Well, the wait is over for fans of the Houston Astros, Luhnow and company have finally made a big deal as buyers.
The Astros announced via Twitter the trade on Thursday that sent outfielders Brett Phillips, Domingo Santana, left-handed pitcher Josh Hader, and right-handed pitcher Adrian Houser to the Milwaukee Brewers in exchange for outfielder Carlos Gomez and right-handed pitcher Mike Fiers and the #76 slot in the international bonus pool.
The four prospects the Astros sent over in this deal were ranked No. 2, 7, 14, and 21 – which on paper seems like a high price to pay for a 29-year-old outfielder with a hip problem and a number four-or-five starter. However taking an unbiased look at the trade, it does put us into a good spot to compete for not only the AL West title but also the AL pennant as well.
Taking a deeper look at what we are receiving in this deal in Gomez is a high quality starting outfielder who has proven himself a valuable major leaguer.
With a career slash line of .260/.315/.420 with 99 career home runs, Gomez seems to fit into the Astros’ plans as a much-needed relief from the normal feast or famine offense that Houston has been employing this year.
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Gomez will immediately step in for the injured George Springer, although the Astros are loaded with outfield depth at the major league level, and create a potent top of the order with Jose Altuve and Carlos Correa.
The other piece coming to Houston is Mike Fiers, a young controllable RHP that will more than likely slot into the fifth starter role in Houston. Fiers is not the elite pitcher like other names on the market, but still with four and a half years left of team control, the Astros have their controllable pitcher they were looking for.
A different mindset to take is that the Astros are not expecting Fiers to come in and anchor our rotation just hold down that five-spot which he would seem more than qualified for.
A career 21-28 record with a 3.89 ERA would stand as a much-needed upgrade over most of the guys the Astros have given a chance to lock down that position.
What makes this deal hard to swallow for some Astros fans, especially Eric Huysman some of the writers here at CTH, is the fact that the Astros included Phillips in the deal.
But looking at this trade from an outside perspective and analyzing shows that fans should not lose sleep over losing Phillips.
And by no means am I down-playing his ability or ceiling but just because a prospect is putting up gaudy number in the lower minors does not guarantee success in the major leagues (see Domingo Santana).
Just a few years ago, almost to the day, the Phillies traded for Hunter Pence eventually netting us Santana who was, in most ways, the Phillips of the Phillies. And fast forward four years and now most Astros fans viewed Santana as nothing more than a trade piece for us.
Of course. Phillips was not the only high-end prospect going to Milwaukee, but that speaks volumes to the depth of the Astors farm system. The trio of Santana, Hader, and Houser are all easily replaceable with in-house prospects.
While any prospect does come with uncertainty and none come with the promise of being a productive major leaguer I’m almost positive the recent June draft haul with the additions of Daz Cameron and Kyle Tucker played a role in the Astros’ willingness to include Phillips in the deal. All in all this trade would seem to be a win for Houston so long as Gomez does not have problems with his hip.