Considering Brad Mills‘ recent comments, Brett Wallace being on this squad may become less and less likely. The only real question is whether Brett would suit up for Oklahoma City or another organization. ESPN’s Jim Bowden reported today that a possible trade between the Astros and Indians involving Wallace has at least been discussed. It shouldn’t surprise anyone in the least bit to hear Brett’s name pop up in trade discussion and with Cleveland looking for help at 1st base, the combination makes sense. Wallace was acquired in a spin-off trade to the transaction that sent Oswalt to the Phillies in 2010. He struggled during that campaign to adjust to big league ball but had a great April this past season only to see his struggles return shortly after. He would eventually be demoted to Oklahoma City and rumors swirled about attitude and work ethic problems which would only get worse after hardly seeing action during a September that saw major playing time for a number of different rookies.
Without being blessed with speed or excellent defensive skills, Brett came in needing to hit the ball at a high level. Except for April 2011, he has failed to consistantly provide offense and has not shown the type of power needed out of a 1st baseman. When you have a nickname like “the hitting machine” it is critical you live up to that name and Wallace just hasn’t been able to. Fans have complained that Brad Mills has catered to veteran slugger Carlos Lee way to much at the cost of Wallace and his development. While that maybe true, Lee’s best ball was played after seeing more time at 1st base and Wallace’s declining numbers just could not allow him to continue getting regular time. So ,right or wrong, Wallace is in a very difficult spot and with Jonathan Singleton and Kody Hinze quickly moving up within the Astros farm system, a decision about his future has to be made.
Question is what can the Astros get for Wallace? He no longer is a hot shot prospect so we can rule out any of the Indians’ top minor league players. It’s really hard to say what the Indians might be willing to part with on the major league or minor league rosters. Stay tuned because while this winter might not see a huge free agent signing, trade winds are begin to swirl around a club in flux.