Where Are They Now? Houston Astros Trades Part 2; 2012

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Lance Berkman 9Andrew Richardson-USA TODAY Sports)

At the risk of heading to the Disabled List with some sort of elbow pain, soreness, inflammation, etc., I’m expeditioning on 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.

Two weeks ago I ventured into the deals from 2011 and highlighted the big names and just what exactly they’re up to now. That post featured the two biggest names to be shipped in the three years and counting rebuilding process by the Houston Astros under Jeff Luhnow’s reign. Here is part two!

With 2011 covered, today we look at 2012 and what became of some of the pieces the Astros sent away in the continuous effort to bring some stability and depth to the organization.

Lance Berkman – Lance Berkman was actually traded in 2010, but I saved him for this post because the Astros didn’t really get much for the 34-year old veteran… until Luhnow made it worth something fantastic in 2012.

Berkman’s trade value had gone way down over the first half of the 2010 campaign, and his $14.5 million dollar salary didn’t help. What did help was that it was essentially expiring after six years for $85 million. The Yankees would use their $2 million dollar buyout on Berkman the next off-season. Because he gave the Bronx Bombers absolutely nothing and was washed up…riiiiiiiiiiiight?!

The Astros also included cash considerations to the Yankees (who really needed it!) just so the ‘Stros could net a return for the switch-hitting role player who, as I said, was hardly worth much in the trade market. The team received AAA reliever Mark Melancon and Single-A infielder Jimmy Paredes. Both would join the big league club very soon.

Acquired on July 31, Melancon was up to Houston in no time. No time being just over a week — on August 10, 2010. Paredes was part of the “three-headed call-up” on July 19, 2011 when he accompanied J.D. Martinez and Jose Altuve.

As for Berkman, he struggled with a left knee injury and batted a career-worst .248 with 14 homers and 58 RBIs between Houston and NYY in 2010. In 2011 he found a new home and was rejuvenated and also won his first World Series title with the St. Louis Cardinals. He returned to St. Louis the next season, but after a magical year where he managed to play 126 games in the outfield, he was again plagued by the injury and getting old bugs in 2012.

In 2013 at 37 years old, the Texas Rangers sought out his bat and his wisdom, receiving neither for $10 million dollars. He retired after the season.

Lance Berkman—>Mark Melancon

After the 2011 season Mark Melancon had posted a 10-4 record with a 2.85 ERA with the Astros in a little over a season, also picking up 20 saves in a de facto closer’s role. Jimmy Paredes was decent…

The Boston Red Sox were in a relief pitcher mood, acquiring Andrew Bailey from the Oakland A’s for Josh Reddick and obtaining Melancon from Houston for shortstop Jed Lowrie and minor league pitcher Kyle Weiland.