and how he played during the championship run. Stubbs probably would be next due to his catcher position and Mayfield the least due to age.

Of all these players it would seem that Urquidy, Armenteros or Sneed would be the most likely to be included in a trade. The other player teams would be asking about would be Straw. He would probably only be included if he was a main piece in a big trade.

The Crown Jewels – The high end prospects that other teams would pursue

  • Kyle Tucker / Forrest Whitley. These two have been untouchable since last season. After Whitley’s continued on/off field problems is he still untouchable? Do the Astros feel any differently about Tucker after his poor showing in 2018? (Jeff Luhnow had called these two the best prospects in all of baseball earlier this season)
  • Other top pitching prospects. J.B. Bukauskas, Corbin Martin (hurt), Bryan Abreu, Peter Solomon, Brandon Bielak and Tyler Ivey (just back from the IL), others – If the Astros make a major trade – it is highly likely that one or more of these players (other than Martin) will be included.
  • Other top non-pitching prospects – Freudis Nova, Seth Beer, Ronnie Dawson, Abraham Toro, Joshua Rojas, others – Folks like Daz Cameron and Jake Rogers went in the trade to pick up Justin Verlander, so one of these young men could easily be gone in the next week.

It is almost a certainty that if the Astros make a major trade, someone(s) from this prospect category will be headed for a new home.

So….

Who is on your untouchable list?
Who is most likely to be gone?
Who should be available that isn’t shown?

 

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37 comments on “Astros: Who’s available to trade?

  1. The more I think about it, I think Tony is already part of a bigger trade getting ready to happen.
    I guess I’d rationalize Jake or Straw too, if it helped get a significant deal done. Funny though how Jake has grown on me over the past few years. Not the best arm in the game, but nobody tracks a ball down better. He’s still a better base runner than Straw, even if he’s not as fast.
    In the minor league system, I have no guys I would not trust Luhnow to deal if the situation warranted. I know he’s not been perfect, but I know he knows more than I do.
    As far as the big club goes, I’d most hate to lose Collin, because he inspires a certain level of confidence. Again, I’ll leave it to our GM to determine who needs to be on the post season roster.

    Liked by 3 people

    • i find this interesting for multiple reasons. are the dodgers thinking they can lesson the blow of trading alvarez by getting white ? he’d have to really come alive. and to me at this point it seems this is an advantage us, as a team trades for a guy we no longer can use – making us the stronger team? and what if, just what if the pitcher turns into a #3 starter or reliable late inning guy?

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Trade time always has me on pins and needles. I don’t have enough scouting info available to me to even have an opinion, so it is just a matter of waiting for the shoe to drop. If it were me, though, an objective would be not to trade anybody else – including Jake – who would upset the team dynamic/mojo/vibes any more than we already have [meaning the departures of White and Kemp – after we lost everybody’s friend Charlie in the off-season – and McCullers’ year-long unavailablity. While, if all things were equal, I would much prefer to keep Straw over Marisnick, this year Jake has been the guy that got the team fired up, so I don’t see him going anywhere.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. great post dan. i have to think if we trade for a starting pitcher (especially a big time starting pitcher) the other team will want pitching in return as the priority. so we lose prospect and maybe veteran pitching to get our starter. thats not to say no position players involved but main emphasis will be the return in pitching. if its a good solid guy thats got another year of control, i dont have a problem with it.
    untouchables – whitley, tucker, ALVAREZ. (they all will ask)
    most likey – urquidy, bukauskas, bielak. non pitchers – fisher beer.
    who should be available – i think you covered it

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Since I don’t know many minor league guys, and haven’t fallen in love with anybody……I don’t really care. The Mets have said today that
    Noah Syndergaard *WILL* be traded in the coming days. I’m sure Luhnow already knows who and how much they want for him….but “Thor” sure would look good in an Astros orange uniform! BUT….if I had to guess Stroman won’t cost as much, so I would guess Marcus Stroman has a better chance of getting traded to the Astros. Either you’re in it to win it…..or you’re not.
    I’m still bummed over losing Tony Kemp….but not as much as HE is about it.😭

    Liked by 2 people

  5. This organization has so many trade chips that haven’t been mentioned.
    Pena and Toro and Jones and Rojas are right there.
    Beer, Conine, Bukauskas, Abreu, Bielak, Ivey and Javier are players that are being asked for by other teams.
    There are a half dozen unmentioned pitchers in A ball that I guarantee you are being asked about.
    I don’t want to lose Rojas. If he’s a major piece for Thor or Bauer, ok. But not for a lesser pitcher.
    By the way, the return we received for White is more than I ever thought we would receive for him. My guess is that he will have a new third pitch within 30 days of being in the Astros organization, and it will be a breaking pitch.

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    • Fully agree OP, we can manage giving some club 3 or 4 quality prospects, yes, Rojas included, if it’s a major piece. One would likely be Whitney or Tucker though. I don’t mind Whitney at this point, but I’ll be very impressed if Luhnow gets a prize and holds on to Tucker.

      If Scrubb can learn to throw strikes at 24, well then he’s got a real shot. He’s thrown very few innings though. Does he stay healthy? Ironically he might be a candidate for a bit of a weight loss program too.

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  6. Bumgardner has been pulled back. I assume the Giants will be buyers after all. Rays pitcher Blake Snell had elbow surgery today, he will miss at least 4 weeks.
    They are still in the hunt for a wild card, so they will be shopping for another starter as well. I really don’t like to wait until the last day of the trade deadline to try and make trades. WAAAY…too much drama for me.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. It seems like the same story over and over all season. The Astros move on to play one of the hottest teams in baseball. Over the course of the season it just seems to have fallen in the schedule that when the Astros face any team, they are playing their best baseball of the year. It started in Tampa and has continued right up through the Oakland series and now the Cardinals, who are playing their best baseball of the year.
    It’s kinda like the Astros have been playing playoff teams all year.
    And I don’t think the Astros have played their absolute best baseball yet.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Two days ago Jon Morosi indicated that the Tigers would consider packaging two of their top players in a trade, if it helped them draw top prospects back.
    I would be willing to part with either of our top two prospects as a headliner of a package if it meant getting Matthew Boyd and Shane Greene in a trade.

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  9. This is where we test the front office’s ability to predict their players’ futures.
    Is Kyle Tucker a potential big time hitter or just a better version of his brother? Sure we don’t need him this minute with Alvarez up, but Reddick, Springer, Brantley and Marisnick could all be gone by the end of next season.
    Is Forrest Whitley just a youngster that needs to mature a bit or the next first round head case after Mark Appel? In this case we could have used him this year and if he had been ready we might not be so desperate to make a trade right now.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It would seem that the brain trust has to think of not only winning this year but what about years to come. Yes we have Altuve tied up for 5 years but at 30MM a year, Bregman for 5 at 2 @ 12 and then 30mm, JV at 33MM for two more years and Milley for 3 yrs at a 9MM average. That’s a chunk of change and we still haven’t done anything with Correa, Springer, Cole, and several others who are waiting in the wings. I would assume that some of the up and coming prospects will fill some of the voids at a much lesser cost but it is a concern that I have. I do wish we could tie up Springer and Cole but it’ll probably cost in excess of a 125 MM for each. Lots of clubs out there with deep pockets. As a side thought, I wonder how much the money factors into the player’s decisions as opposed to being on a team they like, the atmosphere, teammates and most of all, a chance to win it all, or is money everything?

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    • Well, this is where I jump in and suggest that Kyle Tucker’s numbers are good at AAA and AAA is the best test there is for players short of the major leagues.
      But, what about a guy who isn’t recognized as a Top 2 prospect and has hit every bit as well against the same pitchers Tucker has faced.
      Tucker is a corner outfielder. Why couldn’t Rojas be considered a corner outfielder? His numbers are better than Tucker’s, he’s more versatile, strikes out less, walks a little more, has more steals and would have a year to develop better as an outfielder. He’s more mature than Tucker but has the exact same number of years of player control as Tucker does and more options left.
      If Tucker brings back premium returns because of pedigree, but Rojas might be a better player, I say trade the guy they want.

      Liked by 3 people

      • The OBP always interests me. The upstart has a .397. Tucker’s got a .346. Yes OP, in general, it’s easier to teach an infielder to play some corner outfield rather than the other way around. For me the most impressive stat from Tucker is 22 steals and only getting caught twice. He knows what he’s doing out there. But Rojas is no slouch at 16 and 4. And I like his on field demeanor. Sometimes it looks to me that Tucker is a bit detached, or maybe lacking in enthusiasm. That’s probably BS, but it’s what I see on the field from the guy sometimes. Shouldn’t he be really tearing up that league this year? For such a highly rated guy, the numbers are a bit of a let down, when compared to 2018. That’s why if Kyle went for the big arm and we got stuck with Rojas, I wouldn’t feel so stuck.

        Liked by 3 people

  10. It appears that the Mets are not impressed with our minor league prospects.
    The Braves and Padres are both in talks about Thor.

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  11. About to stick my head in a noose again. OP, you already dropped the gauntlet by making Whitley/Tucker available if need be. I say thee ya if need be. Case & point, Cubs needs closer to complete playoff roster in 2016(overpaid ok but got their man in Chapman, WS champs). Stros need pitching in 2017, in comes Verlander, WS champs) more $$ than prospects. Admit nothing guaranteed.
    2019 Stros need pitching again, badly. This lineup is so damned stacked 4-6 type hitters being pushed to the back of the bus. Uncle Jeff pls get this rotation some #^$* help to make that deep push, even at the cost of Whit or Tuck & some middling prospects. Win another WS this yr & Luhnow/Crane can do no wrong ($$/turnstiles ring a bell?)
    Again you laid down some truth OP, the Stros playing the hottest tms for how long now, and keep winning. No need to gut the farm to bring in a SP/RP, but it’s gonna cost.
    If Tuck is that good, potentially, why is YA where he should be? Why is Whitely not helping this season like many thought he would be? Maybe they ain’t ready but, this MLB team is READY!!! A little help can go a longggg way JL!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. TK says it’s a rare night for the BP to give up a lead. CRAP!! They are taxed & can’t rejuvenate from overuse. Miley threw a gem & lost. Uqidiy’s might lose his tonight. That new reliable RP might help the backend guys get a breather. Hate to go in postseason with a taxed BP. While I like our rotation 1-3 another #2-3 SP should stretch our rotation for the postseason. The young guns might give some good innings the rest of the way but won’t be trusted in the postseason.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. MLB.com has all new prospects rankings out. With so many young players moving up to the majors, there is a huge shift in the rankings. Tucker and Whitley are still in the top 20, but Seth Beer is the only other Astros prospect on the list and he’s #100.
    With the new rankings comes a new Astros Top 30 and that list has big changes. Go to the Astros website for both lists today.

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  14. Oakland got beaten by the Ranger again last night on the coast. Astros lead is still 8.0 games.
    Boston stomped the Yankees again.

    Like

  15. Major League Baseball is on a pace to hit 1000 more homers this year than in 2018. That means that every team would average hitting 33 more home runs and that pitching staffs would give up an average of 33 more home runs than last season.
    We are not going to be able to stop the trend in home runs this year, so the Astros better start hitting and scoring more runs.

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  16. Minors notes:
    Korey Lee was back in the Tri City lineup as a DH last night.
    Brady Rodgers is pitching for the GCL Astros right now in a rehab start.
    The Astros have five of their 2019 draftees make it into their new Top 30 Prospects list, and one of them, Hunter Brown, is listed as the starter for Tri City tonight.
    Taylor Jones’s place in the Astros top prospects list lasted about 10 days, as the 2019 draft class knocked him out.

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  17. Since I don’t know anything about who’s good in the farm sys other than the info gleamed by those in the know on this blog, my only untouchable is YA. That tight rubber band Luhnow has on his prized prospects may lose some elasticity come the trade deadline. While he has been adamant in trade talks regarding the big two, he now has the opportunity to infuse a much needed lifeline to this tm in terms of SP/RP that could very well propel them to another WS win.
    The two I would like to see extended are Springer/Cole. Not hatin but CC is a candidate I would really consider trading given the fact this tm cannot lock up all their core players. CC has not played over 140 gms in 3 consecutive yrs they said last nite & am not optimistic that will change in the future. A tm discount might help but that is doubtful. The org will do its due diligence when CC’s time is up, esp if they can’t extend him. This is business & tough decisions have to be made.

    Liked by 1 person

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