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Astros trade talk: Does Robbie Grossman make sense for Toronto?

Houston has depth in the outfield. Toronto has a need in the outfield. Do the two meet in the middle?

Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

One outfielder will probably be on the way out this spring. Houston currently has Jake Marisnick, George Springer and Colby Rasmus in the starting mix, with Alex Presley, Robbie Grossman and L.J. Hoes as viable backups. Add in Evan Gattis and any time he might see in left field and the Astros may have an outfield logjam.

As Evan Drellich mentioned on the podcast, though, depth is a good thing. The Astros could easily open the season with Marisnick in the minors, with either Hoes or Grossman at Triple-A or with someone on the disabled list.

Injuries, especially with players like Rasmus and Gattis, are a concern. Having more big league experience in the outfield is a plus.

Yet, the Astros could be dealing from a position of strength. Specifically, if the Toronto Blue Jays want to find a replacement for injured Michael Saunders, Houston and Robbie Grossman could make more sense than one of the high-priced players from San Diego or the Dodgers.

From Toronto's perspective, a player like Grossman is cheap and under team control. They could plug him into left field and not have a defensive black hole out there. He can also bring the kind of offense that Saunders provided, with a good walk rate, a few too many strikeouts and a little pop.

Also, Toronto's GM Alex Anthopoulis is known to favor those new-fangled analytics, which might lead them to value a player like Grossman.

Certainly, he makes more sense for Toronto than a Carlos Quentin, who's expensive and gone after the season. Ditto someone like Andre Ethier, who is expensive, signed for a while and terrible.

Grossman doesn't have a ton of value, but if the fifth starter situation doesn't get sorted out, could Houston take a shot on a guy like Drew Hutchinson? They could also pick up a guy from short-season ball they love like Francis Martes.

Losing Grossman doesn't totally kill Houston's depth, either. If they suffer an injury in the outfield, who goes to left field first? Probably Evan Gattis. If Gattis gets hurt, they plug in Alex Presley or L.J. Hoes. Or, they call up Preston Tucker and make Chris swoon.

Add in the fact that Astros GM Jeff Luhnow and Anthopoulis have worked a pretty big deal in the past and there could be something here.

Maybe it's nothing. Maybe Houston keeps all these guys in the system. But, if you want a sneaky trade scenario, Bob Grossman to Toronto is a pretty good one.