According to Jon Heyman, Dana Brown may be looking to make a massive splash in his first trade deadline as the Astros GM.
Dylan Cease of the White Sox is believed to be the Astros "dream target," but the White Sox asking price is said to be massive.
Do the Astros have enough to match the White Sox asking price? And is Cease even worth it? On paper, he carries a 4.34 ERA and 1.34 WHIP. Does that push the Astros over the top?
Let's not forget Cease is one year removed from posting a 2.20 ERA. The White Sox are one of the worst defensive teams in the MLB. His FIP is only 3.76 and only seven pitchers have fewer outs above average playing behind them than Cease's -7. If you let Cease play in front of defenders like Peña, Bregman, Dubón, McCormick and Tucker, his numbers likely take a turn.
His quality of contact surrendered is also trending in the right direction, with his xwOBA better than league average again over his last 100 batters faced.
He also comes with with two more years of team control.
Bad stats on a bad team or not, rarely do you get the chance to land an arm like this. Whatever the White Sox price is, Houston should match it.
Yes, that means even Drew Gilbert.
Prospects are cool. Parades are cooler.
While a slightly different conversation, if the Astros finally decide to pay somebody and not let Kyle Tucker walk, where does Gilbert play? Tucker is locked in as the everyday right fielder, Yordan in left, and Chas McCormick is playing at an All-Star level this year and is a proven starter on a World Champion caliber team.
Gilbert would likely be the center piece of the deal. Other pieces on the move could include Spencer Arrighetti, Jake Meyers, Pedro Leon, Korey Lee and Jacob Melton.
Does that sound like a lot? Sure.
But let's revisit the Astros trade for Justin Verlander? None of these prospects are rated as highly as Franklin Perez was. How did the prospects Houston sent to Arizona work out in their deal for Zack Greinke? Even with Joe Musgrove becoming a very servicable big league starter, was Gerrit Cole an overpay?And those are just in the Golden Era.
Look outside of Houston. The Marlins got the #13 prospect in the game in exchange for Christian Yelich and have nothing to show for it. Heck, even Mark McGwire (no, I'm not calling Cease a future Hall-of-Famer) got traded for three prospects. How did that work out for Oakland? How did the Marlins sending out Miguel Cabrera and Dontrelle Willis for a bevvy of prospects work out? Recent struggles now, Josh Donaldson used to be one of the best hitters in the game. How did it work out for Oakland when they sent him to Toronto for prospects?
Always move the prospects. It's not that long ago we all would have scoffed at a trade offer for Forrest Whitley. Imagine how much more loaded Houston would be throughout this era if they would have shipped him out at his highest price.
The only prospect in the Astros system I'd be increasingly hesitant to move would be Luis Baez. He's only 19, but he's sensational.
At the end of the day, the Astros farm system is not what it once was. Nobody in their system is can't miss. If the Astros can get Dylan Cease, go get Dylan Cease. A prospect hitting .280 with a .747 OPS in 2028 may be nice. But another World Champions banner in 2023 would be far nicer.