It all came down to the wire on Wednesday with Astros fans were holding their breath as the clock nears 3:00 pm. Jeff Luhnow and company didn’t disappoint.
As the deadline clock stopped, fans anxiously refreshed twitter every ten seconds to see any last-minute deals come to light. Among a few other moves, including Martin Maldonado and Zack Greinke, a report came in that the Astros dealt Derek Fisher to Toronto for their #25 overall prospect, a left-handed batting outfielder named Cal Stevenson, Joe Biagini, a right-handed reliever with a 3.78 ERA, and right-handed starter Aaron Sanchez.
There were really three potential needs at the major league trade deadline, and the Astros addressed all of them. The team was looking for help at the back end of their rotation, a piece or two for the bullpen, and a little more depth at the catching position.
With Ryan Pressly going on the IL and some recent struggles by Roberto Osuna, one or two more arms couldn’t hurt. While the rotation has been stellar as of late with Justin Verlander, Gerrit Cole, and Wade Miley leading the charge, that insurance behind them in the four and five spots is something that didn’t necessarily have to be addressed.
But most fans would have liked to see that being taken care of. The team’s rotation and bullpen are both sitting at #4 in the Major Leagues and a little help is always worth a conversation.
Sanchez should slot in behind a rotation of Verlander, Cole, Greinke, and Miley, while Biagini should fill in for Pressly until he comes back. Both will have the chance to work with Astros pitching coach Brent Strom, and let him work his magic as he seems to always do with pitchers that come to Houston. Meanwhile, Stevenson will essentially fill the place of Derek Fisher, depth-wise, in our minor league system.
The Houston Astros didn’t necessarily need to make the moves they did today. Many had the Astros as the team to beat before the deadline, and if there’s anyone out there who wants to argue against that statement after the deadline today, it’d be interesting to hear it.
The Astros are far and above the favorite to go to and win the World Series, and Jeff Luhnow and company have once again proven that they can be trusted, and there isn’t a single reason to not trust them.
Your Houston Astros are perennial World Series contenders. October can’t get here soon enough.