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