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Houston Astros Acquire John Ely From Los Angeles Dodgers For Rob Rasmussen

Ely led the PCL in ERA last season, starting 27 games for Albuquerque, while Rasmussen was acquired last year in the Carlos Lee deal.

Stephen Dunn

Wow, Houston is all of a sudden going transaction-crazy. The Astros announced on Wednesday that they had made a trade with the Los Angeles Dodgers for John Ely, a right-handed starting pitcher who has seen time in three major league seasons.

In exchange, the Astros are sending Rob Rasmussen to the Dodgers. You may remember Rasmussen as one of the parts in the Carlos Lee trade last year with Miami. The former UCLA pitcher starter 10 games for Corpus Christi after the trade with an ERA of 4.80.

Ely, 26, struck out 165 in 168 innings last season for the Isotopes (best name in MiLB) while walking 36. His walk rate has always fluctuated and Ely struck out more batters last season than he had since High A ball. But, if he can make a jump, he'd be a nice addition to the rotation pool of pitchers that include Alex White, Dallas Keuchel and Phillip Humber.

Ely is another pitcher in a long line of Luhnow adds who relies heavily on a sinker. He doesn't throw hard, but averaged 90 MPH on his sinker last season, according to FanGraph's Pitch F/X data. He throws a wide variety of pitches, which could help him stick in the rotation.

What's interesting is that Ely will be placed on the 40-man roster, but Houston needs to make a move to clear room for him. They also need to clear room for about-to-be-signed reliever Jose Veras,which means two guys will be gone. Does that mean a trade is also brewing?


What do you think? Do you like the addition of Ely to the starters on this roster? Do you think this is the precursor for a Bud Norris trade? Would Ely have been included in that failed Dodgers deal for Carlos Lee and Jed Lowrie last year?