At the 2021 trade deadline, James Click made headlines when he traded Myles Straw, the team's everyday center fielder, for Phil Maton and Yainer Diaz. Straw was hitting .262 at the time and playing Gold Glove caliber defense in center field.
Phil Maton was an underrated reliever with high-spin rates and results on the field that didn't equate to the quality of contact he was surrending. Yainer Diaz was a prospect at the time.
Since the deal, Straw has been a net negative player for Cleveland while Maton has grown into one of Houston's most valuable bullpen weapons. And Diaz of course is their catcher of the future, and already one of the best bats on the team.
The 2021 Astros needed help in the bullpen and employed two center fielders, Straw and Jake Meyers. They used one to get help they needed elsewhere.
Might we see a repeat of history? According to Ken Rosenthal, Dana Brown is open to trading one of Chas McCormick, Jake Meyers and Corey Julks for help elsewhere.
Kyle Tucker has a stranglehold on right field and, when healthy, Yordan Alvarez and Michael Brantley will hold down the fort in left field and at DH. So what do the Astros do in center field?
On paper, Chas McCormick feels like a no-brainer to commit to. He was the starting center fielder on the world champion Astros last season, and this year, has been one of the lone bright spots on the team offensively. His .774 OPS trails only Yordan Alvarez and Kyle Tucker among qualified hitters, and he brings plus defense in center field.
For whatever reason, Dusty Baker still doesn't approve of McCormick, and is inclined to leave the best of the three on the bench quite often.
Can Houston win a World Series with Jake Meyers playing center field every day? We may be about to find out.
MCormick would net by far the greatest return. According to Baseball Trade Values, McCormick's trade value is 27.8, just lower than Luis Garcia, but higher than Yainer Diaz. He would net a good return.
Meyers value is 18.2, while Julks, has a value of 3.1. Julks may land you a non-leverage bullpen arm, and Meyers and a prospect could get you a starter with an ERA north of 4.00 just to eat innings down the stretch. McCormick's talents and years of team control could be the key to getting you the third starter the Astros so desperately need or a left-handed bat with power.
He deserves to be here. Chas is a great player. But as Rosenthal reported, the Yankees have shown interest in him. Most every team could use a great defender in center/left with 25 home run pop.
If the Astros push their chips all-in, Brown may replicate one of Click's moves in 2021, trading their center fielder for a desperately needed piece in pursuit of a title.