Four Possible Trades Between Astros and Padres

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Trade for Ross and Craig Kimbrel

Jul 2, 2015; St. Louis, MO, USA; San Diego Padres relief pitcher Craig Kimbrel (46) celebrates after closing out the eleventh inning against the St. Louis Cardinals at Busch Stadium. The Padres defeated the Cardinals 5-3 in eleven innings Mandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

Ok, now we’re getting somewhere with these negotiations. We’ve already discussed why the Astros could use a pitcher like Ross, so I’m going to spend this slide discussing Kimbrel.

San Diego is a losing team. Losing teams have no need for dominant closers because they lose more than they win. The Padres have won 48 games this season, and Kimbrel has saved 29 of those victories. The Astros are 57-45 and have an average closer in Luke Gregerson. I don’t consider closer a “need” for the Astros, but adding Kimbrel is always welcomed when you can upgrade from mediocrity to dominance.

The Astros bullpen has been one of the best in the league so far from a statistical standpoint, but for some reason I still think it could use a lot of work. Last night, Astros fans watched a 6-1 game in the 9th inning become 6-3 with runners threatening very fast after Gregerson was roughed up a bit. During that whole inning, I couldn’t help but think about how awesome it would be to have a shutdown closer.

I think the Astros could benefit from Gregerson moving to a setup role along with Neshek. Imagine this late-inning lineup:

Neshek in the 7th, Gregerson in the 8th, Kimbrel in the 9th = Wins

Now I need to back up my talk. With that in mind, here’s an offer that the Padres wouldn’t be able to refuse:

Astros receive: Tyson Ross and Craig Kimbrel

Padres receive: Michael Feliz, Will Harris, Domingo Santana, and Josh Hader

This is definitely a blockbuster trade. For Kimbrel, the Astros will probably have to give up one of their bullpen pieces. As great as Harris has been this season, I think he’s worth sacrificing in this deal and can be replaced by Neshek/Gregerson in the seventh. I would love to be able to trade Chad Qualls, but no one wants his old self.

As far as prospects go, the Astros give up #s 7,9, and 14 in this deal along with one of the top relievers in the MLB this season. It will definitely be hard for the Astros to give up Feliz and Harris, but I think Kimbrel could do great things for this team down the stretch. The bullpen has proved to be  crucial in previous Astros postseason runs, and the 2015 team needs to be able to handle those late-game situations.

Next: Trade for Tyson Ross, Craig Kimbrel, and Justin Upton