Will the Astros make a trade or build from within?
With the trade deadline approaching, clubs are evaluating where they are, and people will speculate whether they are buyers or sellers. The cell phones of GM’s are ringing and dinging as they test the waters and see if there is a “fit” for a trade.
So the question is, will the Astros be buyers or sellers between now and the trade deadline? The recent surge in the standings all but assures that they will not be sellers. The remaining question then is, “Add or stand pat”. The idea of standing pat really is a misnomer, because the Astros have parts to add from within their system that will not require large chunks of money or losing players and/or prospects.
With each trade, everyone has their opinions. Going back to last year, the early results of the Scott Kazmir trade probably points more toward that being a good risk to take. The Carlos Gomez trade probably points to one that seemed to mortgage part of the good future for something that hasn’t proven superb dividends yet.
More from Climbing Tal's Hill
- Just how much better is the Houston Astros playoff rotation than the rest?
- Houston Astros: A Lineup Change to Spark Offense
- Astros prospect Hunter Brown throws 6 shutout innings in debut
- Always faithful Astros World Series champion Josh Reddick defends the title
- Michael Conforto declines Astros’ 2-year, $30 million offer
With that in mind, let’s look at the in-house options:
Brady Rodgers – could the rotation use an ERA of less than 2.85 and a WHIP of less than 1.25? Sure they could. At this point, Rodgers is probably more ready than Joseph Musgrove, though Musgrove could change that in a month. Who would Rodgers replace? Fiers?
James Hoyt – The bullpen could always use a significant late-inning arm. What about someone with 19 saves and a WHIP less than 1? Oh yeah. Who would Hoyt replace? Neshek?
Scott Feldman – While Feldman is already on the big-league club, it’s no secret he prefers to start. He’s been outstanding in the bullpen role but also had a good start as a fill-in for McCullers, so you have to consider him as an option going forward. This would create space in the bullpen for Hoyt but also cause you to have to make a move with a starter.
Jon Singleton – The arrival of A.J. Reed has probably shut down any possibility of Singleton joining the big-league club, probably ever. Though his power numbers are good, his average is low, and his strikeouts are high.
Colin Moran – He had a brief taste of big-league action earlier this season and did nothing to distinguish himself. He’s been solid but nothing spectacular at Fresno. His arrival could have inspired one thing, however. Luis Valbuena has been much better since Moran’s arrival. Perhaps that threat to his job gave him the spark he needed.
Preston Tucker – Tucker seems to have lost some ground in the pecking order. At this point, he seems more likely to be on someone else’s roster than in the big leagues at season’s end, but there still is that sweet stroke. He’s been solid but nothing flashy at Fresno, though he has big league experience and doesn’t seem to get lost in the lights.
Alex Bregman – The next “second coming” though he has just now been moved to AAA, Bregman is still more likely than most of the position players to get a big league promotion in a month or so. He could be viewed as a potential spark later in the season to get over the hump, playing a utility role like Danny Worth is now.
What is more likely to happen? It is this writer’s opinion that, while a trade is possible, it’s more likely that one or two of these players will be asked to provide something for the big league club in the chase for the pennant or Wild Card. My money would be on, in this order, 1) Hoyt, 2) Bregman, and 3) Rodgers, with Moran, Tony Kemp, Fields and Tucker getting September call-ups. What think you?
***Stats from Baseball-Reference***