It’s that time of year again. The interleague trade deadline is fast approaching and, for the fifth consecutive year, the Astros will be sellers.
It all started back in 2010 when the Astros traded away franchise icons Lance Berkman and Roy Oswalt. That marked the end of an era that saw the Astros routinely acting as buyers at the trade deadline, looking to add talent for the stretch run.
For the last four years the Astros have traded away any and all players of value, in an attempt to rebuild a minor league system that had been neglected for years. Even though the system is now well-stocked, the Astros are positioned to be sellers once again in 2014. The players most likely to be dealt? Chad Qualls and Tony Sipp.
John Heyman reports that the Detroit Tigers have inquired about Qualls and multiple teams have expressed interest in Sipp. But Jeff Luhnow would have us believe that neither of the relievers is going anywhere.
Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow said last week the Astros would “probably not” be able to afford to part with anybody in the bullpen, because “the guys that clubs would be interested in are guys that we feel are important to us to accomplish our objectives this year.” h/t Evan Drelich
Qualls went on to tell Drellich that he would prefer to stay with the Astros. I think most Astros fans feel the same way about Chad.
Qualls and Sipp have been two of the most effective late inning relievers in an Astros bullpen that has been decimated by injury. I shudder to think where the team would be without them. Hopefully we won’t have to find out.