Full Trade –
To HOU: Trey Mancini, Jayden Murray
To BAL: Seth Johnson, Chayce McDermott
To TB: Jose Siri
ASTROS GRADE: B+
In retrospect, the second this trade broke appeared to be the moment the Astros pulled out of the Josh Bell sweepstakes. He was rumored to be their top target going into it, but the asking price must not have been what Click wanted. Either way, Mancini is more than capable as an alternative, and figures to get plenty of playing time at first base to alleviate some pressure from Yuli Gurriel, who has struggled for most of the year. Mancini can also play left field, though he’s more proficient at first and has been a DH for the majority of the season anyway.
He carries a batting line of .268/.347/.404 into this trade, with 10 home runs and a 114 OPS+. That is far more productive than what the Astros have gotten at first base this year from Gurriel and J.J. Matijevic, who was demoted to AAA to clear up a roster spot for Mancini. What’s encouraging is that Mancini was born to hit at Minute Maid Park: it has one of the shallowest and highest left field walls, making it very friendly for homers and doubles. He should fare way better in Houston than he did at Camden Yards, which had its left field wall moved way back in advance of the 2022 season.
The Rays swooped into this trade to make it a 3-team deal, which means that St. Petersburg is now Jose Siri’s new home. He figures to be their starting center fielder with Kevin Kiermaier out for the year, and he has already made a brilliant catch in center field just innings into his tenure there. There was no place for Siri on Houston’s roster and he had struggled greatly at the plate in 2022 regardless, but his defense and speed make him a toolsy player and he’s far too good of a hitter for the minor leagues.
From the Rays, the Astros received Jayden Murray, who is a pitching prospect that wasn’t in Tampa Bay’s top 30 according to MLB Pipeline but ends up as Houston’s 30th-ranked prospect following the deal. In 76 innings with Tampa’s AA affiliate, he put up a 2.83 ERA and 65 strikeouts this season and he will make his organizational debut with the Astros in AA. He has been praised for his mid-90s fastball/sweeping slider combination and at age 25, he is about as good of a prospect as they could have gotten for Siri.
In exchange for Mancini, the Orioles got pitching prospect Chayce McDermott from the Astros, who is now Baltimore’s 12th-ranked prospect. The 23-year-old has struggled at high-A this year but it’s not for a lack of strikeouts: he has 114 strikeouts in 72 innings despite a 5.50 ERA, and his high-velocity fastball makes him somewhat promising for Baltimore. Aside from some general worry about trading anybody to the Tampa Bay Rays, as well as the fact that Mancini wasn’t the best player on the market at his position, this deal looks solid for Houston: they addressed a need with a quality player and paid a fair price to do so (more on the Mancini trade here).