Houston Astros: Let’s Trade for Starter Recap

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Let’s Make a Trade with the Phillies

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Cole Hamels

Brandon wrote about trading for Cole Hamels, as I have done already several times already. I wanted to give the readers another person’s perspective. Brandon was a little too generous with his prospects included in the trade, but he realizes that is what the Phillies are looking for. Let’s take a look at his trade idea through the following excerpts, with the full article can be found here.

“In February, I wrote an article for Climbing Tal’s Hill stating why Cole Hamels would be the perfect fit for the Houston Astros. My reasoning then was that with the off-season additions of Luke Gregerson and Pat Neshek, the Astros had significantly upgraded their bullpen.  The Astros also extended their lineup with the additions of major-league talent like Evan Gattis, Luis Valbuena, Colby Rasmus and Jed Lowrie.  I argued then that the Astros had taken steps to make themselves relevant again in Houston and around baseball.  But that they needed a starting pitcher and not just any starting pitcher. They need an ace to put at the top of the rotation that had the experience and the pedigree to go toe to toe with Felix Hernandez, Sonny GrayYu Darvish and Garrett Richards.”-Brandon Del Castillo.

Brandon went on to discuss the reasoning of the trade below.

“However, the starting pitching needs an upgrade for the Astros to be considered a serious World Series contender. Dallas Keuchel and Collin McHugh have outstood and to be fair, Roberto Hernandez, Scott Feldman and now Lance McCullers have all faired well and kept the Astros in most games. But the Astros still need that commanding presence at the top of their rotation, and who better than a former World Series MVP that is signed through 2018?” – Brandon Del Castillo.

“The best move for the Astros is to trade for Cole Hamels. He gives immediate legitimacy to the rotation and allows Keuchel and McHugh to face the opponents 2nd and 3rd best pitchers.  It would also allow the Astros to either trade Roberto Hernandez or Scott Feldman and move McCullers into the bullpen to be a lockdown power arm like the Cardinals did with Adam Wainwright. ” – Brandon Del Castillo.

The Trade Idea

The Philadelphia Phillies announce they have traded Cole Hamels to the Houston Astros in exchange for Mark Appel, Domingo Santana, Vincent Velasquez, Michael Feliz, and Teoscar Hernandez.”

What did the Readers Think of the Trade Idea?

Yes, I think it could work – 40%

No, giving up too much – 50%

Other – 10%

Reader Comments

  • Appel, Phillips, Feliz, and the PTBNL (possibly Dansby Swanson or whoever we get at 1.2 or 1.5)
  • I am not qualified to make a decision like this without having inside information on the Astros plans for the future. Let’s leave it up to the GM.
  • We need to keep the prospect supply line intact.
  • I have no prob giving up Appel, but Santana, Velasquez, and Feliz is too much. Maybe Appel, Velasquez, and something else. We can’t sacrifice our future for a player who could be on IR tomorrow. I’d look for a potential Rule 5 prospect and add him in the trade.
  • I am not opposed to giving up a star pitching prospect (although he isn’t playing like one) in Appel and throwing in Feliz. As well as some high strikeout big time power bats (we have enough of them) to get Hamels. Our outfield looks solid at the big league level already, and we’ve got Phillips coming eventually. But Velasquez, to me, is a deal-breaker. Do we really need him in the deal? We are already giving up our 2, 3, 5 and nine prospects. His ETA is next season, and I think he could have a big impact. We have other pitching prospects that have the stuff and stats comparable to Velasquez like Musgrove and Mengden, but they won’t be ready next year like Velasquez will when we need him. These are just some thoughts. I’m happy that the team is doing well, and I do want to win now. But at the same time, I don’t want to overpay and then be disappointed when the moves don’t end up making us win (i.e. the A’s last year)
  • Brett Phillips, Derek Fisher, AJ Reed, Tony Kemp, Lance McCullers, Jacob Nottingham, Domingo Santana for Cole Hamels and Cody Asche. Maikel Franco‘s hot start has Asche back in AAA learning to play LF, but the ‘Stros could use him at 3rd. Even if they’re lower ranked than those in your five player proposal, seven players looks excessive, and Asche’s inclusion adds balance on paper. That’s not to say Asche lacks value; he’s worth as much as the lesser prospects in the package. One might complain about trading away seven prospects playing well this season, but such a deal would be inconceivable without those strong numbers. Aside from Velasquez and Santana, the other 3 in your proposal are not helping their value with their play this season. Putting less weight on 2015 production makes your five player proposal much more valuable than my seven player offer, even if Asche is not involved. Based on MLB.com you’re giving up 4 top 100 prospects and 5 or the system’s top 8. The Phillies newfound minor league pitching depth and lack if position prospects are why they might prefer my deal. Full disclosure – I am a Phillies fan, but this deal should be preferable for your guys as well. The Astros keep the pitching prospects they need and give up players at positions they have filled long-term. I might be dumb for not taking your deal, but some compromise that keeps Feliz or Velasquez in the deal could make the most sense. Ruben Amaro‘s ego would certainly prefer your deal for its top 100 prospects, but my proposal works better for both teams.

Next: Let's Trade with the Phillies Part 2