We’ve seen Ed Wade’s Dayton Moore-like affinity for acquiring the prospects he helped bring into his previous organization with both the Brad Lidge and Roy Oswalt deals. Luckily, Wade’s inability to let go of the past hasn’t been nearly as damaging as Moore’s. Hopefully the same is true of the latest Houston-Philly swap that brought Sergio Esalona to the Longhorn state.
Escalona pitched 13.2 innings in the majors in 2009 and struck out 10 batters while walking 5 for his only major league experience. However, he serves an important role for the Houston Astros; a left-handed pitcher who can get left-handed hitters out. Escalona will compete with other lefties Fernando Abad, Gustavo Chacin, Ryan Rowland-Smith, and Wesley Wright. Escalona has shown good ability with a 3.46 ERA and 362 strikeouts over 361 minor league innings.
Houston claimed the 25 year old pitcher after the Phillies placed him on waivers. The Astros sent Philadelphia Albert Cartwright, a 23 year old second baseman who spent most of 2010 in High-A Lancaster. For his minor league career Cartwright has a respectable .272/.352/.421 line. However, he’s also struck out in 25% of his at-bats. This offseason, I ranked Cartwright as my #33 prospect in Houston’s system. Here’s what I wrote:
33. Albert Cartwright, 2B, LYR: NR (23): Had a strong 2010 at Single-A before a promotion to Corpus Christi but I’m not sure his power or speed will ever translate to the big leagues. Also strikeouts a bit too much but if he can stick at 2B could be a good utility guy.
If Houston was able to trade a possible utility infielder in the future for a pitcher who could potentially be their best left-hander in the bullpen, this is a great trade. And the Royals can’t say that too often about their GM’s prior-org nostalgia.