4 players the Astros should have traded before their trade value tanked

Every team has players that they hold on to for too long. The Houston Astros are no exception.
Houston Astros v St Louis Cardinals
Houston Astros v St Louis Cardinals / Rich Schultz/GettyImages
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David Hensley

This is kind of a weird one and honestly, one kinda gets why the Astros didn't move Hensley as he never got a lot of press as a prospect and his value wasn't ever particularly high. He was never really a top 30 prospect on any of the big national media lists and it was more a pleasant surprise than anything else that this 26th round pick from the the 2018 draft out of San Diego State was doing anything at all in the minors.

When Hensley was posting .800+ OPSes in 2021 and 2022 is when Houston should have found a way to include him in a trade. Coming off a nice short stretch in the big leagues in 2022, Hensley could have fetched a nice return. Even when he was hitting well, there wasn't a lot of power and while he did draw walks, there were a lot of strikeouts to go along with him. Those red flags didn't push Houston down that path, though, and he was exposed in 2023 when he played poorly in a 29 games in the big leagues and he hasn't been much better down at Triple-A this season.

Ryne Stanek

Ryne Stanek is a prime example of why bullpen arms are the most volatile asset in baseball. On the surface, keeping a bullpen arm around that posted a 1.15 ERA in 2022 makes all the sense in the world especially when he is also still in the arbitration years of his contract. He misses bats at a high rate and his stuff is pretty enticing. However, trouble has always been brewing underneath in Stanek's peripherals.

During Stanek's entire career, he has had to deal with the fact that he walks too many guys. The best walk rate he has ever posted was back in 2018 with the Rays at 3.66 BB/9 which is still only just "fine" and that walk rate has been around 5 his entire time with the Astros. The stuff can be really good, there is no denying that. However, the Astros would have been better served trading Stanek to a bullpen-hungry team last offseason when his value was highest. Instead, the Regression Monster came to claim in him 2023 where he now boasts a 4.62 ERA in 40 appearances this season.

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