Dexter Fowler Trade: Someone Called It

We whiffed on the Fowler trade like J.B. Shuck whiffed on this Fowler flyball. - Justin Edmonds

A listener asked the question and we responded to the possibility of the Astros trading for Dexter Fowler.

TCB Community Member of the Week goes to /drumroll

taris1, who left this question in our live podcast thread November 24, 2013:

How about the Astros going for a player like Dexter Fowler. He still young enough to grow with these players and could have some good upside.

Go to the 36:41 mark, in the link below, to hear our answers to the question:

Astros Podcast: The Battle For The TV - The Crawfish Boxes

The too long; didn't listen (TL;DL) version:

Me: Listener question: What about a trade for Dexter Fowler?

David: PFT! What does he provide.

Me: Beggars can't be choosers.

David: no power, low batting average, bad defense.

Sean: Rockies just aren't going to give him away.

David: He'll block George Springer.

Sean: I think we're talking to Mama Springer over here. I think we'll have to give up a Jordan Lyles.

Tim: I agree, I don't think Fowler is a good fit.

David: MOVING ON!

And we get the Facepalm of the Week.

All three of us have already back tracked a bit, here on the site and on Twitter, which begs a question: Are we just happy the Astros made a move? What changed in a week and a half that makes this a good deal for the Astros?

I'm still a bit hesitant to call this a big win for the Astros. I liked both Jordan Lyles and Brandon Barnes. Lyles in particular could end up providing more value for the Rockies than Fowler does for the Astros. As unlikely as that seems right now, it's still a possibility. The Astros made a trade with the Rockies last year and both the pitchers the Astros acquired got hurt and combined pitched eight innings, at Lancaster.

There is the player to be named later element, which we didn't account for in our discussion. We also only had a few seconds to analyze a player we had a very basic understanding of. Now that we've had some more time to analyze the move we find it ideal for the Astros. Still, maybe we should all take a step back and really look at the deal and some of the negatives from the Astros perspectives:

  • The defensive metrics haven't been kind to Fowler and a move out of Coors Field doesn't mean he'll get a boost in those numbers.
  • His strikeout rate has consistently been above 20%, which was a pretty big narrative for the Astros last year.
  • Over his career, Fowler has averaged 131 games a season.
  • His offense is average: .349 wOBA, 104 wRC+, 101 OPS+.

I think our discussion from over a week ago on Fowler is a good thing. It helps us check ourselves and maybe take a step back from the excitement of the Astros actually making a move. Don't get me wrong, this is a good deal for the Astros on paper, but sometimes deals that look good on paper don't turn out the way we expect them.

Be excited, but remember to pump the brakes and check your blind-spot before you roll into that ditch.

Well played taris1.

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