Before I talk about the trade, I am very happy with Jake Marisnick in left, Dexter Fowler in center, and George Springer in right. I believe this combination of players will be above average defensively, and when healthy, a great combination of power and speed. However, I know that Yoenis Cespedes is probably overrated, but he would add some credibility to the Astros lineup.
There are rumors of Cespedes being traded for Mat Latos, Mike Leake, Ian Kennedy, or Jeff Samardzija. While those pitchers are good, are they really better than Dallas Keuchel? Keuchel has a WAR of 5.1, compared to Latos (o.9 WAR), Leake (WAR 1.4), Kennedy (1.4 WAR) and Samardzija (1.7). While Keuchel had his coming out party in 2014, the other pitchers have more of a track record.
Red Sox Side
Would the Red Sox see Keuchel as an upgrade over one of their young studs? That is to be seen. One thing is for sure, they have 6 outfielders for only 3 positions, and with Big Papi at the DH spot, something needs to be done to shore up Boston’s rotation. The other rumored pitchers have more of a track record, but you can’t argue Keuchel’s worth in 2014.
Why would the Astros want Cespedes? He had a down year in 2014, was traded to the Red Sox for Jon Lester in a rare star for star trade. While Mike Petriello says that Cespedes is better as a name value than an actual player, he would give the Astros a second solid star player next to Jose Altuve.
Cespedes broke onto the scene Puig style in 2012, recieving MVP and ROY votes after hitting .290, 23 HRs, 82 RBIs, with 17 stolen bases. The next two years, his HR and RBI numbers increased a little. However so did his strikeout total and this led to a plummeting batting average. While some of his stats have decreased, he did drive in 100 runs last year. Chris Carter lead the Astros with 88 RBIs in 2014.
Not sure what A.J. Hinch’s lineup will look like, but this could be it.
Appel (with Peacock on DL to start year)
Another benefit of this is that it keeps Cespedes out of the Oakland lineup, if there is any truth to the Samardzija for Cespedes trade rumors.
Now, if your the Astros, do you trade your best pitcher? Does it set back the “process” any? It’s a risky play for the Astros, but it’s not like they would be giving away Keuchel, they are getting someone who could have the Carlos Beltran effect on the Astros. Plus, would the Astros trade for him if they can’t extend him.
I am a big fan of Keuchel, but the Astros system is flush with pitching prospects. The only way my plan works though is if the Astros give Appel the chance to start the season, lets hope he has a good spring training. And as I wrote earlier, sign David Robertson to be the closer.
The Astros have been to quiet thus far this off-season, I think it’s time to start spending that 20 million. Lets make a splash somehow Jeff. This trade is a long-shot, but could help the Astros compete again.
What do you think other teams value Keuchel as? What player could Luhnow get in return for Keuchel?