Suddenly, trading minor league pitchers who profile as relievers is the new market inefficiency. At least, Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow is operating like that's the case. For the third time in over a week, Luhnow has traded one of his high minors pitchers, this time sending right-hander Bobby Doran to the White Sox for a player to be named. Brian McTaggart first had the news, with Evan Drellich confirming it was for a PTBNL.
Astros get a PTBNL for Bobby Doran source says. Three minor league trades in a weeks time— Evan Drellich (@EvanDrellich) July 10, 2014
Astros Minor League pitcher Bobby Doran has been traded to White Sox. He's headed to Triple-A Charlotte.— Brian McTaggart (@brianmctaggart) July 10, 2014
Earlier this week, Houston sent minor league right-hander Andrew Robinson to the Braves for cash or a player to be named. Then, they sent left-hander Alex Sogard to the Diamondbacks for minor league third baseman Cesar Carrasco.
Doran, 25, was drafted in the fourth round of the 2010 draft out of Texas Tech. The 6-foot-6, 235 pound right-hander threw in 21 games for Oklahoma City this season, his second at Triple-A. He's posted a 4.90 ERA in 125 innings in the minor's highest level, with 63 strikeouts and 44 walks.
Meanwhile, Houston still has a logjam of pitchers at Oklahoma City who need to see time. Jake Buchanan, Paul Clemens, Mike Foltynewicz, Brett Oberholtzer, Rudy Owens, Alex White, Asher Wojciechowski, Thomas Shirley and possibly Kyle Weiland are all vying for big innings. Something needs to give, especially since there are plenty of Double-A pitchers who could get promoted soon.
This also pays back some of Houston's minor league depth. They take MLB-ready guys without much upside and turn them into high upside, low floor types that can report to Low A ball and develop. It also suggests that Houston feels comfortable with its pitching depth at Triple-A right now. Doran may not have been likely to see the majors quickly, but he was an emergency piece who could be called up in a pinch.
As many have speculated, more trades could be on the way. But, for now, Houston gets just another lottery ticket to add to its pile of scratchers in Quad Cities.
The return on the trade has been reported by Brian McTaggart as twenty-one-year-old switch-hitting shortstop Jeffry Santos, who will report to the Greeneville Astros.
Santos is old for the AZL, where he's been playing this season for the White Sox, but has put up an impressive .295/.483/.386 slash line there. Last year, in the Appalachian League, he posted a much less-impressive .152/.200/.242 over just thirty games. In addition to shortstop, he's also played second base.