Astros Rumors: Yankees Want Houston Astros Vincent Velasquez
So far in this year’s Winter Meetings, there have been many Houston Astros rumors floating around Nashville Tennessee with very little action. Luhnow knows the Astros may leave the meetings without having made a deal, but right now he is laying the groundwork on future deals. The Astros are reportedly looking to upgrade at first base, bullpen including a closer, the starting rotation, and maybe a backup catcher.
The New York Yankees have two closer candidates on their roster in Andrew Miller and Dellin Betances. While having a strong back-end of the bullpen could help, see the 2015 Kansas City Royals who were able to limit the game to seven innings with the lock-down relief work. The Astros tried to sign Miller last year, but Miller reportedly took less money to sign with the Yankees.
The Astros are still trying to upgrade the back of the bullpen, and Miller would do that. The only concern the Astros would have is how Miller would feel playing here after rejecting a contract with Houston last offseason.
Teams looking to trade for a closer must be okay giving up top prospects for a guy that will only pitch 60 innings each season. To justify this move, Luhnow will probably be reminded by someone on his staff that they were six outs from advancing to the Championship series if they could hold onto that lead in game four.
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Does the Astros have something the Yankees could desire? Yes, they do. His name is Vincent Velasquez, who is labeled a flame-thrower in an article by George King III with the New York Post. The Yankees are looking to add a starting pitcher who has three or fewer seasons of major league experience, but shows potential for greatness. This describes how the Astros feel about Velasquez as well, but Evan Drellich pointed out today that they would rather trade him versus Lance McCullers Jr.
Would the Yankees trade Miller straight up for Velasquez? No, he would be part of a prospect package that includes 3-4 other players. Miller converted 36 of his 38 saves in 2015, which would be a welcome relief on the Houston Astros team that struggled in Game 4 to save the lead in the ALDS. Velasquez worked out of the bullpen and the rotation in 2015 but showed flashes of dominance and inexperience at times.
While I personally would be upset if we traded Velasquez, the depth in the pitching rotation is pretty high led by Mark Appel and Joe Musgrove. However, some of those prospects could be included in a trade. It appears that no one is safe at the moment, with teams inquiring on trading for George Springer per Drellich.
It’s okay that teams ask as long as Luhnow politely refuses and hangs up the phone. Springer should be untouchable, but it does not seem that the Astros feel the same for Velasquez. Would you trade Velasquez plus prospects for Miller?
**Stats from Baseball Reference**