Dexter Fowler has one year left on his current contract with the Astros, and the likelihood of them re-signing him, or needing him, next offseason is slim. Nick Cafardo said last week that Fowler could be on the trading block this winter. David wrote earlier this week saying why the Astros shouldn’t trade Fowler. Here is the argument for why a trade might not be so bad.
For starters, Fowler is projected to make $9M through arbitration. Moving that contract and gaining some help in an area of need would be a good play by Jeff Luhnow. All of a sudden, the team has more money to play around with this offseason.
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Then there’s Jake Marisnick. While he may not be the best option atop the Astros lineup, the young outfielder’s splits certainly showed that he prefers playing in center. In 64 at-bats, Marisnick hit .344 while playing in center last season, compared to identical .222 averages when patrolling left or right. He is also under club control through 2020, so who should the Astros favor?
By moving Marisnick to center, that would also allow other players to get a crack in left, and see who sticks. The top two candidates for filling this void would be Alex Presley and Robbie Grossman. By trading Fowler, the Astros could get a better idea of who will help them return to their winning ways. As a commenter said a few days ago, it’s hard to tell with some of these kids until they reach 1,000 at-bats under their belts. It’s going to be really hard to analyze some of this young talent that the Astros have if Fowler is taking at-bats away from players that will actually be here in the next few seasons.
The Astros aren’t in win-now mode just yet. By allowing some of their younger players to mature, and giving them a fair shake, it may just save them money, and time, next winter, when the Astros are really looking to make a splash.