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Astros: Mid-year review of Houston’s offseason acquisitions

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NEW YORK, NEW YORK - JUNE 23: Yordan Alvarez #44 of the Houston Astros celebrates his fifth inning two run home run against the New York Yankees with teammate Michael Brantley #23 at Yankee Stadium on June 23, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - JUNE 23: Yordan Alvarez #44 of the Houston Astros celebrates his fifth inning two run home run against the New York Yankees with teammate Michael Brantley #23 at Yankee Stadium on June 23, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images) /
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Astros - Diaz
HOUSTON, TEXAS – MAY 22: Aledmys Diaz #16 of the Houston Astros hits a sacrifice fly in the fourth inning against the Chicago White Sox at Minute Maid Park on May 22, 2019 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images) /

Aledmys Diaz – IF/OF

Diaz had the unenviable position of being the apparent replacement of fan favorite Marwin Gonzalez. In the fans’ eyes, that was a tall order, big shoes to fill. Gonzalez was one of the most popular players on the team, by fans and players alike.

Marwin earned $5.125 million in 2018 and was expected to command a significant raise, especially with Scott Boras as his agent. The Astros front office didn’t make a qualifying offer, making Gonzalez a free agent. Jeff Luhnow optioned to go the cheaper route, trading for Aledmys Diaz and signing him to a one-year $2 million contract.

Diaz was primarily a shortstop, but with Carlos Correa at that position, Diaz was going to be the versatile utility player, and that he was. He has played every infield position and even left field a couple of games.

He’s had a decent year offensively slashing .286/.321/.510 with a .831 OPS. Not that it matters, those numbers are better than Gonzalez is producing, across the board, for Toronto. On top of that, Diaz is costing the Astros $10 million less than Gonzalez. Not a bad deal on paper.

But Diaz has had health issues this season with a nagging hamstring strain. He has appeared in just 32 games for Houston, a little less than half of their games. He will be back prior to Correa’s return, so he might see some significant time at short until Correa is back. But with the way Yuli Gurriel is playing lately, will he be losing more playing time, once Correa is back at short?

Trent Thornton was the trading piece to acquire Diaz and he hasn’t been exactly tearing it up in his first Major League season. He has a record of 2-6 with a 5.18 ERA and a WHIP of 1.545.

Next. Astros: Altuve, McHugh look to rebound from disappointing first halves. dark

So, I’d say to this point the Astros may have come out ahead in the overall deal. They won out in the player swap and definitely came out ahead economically. We’ll have to see how the remainder of the season plays out to really grade out the offseason transaction.

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