Houston Astros: Let’s Make a Trade with the Cincinnati Reds

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The Houston Astros find themselves in first place in the AL West, with the expectations of winning for the first time in a while. With these expectations of winning, comes with Jeff Luhnow feeling the pressure to make a move to better the team for the stretch drive. Part of the Astros process has been to accumulate talent to improve the major league roster when needed.

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While

Roberto Hernandez

is a decent pitcher, I wouldn’t want to go into a must-win playoff game with him on the mound.

Scott Feldman

has pitched great sometimes while getting knocked around a little other times.

Dallas Keuchel

looks like a budding ace, with his 6-1 record would pitch game one of a hypothetical playoff series.

Collin McHugh

still has the strikeout upside but needs to limit the damage in games he pitches.

Lance McCullers

looks to be the pitcher that he is supposed to be, but might face an innings limit this year.

Dan Straily

or

Brett Oberholtzer

could be used later in the year as part of a six-man rotation to help limit the toll on Astros starter’s arms for the postseason.

Now, let’s discuss a need the Astros have, which could be depth in the rotation. The Astros don’t need an ace, but they could use a major league arm and proven middle of the rotation guy. Times have changed as the Astros have a 30-17 record six games up in their division, the Reds have a 19-26 record ten games back in their division. If the Reds continue to fall further out of the playoff picture, they could have two impact pitchers available for trades. This post will focus on the less sought after pitcher.

Feb 26, 2015; Goodyear, AZ, USA; Cincinnati Reds starting pitcher Mike Leake (44) poses for a picture during photo day at the Reds Player Development Complex. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Who is Mike Leake?

When you think of Mike Leake, you don’t think of an ace pitcher. However, that is a good thing that he is not an ace because you can get him cheaper than a Johnny Cueto or Cole Hamels. Leake is a 27-year-old pitcher with five years of MLB experience in six seasons, all with the Cincinnati Reds. Mike Leake was drafted in the first round of the 2009 draft and made his debut in 2010 without pitching in the minor leagues. Except for pitching in the Arizona Fall League in 2009, and two games in the minors in 2010, he has rarely pitched professionally in the minors.

Let’s look at Mike Leake stats according to Baseball-Reference.

My Trade Idea

Leake is in his last season of his current contract, where he is currently making $9.775 million in 2015. Which means he could be a rental player, I don’t see the Astros giving up the loot that they would give for Cole Hamels with three years of control left. He is also not seen to be an ace type pitcher, but a good addition to the Astros rotation. He has a career ERA under four and has ten more wins than losses.

The Houston Astros trade (RHP) Michael Feliz and (Of) Teoscar Hernandez to the Cincinnati Reds for (RHP) Mike Leake.

Why Would This Work for the Astros?

According to ESPN’s article by Jim Bowden The 20 players most likely to be dealt before the trade deadline, he gives the Astros a possible chance of landing Mike Leake. The following is a quote from the article on Leake;

"“Leake is one of the most underrated middle-of-the-rotation pitchers in baseball. He’s durable, affordable and would be a perfect fit in the Astros rotation afterDallas Keuchel and Collin McHugh.”-Bowden."

Leake is not a front of the rotation guy, but he will be great on the suddenly winning 2015 season. With the Astros defense, and Leake’s ability to go deep into games, he could be a cheap boost to the Houston rotation. The Astros would be giving up some talent, but not the quantity and quality needed for some of the other pitchers available.

Michael Feliz is a great prospect, but the Astros have three rotation slots filled up with Keuchel, McHugh, and McCullers for at least the next three years. Mark Appel eventually will be part of the rotation, as well as Josh Hader, Vincent Velasquez, and Daniel Mengden, who I think, will be a sleeper. If the Astros don’t trade for an ace, they are expected to overpay to get one here.

Teoscar Hernandez is a top prospect, has 4-5 tool potential. The Astros seem to be loaded with quality outfielders as is and Brett Phillips appears ready to make the leap into five-tool player status.

Why Would This Work for the Reds?

More from Astros Rumors

The Reds currently have

Marlon Byrd

as their left fielder, so adding a future outfielder will help down the road. Michael Feliz is a potentially dominating closer, or a high upside starting pitcher. The Reds could use either with the possibility of losing both Cueto and Leake this season. With the Astros’ depth, Feliz is at Double-A. With the Reds’ depth, he could be at Triple-A or big leagues at the end of this season.

Could this trade happen? I see the Reds asking for Domingo Santana or Brett Phillips instead. The Astros need to decide if there is a chance to re-sign Leake this offseason if he does well. Jeff Luhnow could easily work a trade for Leake around this package, but will he go after the bigger name instead?

Part 1: Let’s Trade with the Oakland Athletics

Part 2: Let’s Trade with the Phillies

Part 3: Let’s Trade with the Reds

Part 4: Let’s Trade with the Reds Part 2

Part 5: Let’s Trade with the White Sox

Part 6: Let’s Trade with the Yankees

Part 7: Let’s Trade with the Reds Part 3

Part 8: Let’s Make no Trades

Let us know what you think of this trade offer below.

Next: So You Want Singleton and Correa with the Astros?

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