Well, for the second straight December, and the second time in two weeks, the Astros have traded away a closer. Wilton Lopez is headed to the Rockies in exchange for right-handed starter Alex White and Low A right-hander Alex Gillingham. Houston will also send a player to be named to the Rockies.
The deal broke quickly Tuesday night, with the names coming out shortly after the deal was announced. White is the biggest piece for Hosuton, as he is a major league ready arm who figures to slot into the rotation next season. Here's John Sickels' scouting report on him from July 2011, when he was included in the Ubaldo Jimenez deal:
White's fastball has a lot of sink and reaches 93-94 on his best days. He'll mix in a slider, but his out-pitch is a plus splitter. I rated him a Grade B+ pre-season and see no reason to change that right now.
Bill James projects White to throw 148 innings next season with a 6.5 strikeout per nine rate and 3.83 walks per nine. Control has been a problem for White in his brief pro tenure, and I wonder what getting out of the Colorado confines may do for his numbers. He's a big ground ball guy and fits into the profile of guys Houston is developing.
Gillingham is another 2011 draftee that Luhnow has mined in these trades. He's got to run out of them eventually, right?
What do you think? Is this enough for Lopez? Does this blow you away like the Jed Lowrie deal did last season? If White provides the numbers like James projects, is it worth it?