On July 20, Jeff Luhnow struck a deal with the Toronto Blue Jays in a huge ten player trade. The Astros agreed to trade RHP Brandon Lyon, LHP J.A. Happ and RHP David Carpenter to Toronto in exchange for RHP Francisco Cordero, OF Ben Francisco, RHP Joe Musgrove, RHP Asher Wojciechowski, LHP David Rollins, C Carlos Perez and a player to be named later, which ended up being RHP Kevin Comer. Cordero was later released and Francisco was traded to the Rays for a player to be named later, which ended up being Theron Geith. Let’s take a look at how everyone involved in the deal did during the stretch after the jump.
J.A. Happ and Brandon Lyon immediately joined the Blue Jays while David Carpenter was optioned to AAA Las Vegas. Carpenter pitched to the tune of a 3.57 ERA over in 16 appearances for AAA. Lyon had a 3.00 ERA stretched across 29 appearances with the Jays giving him a season ERA of 3.1 with both the Astros and Jays. Happ struggled, pitching as both a starter and reliver and ended up injuring his foot and being placed on IR in September. He had a 4.69 ERA in 10 games, 6 of those starts giving him a season total of a 4.79 ERA stretched across both Houston and Toronto for the 2012 season.
As mentioned earlier, Francisco Cordero was eventually released and Ben Francisco was flipped a month later to the Tampa Bay Rays for LHP Theron Geith. Those two were never going to stay here past the season anyway. This trade was clearly about getting young prospects into our system to help with the rebuilding process.
The prospect received by Houston that is closest to the majors is Asher Wojciechowski. Wojciechowski was a supplemental first round pick in 2010 by the Blue Jays and upon being traded to Houston was immediately promoted to AA Corpus Christi. In eight starts with the Hooks, Wojo pitched to the tune of a 2-2 record with a 2.07 ERA. He finished the season with combined stats of 9-5 with a 3.09 ERA between Houston and Toronto. He could start next season back in Corpus but something tells me he will be fast tracked to AAA Oklahoma City.
Joseph Musgrove and Kevin Comer (the player to be named later in the deal) were both supplemental first round picks in 2011 and both were assigned to Greeneville upon being traded. Neither pitched very much, which is understandable since both were drafted straight out of high school last year and are still very young, so we wont dissect the numbers since its such a small sample size. Its important to not overuse their arms at such a young age. I expect both to begin the 2013 season pitching for the Astros new Low A affiliate, the Quad City River Bandits.
Next is Texas native David Rollins. Rollins, a lefty, was drafted in the 24th round of the 2011 draft by the Blue Jays. After the trade, he was assigned to Class Low A Lexington and pitched pretty well. Over six starts, he finished with a 1-3 record and a 3.48 ERA. He finished the season with combined stats of 7-4 with a 2.98 ERA between Houston and Toronto. He will likely begin the 2013 season at High A Lancaster with a chance at being promoted to AA Corpus Christi at some point during the season.
Finally, we have the only non pitcher received in the deal (as far as prospects go) with Carlos Perez. His situation was unique because was the low man on the catcher totem poll in the organization (Toronto) with the best catching depth in the minors. He’s solid with the bat and his defense is above average as well. Upon being traded, he was assigned to High A Lancaster and finished with a .318 BA and 10 RBI. He finished the season with 5 HR’s, 40 RBI and a .278 BA between Houston and Toronto. He will likely serve as the everyday catcher at AA Corpus Christi to begin the 2013 season.
Its clear that the Astros did very well here. Happ was a non tender candidate in the offseason, Lyon was due to become a free agent (which we would not have re-signed) and Carpenter was pitching poorly. For those three, the Astros received prospects to strengthen their system, three of which were former first rounders. I still have no idea why Toronto did this deal and from what I’ve read, neither do their fans or beat writers. They had their eye on J.A. Happ for quite a while as they originally wanted him included in the deal that sent Roy Halladay to Philadelphia. My guess is that they think they can turn around Happ’s career. Even if that’s the case, I don’t see that as a reason to trade all the guys they did. This one is a win for the Astros.