The first major trade of the offseason has gone down between the Boston Red Sox and San Diego Padres with Craig Kimbrel going to Boston. The Red Sox paid a high price for Kimbrel but were able to acquire the second best closer on the trade market. How does this trade affect the Houston Astros? The Astros are in need of a setup guy/closer, with one of the top guys off the market, is there a sense of urgency in getting that big time arm.
While the big guy on the market is Aroldis Chapman, the 100 mph closer for the Cincinnati Reds, the Astros are more likely to go with a guy like Jake McGee or Brad Boxberger. Either way, Astros fans better not get too comfortable with the prospects, because the Astros will make one or two trades before the season starts. If the Astros were going to trade for Chapman, let’s use the Kimbrel trade as a comparison for what it would cost.
In the ESPN article title Red Sox surrender too much for Kimbrel by Keith Law, he stated, “Boy, did they ever pay a steep price for him: two prospects among the top 50 in the game and two other prospects of significant value.” Keep in mind as we go over the deal, that Kimbrel is under team control for 2016-17 with an option for 2018 with a one million dollar buyout. Chapman is a free agent following the 2016 season, so he is only a one-year rental, so possibly this could mean he should cost less than Kimbrel. All stats and prospect information come from MLB Pipeline.
Margot is a 22-year-old outfielder who was ranked as the #3 Red Sox prospect and #25 of the top 100-prospects according to MLB Pipeline. He reached Double-A and profiles as a limited homer but a speedy on-base guy, who could be a good fixture in the Padres lineup sometime soon.
Astros comparison, the #3 prospect is Daz Cameron, who is untradable until July. So the best comparison unless Cameron is a PTBNL is Derek Fisher, who is the best comparison. Fisher is having a great season in the Arizona Fall League.
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Guerra was the Red Sox #6 prospect and #76 overall, the 20-year-old shortstop is known mostly as a defensive shortstop, but hit 15 home runs in 2015. He is currently in Single-A and could be potentially a decent shortstop for the Padres.
Astros comparison: Tony Kemp is not close to the #6 ranking on the Astros, but could be the speed element that was lost with Fisher and Margot. Kemp is not a shortstop, but can make highlight plays at second base and the outfield. Kemp is the #11 top Astros prospect.
Asuaje is a 24-year-old infielder, ranked as the #23 Red Sox prospect, he profiles more as a Marwin Gonzalez type of utility player in the big leagues. In 2014, Asuaje hit 15 homers and drove in 101 runs between two Single-A teams. He could be major league ready in late 2016.
Astros comparison: Nolan Fontana may not offer the power potential, he is just as good at getting on-base. Fontana had a down season in 2015, but still walks almost as much as he strikes out. He reached Triple-A and could help the Astros in 2015 if needed.
Allen is a young 18-year-old left-handed pitcher. He pitched well in his first professional season. He had a 1.11 ERA while averaging more than a strikeout per inning. He was drafted in the eighth round of the 2015 draft by the Red Sox and was their #27 top prospect.
I know that the Reds are seeking pitching, so it will be hard to complete the deal without including a top pitching prospect. However, the proposed deal is based off the Kimbrel trade.
So, putting together an Astros trade for Chapman, would a good trade offer consist of Fisher, Kemp, Fontana, and Sandoval be too much or too little for Chapman? Take a player away and maybe, but Luhnow could find a way. Time will tell if the trade was worth it for the Red Sox, but hopefully the Astros would not get fleeced this holiday season for Chapman.