According to a report on ESPN, the Houston Astros have traded third baseman Pedro Feliz, second baseman Kazuo Matsui and minor league pitcher Jordan Lyles to Seattle for infielder Jose Lopez and minor league second baseman Dustin Ackley.
GM Ed Wade said, "We had been in discussions with multiple teams this spring. At the end of the day, this was a trade that helps us in multiple ways. We get younger and have a little more salary flexibility. Kaz has been a big part of our ballclub the past two seasons and we wish him well in Seattle."
Feliz was made expendable with the breakout spring by third baseman Chris Johnson. The 25-year old showed great power this spring, leading the team with six home runs through Thursday. Feliz was signed to a one-year contract this winter after leaving Philadelphia as a free agent.
Lopez, an All-Star second baseman, was moved to third after the Mariners signed Chone Figgins last winter. It is believed that Lopez will move back to second with the Astros, taking Matsui's place.
"I am glad to have him on the team," Seattle right fielder Ichiro Suzuki said about Matsui. "His speed will help us greatly at the top of the order. I have talked with him during the season before and think he will be a great addition to the team."
The biggest two additions to this trade may be the minor leaguers. Lyles was considered one of the top three prospects in the Astros system and immediately gives the Mariners a top-flight starting prospect to replace Cliff Lee, if Lee leaves in free agency next winter. Ackley is considered one of the top prospects in the game and looks to have made a successful transition to second base after playing in the outfield during college and in his first professional season. Ackley was the second overall pick in the 2008 draft.
Alyson Footer tweeted this about the trade:
Wow. Big trade today. Sad to see Matsui and Feliz leave but excited by what the Astros get back.
This is a huge deal. Huge. Could this turn around the perception of Ed Wade? We still have to answer the question as to where Lopez plays once Ackley is ready to make the big league roster, but turning two marginal offensive players into an All-Star and a top prospect is pretty impressive. I'm a little disappointed that we lose Lyles, but it's a small price to pay, right? What do you think? Is this a good trade for the Astros?
UPDATE: Just so we're clear to posterity here, this was an April Fool's joke. Gotcha!