This is a decision that no Astros fan wants to have to make, and the same thing surely goes for James Click. The difficulty of this choice is compounded by the fact that each candidate in the running to be traded has only pitched a season and a half at the big league level. All 3 of these players were an important part of last year’s pennant-winning club, and Urquidy was integral to the 2 postseason runs they had before that. If one of these players goes at the trade deadline, it will be a tough goodbye no matter what the return is.
I’ll start with Garcia. His consistency is admirable, and looking at his complete profile this season, it appears as though his overall numbers would be considerably better if he were able to reduce the amount of barrels (many of which have led to home runs) he gives up. That’s ultimately a very fixable problem, especially considering his power suppression has been good overall. It would be an extremely bold move to give him up at this point in his career.
Meanwhile, with what Cristian Javier has shown this season, I would be quite scared to trade him away, due in part to my inclination that trading him has the potential to blow up in the Astros’ faces more than Garcia or Urquidy would. I just can’t give up on a guy who’s striking out over 12 batters per inning at the age of 25. If he keeps his fastball on the corners, he’s one of the best pitchers in baseball. As he matures, I think the Astros organization would be thankful to keep him and they would feel that the work they did with him after last season was worthwhile.
Like Jose Urquidy said after last night’s start, baseball is a business. That side of the game has no sympathy, and be that as it may, he is the one that makes the most sense to trade out of all the controllable pitchers in this rotation. As much as he has pitched his heart out for the Astros over the past 6 weeks, the team would be better off if they capitalized on his peaking value as opposed to losing the higher upsides of Garcia and Javier. The reality is, these are the kinds of dilemmas that teams deal with at the deadline, even contenders. Luckily, it’s safe to assume that Click and co. have a clear plan as to what would be best for the team at this trade deadline, even though they have yet to make a splash.