Just a few minutes ago, the Oakland Athletics announced through their Twitter account that the Astros have acquired left-handed pitcher Scott Kazmir for right-handed pitcher Daniel Mengden and catcher Jacob Nottingham.
The Astros have been rumored to be interested in many other aces around the league, including Johnny Cueto, Cole Hamels, David Price, and Andrew Cashner. The price was probably much steeper in those deals and the Astros were able to hold onto their top prospects Mark Appel, Tony Kemp, and Brett Phillips in this deal.
Scott Kazmir, a Houston native, had a 5-5 record with a 2.38 ERA and 101 strikeouts for Oakland in 2015 along with a 3.0 WAR and a 1.09 WHIP. Most importantly, he has plenty of experience pitching in pennant races and playoff games. He’ll be a good addition to a young rotation that desperately needs the experience that he can provide.
Personally, I like this trade a lot. Any price of prospects that we would give up would hurt, but this one hurts a little bit less. I always contended that Jeff Luhnow shouldn’t trade for any starting pitching, but I’m not terribly displeased with this one. Our rotation now looks very deep, and I don’t believe that we’re done dealing before the deadline. Here’s some rapid reaction from the rest of the Climbing Tal’s Hill team:
Preston Rourk: Thumbs up in the trade, thumbs down for losing our best catching prospect.
Larry Manch: Sorry to see Nottingham go, he’s a good hitting catcher. It’s a good trade, though.
Brian Del Castillo: Thumbs up completely. We could have lost a lot more in prospects for other deals. Pitching rotation is very deep suddenly.
Thomas O’Banion: Thumbs up. Ditto to Brian.
Andy Brown: Thumbs up for everything. Yes losing Nottingham hurts, but part of having a deep system is being able to make moves like this.
Eric Huysman: That’s a price for sure. Nottingham could be one of those top hitting catchers in the game and would love to see the old style mustache sported by Mengden, but this is a good trade by the Astros.
Aric Cisneros: Thumbs up. This is a drop in the ocean of prospects the Astros have.
For Astros fans not familiar with Nottingham and Mengden, here are their minor league numbers. Mengden has a 6-2 record with a 3.46 ERA and 84 strikeouts while playing in Lancaster and Quad Cities. Nottingham has a .326 batting average with 14 home runs, 60 RBI, and 24 doubles while playing for Lancaster and Quad Cities. Here’s some instant reaction from MLB reporters around the league:
The Astros now have a starting rotation of Dallas Keuchel, Scott Kazmir, Lance McCullers, Collin McHugh, and Vincent Velasquez or Scott Feldman. That rotation is deep and playoff-ready. I’m excited for the move that are ahead, and can’t wait to watch Kazmir pitch in Kansas City this weekend for his hometown team. As always Astros fans, keep it right here with Climbing Tal’s Hill for all the updates. It’s a good day to be a Houston Astros fan.
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