Before linking my dear reader to parts one and two, let us remember that this time of the year –the end of July– is always always always an exciting, festive and fun time for fans and not necessarily for half or more of the players, because July 31st is Major League Baseball’s trading deadline!
So at the risk of needing to fly to New York and get a second opinion from Dr. James Andrews, I’m concluding a three part series about players that (mostly) beloved Houston Astros General Manager Jeff Luhnow has traded since taking the position in the Astros front office in December of 2011.
2013 remains — at least for several more months– the final year to date in the massive overhaul of the Houston Astros organization from top to bottom, position to position and front office personnel to grounds crew members. The pieces to deal away are dwindling down as the club is starting to introduce their young talent to “The Show” and the minor leagues are filled with prospects at each level with high praise coming from external and internal outlets.
The first two years in the Luhnow administration were very different but accomplished the goals set forth given the assets within and also the expanding pieces coming from the outside via trading, draft picks, international signings, etc.
Even with the failed signing of 2014 first overall pick Brady Aiken, the draft was still very, very fruitful (Derek Fisher, A.J. Reed, J.D. Davis) and portions of the team are starting to shape up right before our eyes here in 2014.
George Springer came up in April, Jon Singleton arrived in June, Matt Dominguez and Chris Carter have combined for 34 home runs, Carter has 21 of his own after hitting another one last night off of Oakland’s Jesse Chavez (Super-Rookie Springer has 20 of his own #SpringerDingers ), Jose Altuve leads all of baseball in hits (149) and batting average (.343), Dallas Keuchel was on the final vote ballot for the All-Star Game and the bullpen has only blown a handful of games so far. Chad Qualls has eight saves, the teams saves leader in 2013 was Jose Veras with 19. Veras only stuck around for 42 games but Qualls is on pace to surpass that total by the time he hits the “Jackie R” mark of ballgames.
With that said, this summer’s trade deadline and the weeks before and after won’t hold much in the name of a trade to or from Minute Maid Park. However, there could could could be a blockbuster (Netflix?) deal that shocks us all…but for the sake of the rebuild process that is not over despite many new young talented faces and a lot of traded faces, there might be one or two veterans sent away to continue the overall Astros retooling operation in 2014. Or like I said, we could could could be surprised (Dexter Fowler, Scott Feldman, Chris Carter :(, Jason Castro???)
2011 was all about quality in bigger –but fewer– names, 2012 was about quantity in quite a few names. Like half the team pretty much. 2013 dealt with (ha, pun) a situation similar in quantity to 2011 but far from the quality of Hunter Pence/Michael Bourn.