Joel Sherman suggested a blockbuster trade idea for the Astros and Tigers.
The Houston Astros won their eighth game in a row last night. It was their 39th win of the season, beating division rival Rangers 7-1. My family and I made the trip up there to watch, with the rain delay and all. It started off slow until Carlos Correa hit a three-run homer off Yu Darvish. Dallas Keuchel had things under control in his six shutout innings.
Astros fans feel pretty confident with Keuchel and Lance McCullers on the hill. Speaking of which, McCullers starts game two today versus the Rangers. When Charlie Morton is healthy, he can be a reliable third pitcher. Joe Musgrove and Brad Peacock are trying to make the next step. Collin McHugh is trying to work his way back.
The Astros have proved that they have enough starting pitching to win in the regular season. Let’s say that it’s game 7 of a playoff series and Keuchel and McCullers are not available, who would take the mound? The Astros will trade for a top starter before the trade deadline, but who?
Joel Sherman offers an interesting Astros trade idea.
Adam Abramson, a familiar guy on Twitter, Tweeted the MLB Network to ask who the Astros would trade for? Cliff Lee gave the generic. We already knew that, answer. Lee said that Gerrit Cole, Ervin Santana, and Matt Harvey. Santana could be a new name, but the others we have already discussed the others.
Joel Sherman gave a bold answer. The Astros should strike a deal with the Detroit Tigers. He suggested not going after just one player, but go for the kill and get 2-3 players. Now that I have teased you enough, he said the Astros should trade for Justin Verlander. Take a breath, he’s a good pitcher and comes with some pretty baggage.
While Keuchel would still be the ace, you would feel more confident with Verlander in a big game situation. That wasn’t the end of it, and he also suggested the Astros trade for Justin Wilson and J.D. Martinez. Say what!
Sherman has a point. The Astros are the best team in baseball. If they want to win it all, they need to trade some young, controllable prospects to win this year. Some of the prospects that Sherman mentioned were Derek Fisher, the Phillips kid, and David Paulino. We already traded Brett Phillips, so let’s assume he meant Kyle Tucker. Either way, it would take a significant package to get that deal done.
Looking at the stats.
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Verlander is 4-4 on the season with a 4.50 ERA while striking out 63 hitters in 68 innings. Just last year he had 254 strikeouts in 227 1/3 innings. He also comes with expensive baggage in the tune of $28 million per year for this year and two more years. He has a vesting option for 2020 for $22 million.
Martinez is in the final year of his deal, and he has missed some time this year. It is not expected that Martinez will return to the Tigers, so they can try to get something in return for him. Martinez is batting .271 with eight homers and 19 RBIs. Wilson is a lefty reliever with 35 strikeouts in 22 innings with five saves and a 2.86 ERA.
This package would help the Stros win in 2017. It would also deplete the farm system, but Jeff Luhnow has done a good job accumulating minor league talent. They can absorb a trade or two, but they will try to hold onto the younger Tucker. Either way, it’s going to be an exciting two months of speculating. Wonder if this trade has any legs?
***Stats from Baseball-Reference***