Astros Trade Rumors: Is Luhnow Looking at Rays Trio of SP

Jul 22, 2016; Oakland, CA, USA; Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Jake Odorizzi (23) pitches against the Oakland Athletics in the second inning at Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: John Hefti-USA TODAY Sports
Jul 22, 2016; Oakland, CA, USA; Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Jake Odorizzi (23) pitches against the Oakland Athletics in the second inning at Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: John Hefti-USA TODAY Sports /

Is a quiet Astros deadline about to get a bit of Florida sunshine?

Welcome to the time where Astros trade rumors are usually running wild like the 2015 season. It has been rather quiet thus far this offseason, but that does not mean that Jeff Luhnow has been sitting around making paper airplanes. Luhnow has set a goal that he will not make a trade unless it is considered an upgrade over what the Astros already have on the roster. One team that has been linked to the Astros for a while are the Tampa Bay Rays.

Jayson Stark reported earlier that the Astros are still hunting for starters but only if it is a rotational upgrade. He suggested that the Astros are targeting Edinson Volquez or one of the Rays starters. These starters that he refers to are Chris Archer, Jake Odorizzi, and Matt Moore. I put them in the order of who would cost the more to trade for at the deadline.

The Astros are trying to be creative to add a player without destroying the core of the team or the farm system. They want to win, but they understand that they can’t keep giving up a number of prospects each year.

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Chris Archer (Too Pricey)

I have already written about the Astros possibly trading for Archer, but he is having a down year and the Rays aren’t going to offer a discounted price for his services. A team looking at Archer would be able to retain his service through the 2019 season.

His price tag might be too steep for the Stros but could be just right for the Dodgers who have lost Clayton Kershaw for the season. To get a player like Archer, the Astros would have to trade three of the top-ten prospects in the minors plus more.

Archer’s 2016 Stats: 5-14/ 4.42 ERA/ 155 strikeouts in 130 1/3 innings.

Matt Moore (Is not an upgrade)

Moore would probably be the cheapest option, as he has struggled to stay healthy in his career so far. Unlike Archer, Moore is in his final year of a guaranteed contract but has team options through the 2019 season. Moore had Tommy John Surgery in 2014 but seems to have recovered this year.

He is a left-handed starter who throws about 93 mph on average with a curveball and changeup in the low 80’s. His strikeout rates have not returned to his early career nine strikeouts per nine innings pitched, but he can still strike hitters out.

Moore’s 2016 stats: 7-7/ 4.08 ERA/ 109 strikeouts in 130 innings pitched.

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Jake Odorizzi (Just right)

Odorizzi could be the best fit for the Astros as he won’t cost as much as Archer and would be more of an upgraded over Mike Fiers than Moore. Just like the other starters, Odorizzi is under team control through the 2019 season. A former Royals prospect, Odorizzi has taken off since putting on a Rays uniform.

Last season was a breakout year for the right-hander, despite having a 9-9 record last year. In 2014, he had more strikeouts than innings pitched (174 in 168 IP), but for his career overall, it has been a little more conservative (465 in 499 2/3 IP).

Odorizzi’s 2016 stats: 5-5/ 3.88 ERA/ 115 strikeouts in 125 /three innings pitched.

According to Jim Bowden, yes the one who said Alex Bregman was coming up after the All-Star game, said the Astros are in the mix for one of the Tampa Bay starters. He stated that teams are waiting to decide which young bats the Rays will want. The Rays are after hitters. Hopefully, they keep their dirty mitts off of Bregman. Who does the Astros have to offer?

Next: Astros: Edinson Volquez Trade Rumors

Most likely, other teams will be looking at A.J. Reed, Kyle Tucker, and Derek Fisher. They will probably ask about Bregman, but the Astros could say no. This has been the biggest hint of a possible trade this July, just wonder which of the three pitchers the Astros will chase. Fiers is the odd man out if the Astros do make a trade, he has a 7-4 record with a 4.69 ERA this season. Any of the three pitchers would be an upgrade, but who would cost the most?

***Stats from Baseball-Reference and FanGraphs***