The Astros can trade prospects away and replenish them via the MLB Draft.
To begin with, I can’t say how proud I am of Mike Fiers during his past three starts. He was told that he was going to the bullpen for Brad Peacock. An injury to Joe Musgrove changed those plans. This is why it is important to have quality depth in the Astros organization to withstand injuries.
Jeff Luhnow has not only built a great team that already has 44 wins. He has a deep minor league system. It has been depleted over the years with trades, but that is to be expected. Even when Luhnow acquired all those prospects, he said that they would be used to bring in proven talent. The key was when it was the right time.
Looking at the Astros record of 44-18, with a double-digit lead in the AL West, the time is now. Some fans have become attached to the prospects, not wanting to mortgage the future for today. We saw what Drayton McLane did to the organization. We want to learn from history to not repeat mistakes.
A deep system.
The Astros may not have the top talent in the minors as they did during the years of the ‘process.’ However, they have the best depth of prospects. Several names should be among the Top-30 list by MLB Pipeline. They do have six of the top 100 prospects as listed by MLB Pipeline. However, they will have to trade 3-4 of them acquire the impact arm they are after.
Before you quote, “Oh no, we suck again,” consider that we have five picks in the first 100 picks of the 2017 draft. While we don’t have the first overall pick, we will be drafting 15, 53, 56, 75, and 91. To appreciate this, keep in mind that the Cardinals will no have a pick in the first two rounds. Thanks to Hackgate, we have two of their picks, just not a first round pick from them.
The 75th pick could be traded, but I don’t see that happening at this point. No, they can’t package a few picks to move up like you can in the NFL. Besides the extra draft picks, it also increases the signing bonus pool they are allotted. This means that technically if a player drops due to signability issues, the Astros could scoop in as they did with Lance McCullers. They would have to skimp elsewhere though.
Prospects are replaceable.
The Astros scouting department probably has the guys they are targeting identified. The Astros may have to trade Kyle Tucker or Derek Fisher and Francis Martes or David Paulino. However, they can supplement those players via the draft. Don’t sleep on those second round picks. Those could turn into solid players.
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With the anticipation of needing to make deals, Luhnow has also invested heavily in the International Free Agent market. They recently added Elian Gonzalez from Cuba. With the June 15th deadline approaching, the Astros can sign a player without restrictions. They will have to pay double for that player though.
Work your magic, Jeff.
This is not exactly an Alex Bregman and Tucker #2 and #5 picks, but Luhnow and Mike Elias can work their magic. Look for them to try to get a college starter with the 15th pick.
Should the Astros play their cards right, sorry if that was a pun, they could withstand trading some talent? As I wrote before, the Astros will try not to trade Tucker. Outside of that, there are no untouchables. Fisher and A.J. Reed have increased their trade value with nowhere to play in Houston for now.
What do you think the Astros should draft with the 15th overall pick?
***Stats from Baseball-Reference***