The Houston Astros Trade Nottingham, the Future Catcher

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The Astros acquired left-handed pitcher Scott Kazmir Thursday in what can only be seen as a great deal for Houston.  They got their frontline starter needed for a stretch run and also gave up nothing that would hurt their 2015 or 2016 efforts.  However, it still bears noting that the Astros traded Jacob Nottingham away in the deal.

Nottingham, a 6’3″ 227-pound catching prospect has been a very impressive member of the vaunted Astros farm system.  Although he is not projected to remain behind the dish as he matures, the bat will play very well at first base and designated hitter.  Pundits have stated that he is the perfect type of Billy Beane player.  A guy who is a big, power-hitting, on-base machine.

Nottingham getting his hacks in – photo credit to Rich Guill

Thru 77 games thus far in 2015, the 20-year-old rising star is sporting an impressive slash line of .325/14/60 with a .381 OBP.  He was certainly gaining the Astros brass’ attention quickly and apparently; the A’s were paying attention too as they made him the centerpiece of their deal.  Oakland also acquired right-handed pitcher Daniel Mengden, who is no slouch himself, but far from the top rated stratosphere so many other Astros prospects are held in.

The deal allowed Houston to bolster their rotation in a big way without having to use their great wealth of minor league talent to do so. Getting Cole Hamels could cost the Astros several big names like Brett Phillips, A.J. Reed, or Josh Hader.  Any combination including some of those names might be too steep of a price for Astros GM Jeff Luhnow to swallow.

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While Houston may not be done dealing yet, they were able to minimize the pain of trading for a starter by only sacrificing a couple of A-ball prospects. The Tweet above shows that the Astros still have their hands in the Hamels cookie jar, are there any more future Astros studs on the move?

Had Nottingham remained with the Astros, many dubbed him the catcher of the future and has drawn comparisons to Mike Napoli as a catcher. While it may seem like a pair of Low-A players is a low cost for Kazmir, time will tell what Nottingham’s potential is. This may be one of those trades that you can’t grade right away but reflect upon them later. Check back to CTH for Astros trade rumors.

Next: Houston Astros News: L.J. Hoes Optioned to get Kazmir on Roster

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