HOUSTON - APRIL 12: Houston Astros celebrate after the final out as the defeat the Chicago Cubs 11-2 at Minute Maid Park on April 12, 2011 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
As most predicted, it would only be a matter of time before certain Astros players were mentioned in possible trade rumors for teams looking to upgrade. I'll admit, I think that there's a possibility that come the trade deadline the Astros will be heavily engaged in trade talks. They're going to be either buyers or the more obvious choice as sellers. The trade deadline is July 31st and it appears that the trade parade talk has already started for some of the Astros players.
MLBTradeRumors.com did a write up this week looking at which players might be available if the Astros become sellers.They go on to list players such as Carlos Lee, Wandy Rodriguez, Brett Meyers, Hunter Pence, Brandon Lyon, Michael Bourn, Clint Barmes, Bill Hall, and Jeff Keppinger as potential trade targets. They even go on to say that Carlos Lee could even be released which really at this point is very much a possibility. I was listening to XM Radio today and Brad Mills said that usually they give players 100-150 at-bats (6-7 weeks) before the club is forced to make a decision about playing time.
At what point does Carlos Lee become detrimental to this team? If he's not hitting and we know that he will not take a walk even if there was a McDonalds #2 with cheese on at stake. I have a feeling that the Astros are trying to do everything possible in order to get some sort of trade value out of Lee mixed with eating the majority of the contract. If the Astros are going to keep him then he needs to be moved down in the order or simply benched. I've said this for a while that the Astros need to move Carlos Lee to the 6th hole in the lineup. @AstroBrit did a really good write up about yesterday and I couldn't agree more. Ideally I think that the Astros lineup should look something similar to the lineup below.
- Michael Bourn (CF)
- Angel Sanchez (SS)
- Brett Wallace (3B)
- Hunter Pence (RF)
- Chris Johnson (3B)
- Carlos Lee (LF)
- Bill Hall/Matt Downs (2B)
- Quintero/Towles (C)
Anyone still think that Michael Young for Carlos Lee is a bad idea? Nolan Ryan and Jon Daniels would laugh at Ed Wade so hard now that it would simply be embarrassing to ask about a Lee for Young type trade. I have a feeling that the Astros are going to have to eat the contract and just move on.
Now that we've got that off our chest, though, it doesn't mean teams aren't already trying to anticipate players who might be available. One name we've heard connected with clubs like the Yankees is Houston's Brett Myers. But according to FanGraphs, there isn't a right-handed starter in the AL East whose fastball has averaged under 89 mph. And Myers' average velocity is down to 87.7 -- 3 mph under his career norm.
"If he's in the AL East, he's a fifth starter," one NL scout said of Myers. "I don't see him being a [difference-maker]. The only thing he'd have working for him, besides his curveball, is lack of familiarity with him over there."
The Bleacher Report takes a look at potential fits for the Astros if they decide to move Wandy Rodriguez. They list teams such as the Mariners, Mets, Cardinals, Nationals, and the Yankees as potential fits for Wandy.
We're not even 20 games into the season and the buzzards are already swarming? Come on now! Really?
"You know native_astro they do make a point." Shut up you good looking dude! If you weren't so good looking I'd give you a Chuck Norris round house kick to the chest.
I'm probably the biggest advocate for rebuilding and I'm the first in line to start begging for the Astros to just blow this roster up and start over. I'm like that bratty kid who gets a $20 bill from his parents and has already spent the bill before he has even gotten to the store. "If we trade Brett Meyers then I want this prospect or that prospect for Wandy Rodriguez." With that said, I would hardly say that the Astros record of 7-12 is the time that we should go into full blown trade mode.
I'm probably in the minority here, but during our losing streak this past week the one day that gave me the most enjoyment was the day that Telvin Nash and Chris Wallace both hit 3 home-runs apiece for the Lexington Legends. With guys like Jonathan Villar, Jose Altuve, and J.D Martinez off to good starts it gives us a little bit of hope that things could actually get better in the near future. I think as fans of a losing organization, we tend to get really bitter about hearing how bad of a farm system that we have, being last in a majority of stats, and starting the season in last....again. It's nice from time to time to get a little glimmer of hope that things could be getting better in the near future. Guys like J.D Martinez, J.B Shuck, Jordan Lyles, and even Jonathan Villar are close and give us something as fans to be excited about for the long term for this franchise.
So what should Ed Wade do if the team is hovering around the Mendoza line around the trade deadline?
At what point does Ed Wade and Co. start to decide what direction the Astros should go in for 2011 and what players will be trade options for the Astros? Right now the club is starting to jell and look like they could be a competitive squad in the NL Central, but should that outweigh the long term goals for the Astros? Probably not, but I have a feeling that Ed Wade is going to continue to add small pieces such as waiver claims and evaluate what's in the minors, money owed next year, etc in order to make a decision about what this roster could look like.
Take Brandon Wood for example, who was designated for assignment this week by the Angels. Wood would be an ideal fits for the Astros because he's young, has a high upside, and is under control for a couple of years. Wood could fill in at 2B or even SS if the Astros decide to move either Clint Barmes or even Angel Sanchez.
Look, we all knew that this was a possibility going into 2011. It still is probably very likely that the Astros go into trade mode as we approach the trade deadline. Maybe even sooner if the sale of the Astros goes through prior to the trade deadline, but as of right now it's still a little premature to be already selling the Astros off and predicting where guys will end up the day after the trade deadline.