Phil Rogers ranks the Astros regarding need and resources to acquire Jose Quintana.
This time of the offseason, many teams are getting close to being set. The Houston Astros seem to have most of the pieces set up for a deep run in 2017. As of now, they could use a top of the rotation starter and a second lefty in the pen. The lineup has been set for a while, but they were willing to add Edwin Encarnacion.
Now that Encarnacion has signed with the Indians, the focus can take aim at improving the rotation. Peter Gammons revealed an offer the Stros made for Chris Archer this week. It was a generous offer. According to Gammons, the Stros offered Francis Martes, David Paulino, Kyle Tucker, and two other prospects. To the surprise of many, the Rays said no. When my Talking Stros co-host Brandon and I heard of that trade, we felt that it was shocking on both sides.
Houston clearly values their prospects, so it was unusual that they approached the Rays with that offer. This means that the Astros are indeed trying to get a top of the rotation pitcher.
The Rays, in turn, rejected the offer thinking they could get more for him. My guess is that other teams are still trying to pry Alex Bregman or Joseph Musgrove from the Astros. So the Astros will have to give more because they want to hold onto those two players.
The current Stros rotation.
The Astros currently have 2015 CY Young winner Dallas Keuchel as the team ace. He struggled with health and consistency last year, finishing 9-12 with a 4.55 ERA in 168 innings. Collin McHugh struggled to begin 2016 but was the team ace at the end of the year. Lance McCullers has had trouble staying healthy. He looks to break that trend in 2017. Musgrove, Charlie Morton, Mike Fiers, or Chris Devenski will round out the rotation.
"Astros Rumors: Are the Stros now favorites for Jose Quintana?"
As I have previously written, the current rotation is good enough to compete in 2017. However, can they compete with what the Boston Red Sox or Cleveland Indians throw out there in the playoffs? The Rangers and Mariners will also put up a fight in 2017 to reign supreme in the AL West.
According to Phil Rogers, the Astros finished in the middle of the AL in starters’ ERA with a 4.37 ERA. There was a time where the Astros ERA was near the top, but injuries and Doug Fister caused the ERA to rise. They tried to make a playoff push without their top two pitchers, but the lack of depth was their downfall.
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Could Stros add Quintana?
Adding a player like Quintana could help. Rogers rated the Astros need to acquire Jose Quintana as a 9 out of 10. White Sox GM Rick Hahn has said, “he’ll hold onto Quintana until a team meets his asking price of multiple young big leaguers and impact prospects.” This quote was from Rogers’ article, but he also feels that the Astros rate well there as well. The rest of the teams interested, Rogers rated at a 8 (Pirates) or below regarding need.
Rogers feels like the Astros have by far the best talent available, giving them an eight regarding resources. Among the names listed, Rogers suggested that the trade would start with Musgrove. New names that he added were A.J. Reed, Teoscar Hernandez, and Derek Fisher.
In an MLB Trade Rumors poll, 65% (5,242 votes) of the readers voted that the Astros needed to upgrade their rotation. We talked a lot on the Stros rotation last night on Talking Stros. Steve Sparks, Jeremy Booth, and Jake Kaplan all felt that Houston should add another starter. With the goal of October in mind, one more piece is needed.
If the reports were true about the White Sox initial offer of Martes, Tucker, and Musgrove were accurate, Luhnow said no to that. Why would they be willing to include Musgrove now? Tucker could be the sticking point, but I still see the two reaching a deal. Quintana would make the Astros postseason favorites.
***Stats from Baseball-Reference***