We need to start cleaning out the entire roster. That means Wandy, Myers, Keppinger, and El Caballo (Kepp and Carlos could land us some decent prospects, considering they're both swinging the bat fairly well).
Why? I'll explain after the jump.
Mike is going to ask for a deserved long term contract, but we can’t give it to him. Why? George Springer. He’ll be MLB ready by mid to late 2012. He should be on the opening day roster come 2013. He can move around in the OF if necessary, but he said that he would prefer to stay in CF, something I have no problem with. If any other reason to trade Mike, it’s because his value is pretty high right now, and a team like Washington, who has some good prospects, has reportedly asked the Astros about his availability. Deal him to Washington or whoever else, and get a good prospect in return.
Hunter is someone who I really, really want us to trade, but it wouldn’t be the end of the world if we didn’t. His value has sky-rocketed this season, and he’s definitely earned the right to be an All-Star. We could probably get a top prospect in return for Hunter. In fact, I think a Domonic Brown for Hunter Pence swap isn’t that much of a reach right now, considering Hunter has been exceptional this year. I’m not sure we could get a prospect on Domonic Brown’s level, but we could certainly get someone very close to it. Now, if we do not trade him, I would initially be furious, but then after cooling down, I’d be ok with it. Hunter just turned 28 two months ago, and he’s just now entering his prime, so I’d like to think he’s got 3, maybe 4 more years of great production left in him. In 2 years, we will start calling up prospects.
Guys who are expected to be called up in that time span (or earlier) are George Springer, Jose Altuve, Jimmy Paredes, Jonathan Villar, J.D. Martinez, Dallas Keuchel, Austin Wates, and maybe Jack Armstrong. That gives us a good, young nucleus to work with. We can insert them around Hunter, and hopefully make a playoff run in the following years. Even after 2013, we would have even more reinforcements. Delino DeShields Jr., Folty, Ariel Ovando, Adrian Houser, Tanner Bushue, and Jio Mier are expected to arrive around 2014.
It would honestly make more sense to trade Hunter, because our biggest prospects with the highest ceilings like Ovando, DeShields, and maybe Folty, aren’t likely to come up until 2014, maybe mid to late 2013 at the earliest.
Above all us, Ed Wade needs to get fired. He’s good at signing draft picks, but he trades for vets, and doesn’t know when to fully enter rebuilding mode. That time was maybe a month ago, and it couldn’t be more painfully obvious, now that we are 20 games below .500.