Worst Trade: Astros acquire Carlos Gomez and Mike Fiers from the Brewers in exchange for Josh Hader, Brett Phillips, Adrian Houser and Domingo Santana (July 30, 2015)
The Astros were making their first post-rebuild playoff push and made a big splash at the trade deadline, getting centerpiece Carlos Gomez to roam center field. Gomez had been an All-Star in each of the previous two seasons and won a Gold Glove as well.
Unfortunately he just flat out stunk with the Astros, hitting just .242/.288/.383 in 41 games after the trade. He did hit a homer in the Wild Card game against the Yankees and hit .250 in the ALDS, but he slumped to an awful .210/.272/.322 line in 85 games in 2016. He also suddenly became a subpar defender, prompting the team to release him in August.
Fiers pitched well after the trade in 2016 but regressed over the next two seasons, posting a 5.22 ERA in 2017 before the Astros non-tendered him. He did pitch a no-hitter in 2015, but that was the only memorable part of his time in Houston.
Hader has since become one of the game’s most dominant relievers, owning a career 2.42 ERA and ridiculous marks of 15.3 strikeouts per nine innings and an 0.850 WHIP. Santana popped 30 homers for Milwaukee in 2017 but has since moved on to Seattle, settling in as a poor man’s DH.
Houser got his first extended stay in the majors this year, posting a 3.72 ERA in 111.1 innings pitching both as a starter and a reliever. Phillips has not been able to hit in the major leagues and has since moved on to Kansas City.
Adding insult to injury is that Gomez was picked up by the Rangers and played fairly well for them in 2016 and 2017. The last two seasons have not been kind to him, but he just seemingly never got it going in Houston.
Fiers, of course, has made headlines this offseason for figuratively lobbing grenades at his former team, accusing the Astros of stealing signs through the use of technology. He is now persona non grata in Houston and seems to have nothing good to say about his former employer.
A week before the Gomez trade, Luhnow bolstered the pitching staff by acquiring Scott Kazmir from Oakland. He had a 2.38 season ERA at the time of the trade but put up a 4.17 ERA the rest of the way. He also gave up three runs in 5.1 innings in his only postseason start before leaving as a free agent after the season.
In exchange, the Astros sent Daniel Mengden and Jacob Nottingham to the A’s. Neither has really found his footing in the majors, as Mengden has put up a 4.68 ERA across four seasons, while Nottingham was traded to Milwaukee and has just 18 major league games to his credit. Still, Kazmir didn’t end up as the shot in the arm the club was looking for that season.
Finally, we’ll go back to the Ed Wade days. On July 29, 2010, the club traded ace Roy Oswalt to the Phillies in exchange for Anthony Gose, J.A. Happ and Jonathan Villar. Oswalt was brilliant in Houston and pitched well for the Phillies down the stretch and the following season, though 2011 would prove to be his last good season in the majors.
Still, he was a franchise icon and the Astros got very little for him. They immediately flipped Gose to Toronto for Brett Wallace, who hit just .242/.313/.391 in four seasons in Houston and was never able to live up to his top prospect billing.
Happ pitched to a 4.84 ERA in 59 starts with the Astros before being traded to Toronto in 2012. He ended up winning 20 games for the Blue Jays in 2016 and was an All-Star in 2018. Villar was a part-time player in Houston and emerged as an everyday player following his trade to Milwaukee in exchange for Cy Sneed in 2016.