The trade deadline is going to be an interesting one to watch for the Astros.
While the baseball world patiently waits for the impending trades, we can have fun thinking about hypothetical deals. This mock trade, done in conjunction with our sister site for the Detroit Tigers, Motor City Bengals, is one interesting deal that could be finally land the Astros a coveted reliever. But at a high price.
"Hey Cody, how about a mock trade sending Justin Wilson to Houston for Derek Fisher, James Hoyt and Yordan Alvarez. Your thoughts? We can throw in Jose Iglesias if you want an extra SS option."
Here is my rebuttal to the hypothetical trade.
The package of Derek Fisher, James Hoyt and Yordan Alvarez on the surface appears steep for Justin Wilson and Jose Iglesias. Fisher, the fourth-best prospect per MLB Pipeline, and Alvarez, the sixth-best prospect, are highly regarded by the Astros front office. Hoyt has huge strikeout numbers, 35.2% K%, in 37.1 major league innings. His 5.54 ERA isn’t encouraging, but his 3.07 FIP gives you hope.
Perhaps Jeff Luhnow could sway Detroit’s front office into taking one of the two following Minor League outfielders in lieu of Alvarez: Ramon Laureano, the 16th-best Astros prospect, or Jason Martin, the 21st-best Astros prospect.
Of course, I could be naive.
Wait, yeah, I’m naive.
But the market for pitchers, especially quality ones, is steep. The Astros may not be able to acquire a quality left-handed reliever like Wilson for cheaper than Fisher, Hoyt and Alvarez. He is on the top of the Astros’ wish list for what it is worth.
Not only would Wilson fill a need for a quality left-handed reliever, he would also be a nice option to turn to in high leverage situations. His 2.75 ERA would look much, much better than Tony Sipp’s 4.99 ERA. And the fact he can generate more outs than Sipp is obviously beneficial.
The addition of Iglesias is merely another piece that could be somewhat useful for Houston. After all, shortstop Carlos Correa is out till early-to-mid September. While Alex Bregman and Marwin Gonzalez can play shortstop, it does hamper Houston’s ability to be flexible in their lineup construction. Iglesias’ bat may be light (.642 OPS), but his versatility in playing the infield would be welcome.
Don’t forget Gonzalez has been used in left field quite a bit and the other left fielder, Carlos Beltran, has posted an 85 wRC+ entering Saturday. Gonzalez, on the other hand, has an 166 wRC+. You can see why Houston may prefer to put Gonzalez in left field during the postseason if the infield is healthy. In that case, you may very well need another infielder who can help cover some ground.
Plus, it doesn’t hurt to have depth. Depth is good.
At the end of the day, I would, right or wrong, make the original trade mentioned by Motor City Bengals. While the price would be steep, prospects are never a sure thing. Fisher, though, looks legit. Losing him would undoubtedly hurt. But Alvarez is still in Single-A and Hoyt hasn’t had sustained success.
To acquire talent, you must part ways with talent. And the Astros wouldn’t have to part ways with Kyle Tucker and Forrest Whitley, who are the top two prospects in the organization.
So, that’s a win, right?
Acquiring Wilson and Iglesias, in theory, could help the major league team. Depth for the bullpen and infield would be nice for a potential World Series run. At this point, the Astros need to go for it. Plus, they are both controllable beyond this season. So, there’s that.
**Statistics courtesy of Fangraphs**