It is July, the season of trade rumors.
Jose Altuve (Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports)
An interesting thought as of late has been relating to Jose Altuve and whether or not the Astros should trade the second baseman.
Yes, I know he was an All-Star last year and he did have a very good season, but that was almost by default that he made the All-Star team. There has been some regression from the second baseman this year, but it is important to remember that he is still only 23 years old.
Last season Altuve batted .290 while scoring 80 runs and stealing 33 bases. There is not much power to speak of here, and he does not walk, but he is still a useful piece to a winning team. So far this season Altuve is running more as he already has 21 stolen bases but his average is sitting at .282. The one problem here is that he just does not get on base as much as you would like a top of the order player to.
When Houston called him up towards the end of 2011, he was not a top prospect, but instead he was just filling a need at the major league level. As much as I think Altuve could be a very useful player when the Astros contend in another few years, he is also expendable.
Delino Deshields Jr. with all of his speed and talent is lurking in the minor leagues, so a successor is there. Plus the Astros recently picked up Ronald Torreyes from the Cubs. The 20-year old second baseman is a similar player to Altuve and has been a professional since 2010. So in the event that the Astros decide to trade Altuve, they do have some organizational depth. And in the near term, Jake Elmore could slide over to second base while Jonathan Villar could be promoted to play shortstop.
So, with that being said, let’s take a look at trade proposal that Jim Bowden of ESPN floated out there today.
Altuve, Bud Norris, and Chris Carter to the Royals for a package centered around outfield prospect Bubba Starling, and also including second baseman Johnny Giavotella along with a few other prospects.
Off the bat, this is a trade I would be happy with. We have already discussed the players on the Astros end of it, so that is not the issue. This is a trade that is right in line with Jeff Luhnow’s mission since he took over.
The Astros would be adding a few mid-level prospects that have a chance to develop into legitimate major leaguers in a few years. Giavotella would be a stop-gap player as his ceiling seems to be that of a utility man. But Starling would be the real prize here.
He was the fifth pick overall in 2011 and although he currently resides in A-ball and has had moderate success in the minor leagues so far, he is a real talent. Starling and George Springer would be a nice combination to have in the outfield.
I know this is just a rumor, but what does everyone think about it?