Could the Astros be potential buyers in Brad Hand if he becomes available once again?
According to Bradford Doolittle of ESPN, he mentioned the Astros could be potential trade deadline buyers in relief pitcher Brad Hand from the San Diego Padres
Possibly J.B. Bukauskas. He goes on to mention that the Astros could get more in return for Kyle Tucker and/or Forrest Whitley. We’ve been over this hundreds of times. We, as fans, don’t want those two aforementioned as trade bait.
I have explored adding bullpen help, at various times. Arguably the weakest piece of this championship team, the Astros went out and signed Joe Smith and Hector Rondon. So why the rumors of Hand again? He was, after all, a popular trade rumor last year. Let’s take a look.
Who is Brad Hand?
The 28-year old left-hander, a seven-year veteran playing with the Marlins and Padres brings a 3.92 career average ERA along with 23 total saves. His best season was last year, an All Star season going 3-4 with a 2.16 ERA and 21 saves. His stock is high based on last year alone.
Currently a closer, he seems to have a massive role with the Padres this season. After all, San Diego inked him to a three-year extension worth $19.75 million and a team option for 2021. They clearly have big plans for him. That said, it is those very reasons why he may not be available. But, who knows for sure, right?
Should the deadline come, why would they buy a helping ”Hand”?
If the Astros were buyers at the deadline, even if the bullpen remain healthy all season, the team could presumably be interested in another reliever. Not to mention, particularly a closer. This all depends on if the regular season or postseason version of Ken Giles shows up in 2018. He had a forgettable postseason, but the Astros believe in him to redeem himself after not going for a closer in the offseason.
Instead, they added depth to the bullpen as a whole. I said it before; the closer won’t be the Achilles heel in a title defense. There is also the opinion that the Astros do not have a reliable left-handed reliever in the ’pen. Lo and behold, Hand is left-handed. The fit concerning his handedness and closing experience is evident.
Could Hand be the one the Astros target later on this summer?
Only time will tell. But the interest from one year ago could still be there.
*** Statistics and information courtesy of Baseball-Reference and ESPN.com***