Besides more confidence in the new general manager and front office team, that is? Tuesday afternoon's deal was as much about realizing what this team is about than about the relative worth's of two pieces on the 2012 club.
Two pieces that have been make fairly expendable, too. I mean, the biggest loss here is Jason Bourgeois' speed, as Houston doesn't really have a player in his class right now. However, speed with little on-base skill and adequate defense isn't exactly a huge selling point for a team retooling at all levels.
There's also this: Houston acquired Jason Bourgeois off waivers and traded Tim Redding to the Padres for Q back in 2005. I'd say that's a trade the Astros won. But, both players here were in danger of not making the roster at all. The fact that Houston got ANYTHING for them is pretty clutch.
Where does that leave Houston?
Well, this move opens up some spots on the 25-man roster for Luhnow guys like Chris Snyder and some other outfielder he's brought in. Honestly, there are so many he picked up this offseason, it's hard to handicap exactly which one it helps more.
But, this is unquestionably a move to take a step away from the previous regime's players and towards a new way of analyzing talent. Under the last two GMs, don't you think Houston would have held onto these two until it was too late and not gotten anything worthwhile out of them?
Plus, the guys they got (at least one of them) is very intriguing. Chapman is a power-throwing lefty who could at the least be a LOOGY. I know the Royals had also pigeon-holed him as a reliever, working him exclusively out of the 'pen in the minors. He does remind me a little of one Bud Norris, though. Power guy, not many pitches, with great strikeout numbers but little command.
If Houston moves him into the rotation in the minors? Could find more value there than we predict right now. Even if they don't, he's another live arm that could help anchor a bullpen in a few years (and prevent the Astros from having to trade or sign guys like that).
And what about that PTBNL? Who could that be? Luhnow views that guy as a "key component," right? To me, that screams a player from the 2011 draft class that they can't pick up until later in the summer. Maybe third-rounder Bryan Brickhouse? That'd certainly be a huge addition, although an unlikely one. After all, the Royals did lay out $1.5 million for him last summer.
Either way, Jeff Luhnow is putting his stamp on this team. Veterans like Brandon Lyon better take notice. The new GM is getting value from any and every piece, and he's not going to wait until it's too late to trade them.