What the Astros Got
The centerpiece of the deal was Gomez, who was supposed to add a combination of power, speed and defense to the Astros outfield. He was an All-Star in 2013 and 2014 for Milwaukee and won a Gold Glove as well. Interestingly, the Brewers had a deal in place with the Mets on July 29, but the Mets backed out over concerns about Gomez’s health. Nonetheless, the Astros swooped in the next day.
At the time of the trade, Gomez was hitting .262/.328/.423 with 20 doubles and eight homers, which was still decent but a noticeable step down from his two prior seasons. But after the trade, he hit just .242/.288/.343 with just four homers. He did homer in the Wild Card game and again in the ALDS, so he wasn’t bad in the postseason, but not quite the difference maker the team wanted.
His performance fell even further in 2016, however. Gomez hit only .210/.272/.322 with just five homers in 85 games, striking out 100 times. His defense fell off as well, as he posted a negative defensive WAR for the first time in his career. He was only 30, but his brief peak was long gone.
The Astros released him on Aug. 18, and he signed with the Rangers two days later. Of course his bat awakened after that, as he hit .284/.362/.543 down the stretch and followed that up with a .255/.340/.462 line in 2017. He posted poor numbers in 2018 with the Rays and 2019 with the Mets, however.
The other piece in the return was Fiers, and he’s now public enemy number one in Houston. On the field, he was solid down the stretch in 2015, pitching to a 3.32 ERA and tossing a no-hitter. But he got progressively worse, pitching to a 4.48 ERA in 2016 and a 5.22 ERA in 2017. Of course he’s pitched much better the past two seasons for Detroit and Oakland.
But he became the snitch behind the Astros sign stealing scandal, which is what makes him so reviled. I’m not defending what the team did, but Fiers is no hero for going public about it. He’s a big reason why the team’s punishment was considerably more severe than the one the Red Sox got, because they didn’t have a disgruntled former player to rat them out.