It appears to be the hot topic in Astros-land to discuss who can/will be traded this season, and who could be considered buyers for our players. The growing consensus appears to be that given Roy Oswalt's stellar start to the season, that he is our most trade-able piece at this time. I'm not one to argue with that sentiment-- in fact, I'd like to throw out what I believe will be the location that Roy is most likely to go, and what kind of package the Houston Astros may be able to receive for him. Details follow after the jump.
Although Roy has stated publicly that the only teams he'd consider playing for are Texas, Atlanta, and St. Louis, none of those choices make an ideal trade partner this season. St. Louis doesn't need pitching, and trading within the division is always a much more difficult task. Atlanta, if they're playing well, doesn't need pitching either, and I don't believe Texas will be in a position to be a buyer this season. (Maybe this offseason those thoughts will change, but I'm basing everything off the assumption that Roy Oswalt gets traded during the season.)
So, with those would-be suitors for Roy Oswalt's talents out of the picture, and Roy's growing sentiment of wanting to play for a contender, his list of possible trade candidates is sure to grow as the season progresses. Enter: Colorado Rockies.
would love need to add a solid starter to slot in behind Ubaldo Jimenez come playoff time. They are a team that has the make up of a contender not only this season, but for the next 3-5 years. Since Oswalt's contract will be ending right in the thick of the Rockies' talent pool ripening, this setup would be music to our ace's ears. Denver is more of a laid back city than the competitive northeast and the fans are friendly and knowledgeable enough. Granted, that is a completely subjective opinion being voiced strictly by a person who's only attended one game in Coors Field, but given Oswalt's laid-back, quiet approach to the game, I don't see him as the type to enjoy the booing, cursing, sometimes disgusting nature of fans from Philadelphia, New York, etc.
To make this an even more plausible scenario, the Rockies have a farm system filled to the brim with talent that would make a trade more readily available. The Rockies could afford to trade prospects for a legitimate arm to bolster their rotation, and it wouldn't even come close to breaking the farm system bank. So the next step to this scenario is putting the pieces together... here comes the fun part:
Bottom line here: the farm needs some arms. I don't believe Ed Wade will be able to get a combination of more than one of these young arms, but I think he's savvy enough to pry away at least one of them. All three of these young men have exceptional stuff and would immediately boost our farm system. Wade, given his affinity to relievers, would probably slot Chacin into his big league bullpen immediately, although he appears to be suited to being a starter in the long-term. Any deal that could bring more than one of these arms into the organization would have to be considered a success even though we'd be losing one of the faces of our franchise.
2) It'd be interesting to see if the Astros could/would go for Nolan Arenado. Nolan's still a few years away from being big league ready, but he could solve the potential 3B problem on the farm. Arenado's got the potential to hit for a high average and play decent defense. The biggest knock on him from what I've seen so far is his power--he appears to be more of a doubles hitter than a homerun hitter. Granted, given the makeup of the current Houston Astros, doubles sound amazing. With Ian Stewart appearing to be productive at the big league level, Arenado is more expendable than, say, an Eric Young Jr.
3) This deal would help the team get younger while giving Roy the chance he wants and deserves. The farm system could see a significant upgrade to the farm system because the Rockies have a history of making solid draft picks.
So there you go. This was rough, dirty, and thrown together quickly, so please forgive me for my lack of statistical data to back up my assertions. But while this may be lacking in in depth-breakdown of prospects, I feel like I'm dead-on on the possibility of this trade taking place. The longer the season rolls on, the more likely I see this scenario playing out. Granted, being more of a skeptic, I can see Ed Wade dropping the ball on this one and getting Tim Redding, Taylor Bucholz, and Clint Barmes in return. Sadly, that move would still probably help improve the Astros. Thoughts?