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Are the Houston Astros going after Ross and Kimbrel?

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Yesterday the Houston Astros and San Diego Padres were gaining steam towards a deal. Now today, it seems that while the Detroit Tigers and Toronto Blue Jays have a framework of a deal, the Tigers are waiting for the Astros proposal. The Tigers appear to be seeking a top of the line starting pitching prospect in any trade for David, so the question is which Astros prospect are they waiting for? Let’s take a look at the framework of a Blue Jays deal.

That trade package listed by Morosi above represents the #1, #4, and #11 Blue Jays top prospects according to MLB Pipeline. What would that trade package look like concerning the Astros top prospects? My best guess would be Mark Appel, Domingo Santana, and Frances Martes. There are a core three of non-2015 draft pick prospects which I don’t see the Astros trading, they are Brett Phillips, A.J. Reed, and Vincent Velasquez. I don’t consider Lance McCullers a prospect anymore.

But at the time of writing this post, the Blue Jays have indeed traded for Price. Which leads me to think that the Astros were not willing to trade Velasquez and McCullers to land Price. So great decision by Luhnow not to trade those two. Time to go back to the Padres.

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Issa wrote about four trade ideas with Padres here: Four Possible Trades Between Astros and Padres. While I think he low-balled the Tyson Ross trade, much of our feelings about the possibility of the Astros and Padres being able to reach a deal. The Astros have some holes that the Astros can fill with a blockbuster trade.

So let me play GM and work on the deal that I think might happen.

The Padres trade RHP Ross and RHP Craig Kimbrel to the Houston Astros for Mark Appel, Tony Kemp, Michael Feliz, and Domingo Santana.

At first glance, it might seem like a lot to give, but both pitchers going to the Astros are signed through the 2017 season. This trade would provide us with an above average starter and full-time closer for the rest of 2015, as well as 2016 and 2017. Ross has a high groundball rate that will play well with the Astros defense and ballpark. Plus, he is already a great pitcher, imagine what could happen if he works with Brett Strom.

Jul 26, 2015; San Diego, CA, USA; San Diego Padres relief pitcher C Kimbrel (46) celebrates after the Padres beat the Miami Marlins 3-2 at Petco Park. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

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The Astros strength is their bullpen, but why sure up the bullpen if it’s a strength? An addition of Kimbrel will bring the experience of closing games and would push everyone’s duties back a little. The starters could pitch five innings technically and turn the game over to the bullpen. He would bring the flame thrower mentality in the back of the bullpen that Luhnow has been looking for.

The Padres would do this trade because it replaces the prospects that they traded away in the offseason, the Padres could add Appel and Santana right away to the 25-man roster while the others would follow shortly. The Astros could also ask for Justin Upton and add another prospect, but I see the focus being on pitching right now. This is just an idea I have, I’m sure if a trade is made, it will be close to what I have suggested.

Next: Jed Lowrie, the Astros Infield Rotation, and the Trade Market

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