Could the Royals be a match for the Astros back of the bullpen needs this July?
While the Houston Astros still have a good record at 36-22, but the bullpen has cost the team a few wins. As I wrote yesterday, the Astros don’t have as many blown saves as you may think. They only have seven blown saves. Ken Giles was a little shaky last night but closed out the win with his tenth save of the season. He is ten for ten this year in saves. The one knock on the bullpen is that they have been on the hook for nine of the 22 loses this year.
School has ended in the Houston area, meaning summer vacation will include a lot of Astros baseball. With the July 31st non-waiver trade about two months away, there are about to be several rumors out there. For the first time in forever, hopefully, we won’t hear the Chris Archer to the Astros rumors. While it’s still early, it would seem that the bullpen will be the primary focus.
A little Heyman speculation.
Jon Heyman is not one of Astros fan’s favorite insiders. Whether it’s doubting Jeff Bagwell‘s Hall of Fame status or talking bad about the Astros. At this point, there are not really rumors out there, merely some speculation mixed with inside information. These speculated trades may have some truth to it, but you must take it with a grain of salt. I’ll believe it when I see it.
Heyman wrote the other day that the Astros should trade with the Royals. In his trade idea, he has the Astros getting Kelvin Herrera and Jon Jay in exchange for J.D. Davis and David Paulino. This would bring in another option for closer and give the Astros the fourth outfielder that they need to delay the Kyle Tucker arbitration clock.
Does it make sense?
Herrera is a free agent after the season, and they could have a chance to retain him if the team is successful. The 28-year-old reliever is having a great season for the lowly Royals, with a 0.83 ERA and 12 saves while striking out 18 batters in 21 2/3 innings. He throws a high nineties fastball and mixes in a slider and a change-up. With his performance in 2018 so far, he will be a popular target at the deadline.
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Jay could be the Cameron Maybin addition to the 2018 squad, but he offers not too much power. He is batting .307 at the moment in 218 at-bats. Jay bats left-handed, but could he offer anything more than Tony Kemp could. My Talking Stros co-host has been after Jay for a while, but the primary target would be Herrera. Maybe if injuries occur with the outfielders, we could see a move like this.
With Alex Bregman and Yuli Gurriel entrenched in the corner infield spots, it will be hard for players like Davis and A.J. Reed to find spots on the roster. The Royals could use a player like Davis, who is starting to show some offensive ability. Paulino’s future on this team is a little up in the air now after his failed drug test and resulting 80-game suspension last year. Paulino has a 5.50 ERA with 23 strikeouts in 18 innings.
At this point, I’m not sure Jay would be needed, but Herrera would fit the need. Would the Royals want more for Herrera? It’s always fun to speculate, but it’s Jeff Luhnow who makes the final decisions. They will add a bullpen piece at some point. As Karl Ravech told me today in a phone interview today, they always have a fifth starter who could be a closer in the playoffs. Ravech also said he doubts the Astros need to upgrade at any other positions.
***Stats from Baseball-Reference and Fangraphs***