There are some Collin McHugh trade rumors out there, would the Astros trade him?
With a week from pitchers and catchers reporting to spring training, the Astros are in the rumors again. No, they are not looking to add another starting pitcher, but they could deal one. According to Ken Rosenthal, the Twins are interested in the Rays’ Jake Odorizzi and Collin McHugh of the Astros.
With Ervin Santana set to miss ten weeks or more with a hand injury, the Twins are looking to add starters. While players like Yu Darvish and Jake Arrieta are still on the market, this could indicate that the Twins won’t add both pitchers. Rosenthal suggests that they want to add one via trade and another via free agency.
Which is why they could be looking at McHugh or Odorizzi. Both pitchers have had their arbitration hearings yet if that is significant. If you are wondering who is more valuable at this point in their careers, it will probably be the 27-year-old Odorizzi. But, McHugh could be more valuable for the Astros in his long-reliever role in 2018.
After adding Gerrit Cole, the writing on the wall was that McHugh would go to the bullpen. In his two playoff appearances as the long-reliever, McHugh pitched well considering. While Brad Peacock could be that long-reliever if McHugh is dealt, he could be better as a back of the bullpen guy.
There is a chance that we will not get 200 innings from Lance McCullers until get manages to stay healthy. Having McHugh (Peacock too) on the team gives the Astros a chance to skip McCullers starts from time to time. Also, the Astros used the 10-day DL to get some pitchers some breaks during the season. Having swingmen like McHugh and Peacock could be huge.
Will not be a discount.
The Rays would probably be asking a lot for Odorizzi, and so should the Astros. While the Astros may be loaded for 2018, they are always trying to pick up pieces for the future. Could they trade McHugh for a lefty reliever and a low-level stud prospect? McHugh still has two years of team control, so he could help improve the Twins pitching staff.
Rosenthal said that there is no impending trade, but also mentions the Baltimore Orioles could also be looking to add starters. Both the Twins and Orioles need to add depth to the rotation for a playoff push in 2018.
The question is how much Jeff Luhnow wants to get rid of McHugh. For the right deal, I can see the Astros trading McHugh, especially if Francis Martes takes the next step in 2018. After trading Joe Musgrove, it would be hard to trade McHugh away. McHugh is technically the sixth starter on this team, but a significant depth piece.
***Stats from Baseball-Reference***