We are a few days into July, and we can now cue inevitable trade speculation involving the Astros.
Trade rumors surround every team, especially during the month of July. The Astros are no different. And yes, there will be some head-scratching rumors. That is just the nature of the beast known as the baseball trade deadline.
One recent rumor involved the Astros and Los Angeles Angels starting pitcher Hector Santiago.
You can file this rumor as a “Maybe, but definitely doubtful.” Don’t forget that teams scout other teams major and minor league teams to find any possible fits for their club so there may not be much there.
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This rumor though sort of reminds Astros nation of the Scott Kazmir acquisition from the Oakland Athletics last summer. Both are left-handers who show flashes of being solid major league starters.
However, there is doubt of how effective Santiago would be over the course of a full season, much like Kazmir when the Astros traded for the Houston native. And what makes the Santiago rumor interesting is the struggles (4.93 ERA/5.35 FIP) that the 28-year old has gone through this season despite having one more year left on his current contract. That one year may very well determine what kind of package that the Angels would receive if, or when, they trade Santiago.
Another rumor making the rounds lately is the Toronto Blue Jays interest in the Astros third-ranked overall prospect, Francis Martes.
This isn’t exactly surprising as I am sure that many teams are interested in acquiring the talented right-hander’s services. But for the Astros to part ways with one of their top prospects then there has to be a “big” name or an intriguing starting pitcher coming back to Houston in return. Even then, there is little chance that the Astros would trade Martes. But never say never at the trade deadline. Brett Phillips last year was an example of a popular prospect being shipped unexpectedly.
Needless to say, the Astros will be involved in various rumors until August 1st officially comes. Some will be reasonable while other will be just plain ludicrous. Just remember to take all rumors with a grain of salt until they actually happen.
**Statistics provided by Fangraphs**