Orioles executive VP Dan Duquette spoke with Astros GM Jeff Luhnow this past weekend "gauging whether there was a potential match" between the two clubs on a trade for a backup catcher, MASNsports.com’s Roch Kubatko reports. The O’s are known to be looking for depth behind the plate with Matt Wieters on the DL, and Kubatko believes the Orioles could favor adding a right-handed hitting catcher to platoon with left-handed hitting Steve Clevenger.
The MLB Trade Rumors writer speculates that the interest may not actually be in Jason Castro or Carlos Corporan. Max Stassi is the piece that the writer suggest the Orioles could go after.
This is just my speculation, but Stassi might be the most intriguing option for Baltimore, as the 23-year-old posted an .863 OPS in 323 Double-A plate appearances last year. The 2014 Baseball America Propsect Handbook ranked Stassi as the 12th-best prospect in the Astros’ system, noting that while Stassi has been plagued by injuries throughout his career, he has potential as an everyday starter in the bigs. There were rumors last winter that the Astros could clear a path for Stassi by trading Castro to one of several interested suitors. Adding a promising young catcher like Stassi could also give the O’s a future option should Wieters leave in free agency after the 2015 season.
The article then mentions that Troy Patton is the potential trade piece that the Orioles are looking to move. He could help bolsters a bad Houston bullpen.
Left-hander Troy Patton has been mentioned as possible trade bait for the Orioles, and Patton could help a Houston bullpen that ranks last in the majors with a 6.06 ERA. The southpaw was originally drafted by the Astros in 2004 (going to Baltimore as part of the Miguel Tejada trade package of 2007) and has a 3.06 ERA, 3.21 K/BB rate and a 7.1 K/9 in 139 career appearances, all but two of them coming out of the bullpen. Given Stassi’s potential, it may take more than just Patton to complete the trade if the Orioles indeed have the catcher in mind.
Here is a link to John Sickels Top 20 Prospects for the 2014 Orioles.
The Orioles do not have a stacked farm system by any means. If trading for Stassi, Bundy and Gausman are untouchable. A prospect for prospect trade could yield one of their B to C+ prospects in return. Perhaps returning the LHP, Eduardo Rodriguez or an upside RHP in Hunter Harvery would make this trade somewhat enticing for the Astros.
However, if the trade doors open for Jason Castro, I don't see how Bundy or Gausman would not be a major part of the discussion.