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Oswalt, Feliz, & Lyon: The Seeds are Sprouting

Today, J.A. Happ, Brandon Lyon, and David Carpenter were traded to the Blue Jays for seven players. That is amazing. I could stop the post there, but the editor requires at least a few dozen more words before I am allowed to click submit.

I am about to utter a phrase that probably has not been said yet:

Without Ed Wade, the Astros' farm system would be much worse today than otherwise.

Check out this piece of artwork:


While the magnitude of my artistic genius sinks in, look what Wade and current GM Jeff Lunhow have accomplished. Roy Oswalt, Pedro Feliz, and Brandon Lyon were turned into nine players, all of whom (except maybe the PTBNL? Who knows?) project to have some sort of major league future. Some of these men, like Wallace, Villar, Musgrove, and Perez, actually have the ceiling of being difference-making regulars.

More after the Jump.

Generally I try not to project players because I have never seen most of these guys in person multiple times. However, I feel the need to put on my Astros Colored Glasses in order to illustrate how astounding these series of moves are.

After the Astros traded him and until the end of his contract, Oswalt pitched 221.2 more innings, for an ERA of 2.97 and a WAR of 4.5. That's pretty good, but the difference those 4.5 wins would have made to the Astros over the players who replaced him was not going to make them even the second-worst club in the majors.

Feliz played 40 more games on his contract after being traded from the Astros and hit .208/.232/.250, or roughly as well as Brad Ausmus' worst year at the plate.

In two and a half seasons, Lyon pitched only 127-1/3 innings with an ERA of 4.04 (and cost about $12 million dollars).

Donning my glasses, here's what they got in return:

  • Brett Wallace: Once Top-50 prospect who is beginning to regain his luster after hitting .301/.372/.503 in 78 AAA games this season, while playing 1B, 3B, and (!) SS. Ceiling of an above-average offensive 3B or average offensive 1B and middle-of-lineup hitter for the 2013 Astros.
  • Jonathan Villar: Ranked among the Astros' Top 10 prospects, and plays a premium defensive position. Ceiling as a defense-first major league shortstop
  • Francisco Cordero: Established veteran reliever with little remaining on his contract who pitched well in his last stint in the NL Central
  • Ben Francisco: LHP-mashing outfielder who will be under team control for another year that can be platooned with Bogusevic/Schafer, neither of whom could hit a beach ball thrown by a lefty (BA of .161 and .106, respectively)
  • Joe Musgrove: Power pitcher with size and stuff reminiscent of Lance Lynn, with #2 starter potential.
  • Asher Wojciechowski: Right Hander with back-to-mid rotation potential with the possibility of being a power reliever. Also taking over as the most unpronounceable name in the farm system from Mike Foltynewicz.
  • David Rollins: LHP who is being projected as a power LOOGY despite current success as a starter.
  • Carlos Perez: A good defensive catcher with strong on-base skills and gap power who projects to be a major league regular.
  • Mysterious PTBNL: Probably nobody of consequence, but there's always the chance this guy will be another Domingo Santana or D'Andre Toney.
Is there any Astros fan who doesn't love the outcome of this series of signings and acquisitions? We lambasted Wade for acquiring Feliz and Lyon, but even those guys seem to be the straw turned into gold. Wade planted the seeds, even if the eventual outcome was not what he intended. But Lunhow looks like a master gardener, and the Astros' conservatory might bloom far sooner than most of us anticipated.