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Starting Nine: Astros trade for Carlos Gomez

TCB staff reacts to the Carlos Gomez trade.

Thomas B. Shea-USA TODAY Sports

On thursday, the Astros traded for Carlos Gomez, Mike Fiers, and interonal slot money for prospects Josh Hader, Adrian Houser,  Brett Phillips and Domingo Santana.

Now it's time for the TCB staff to react:


The only prospect that it hurts to lose is Brett Phillips. Santana has some potential but has struggled with contact percentage which could be a real road block for his future. Josh Hader is a back of the rotation starter by every publications reports. Adrian Houser has struggled at time with giving up hard contact and is a back of the rotation type as well. The last three prospects are type the Astros can lose and not miss. Phillips is the only one that hurts, and it's not like there aren't guys to fill the void with guys Derek Fisher.

Getting a top center fielder with Gomez gets more production from the outfield by making Jake Marisnick a reserve and Mike Fiers has some areas that could help him turn into a really good middle of the rotation type. This strengthens two areas on the team while only losing one prospect that hurts.

I'll take this trade happily.

Alex Goodwin

There was no way this trade wasn't going to hurt in some way. Brett Phillips has been nothing short of spectacular since the beginning of 2014. He has 3-4 plus tools (speed, arm, hit, power?) and was going to round out a pretty damn great outfield for us. Carlos Gomez, temper aside, is already pretty much what we hoped Phillips could be. His teammates love him, for whatever that means, so he can't be all that bad. Houser--I'm not quite sure what to make of him. Santana and Hader are both guys that probably would never have carved out roles with the Astros due to blocking/skill set issues. Fiers gets hit harder than anyone else (and I have no idea why) but Strom may see something in him, and he could be a top-3 guy in the rotation. For a player with the pedigree of Gomez, you're going to have to give up something you like a lot. Brett Phillips will quite possibly be a Top-5 MLB CF, and Gomez probably already is one. The Astros definitely think they can win this year, and I don't blame them.


I'm excited! I have wanted a batter now that they went out and got Kazmir, and they got one! Yes it hurts to lose Phillips for what he may become, but the time has come to use some of that talent to go get someone for the now. And it's not for rentals! Let's see what happens now, and whatever happens the team is better now AND better to build on after 2015 is over.

Brian Stevenson

I'm utterly unphased at the loss of Santana, Hader and Houser. If you had a crystal ball and told me a few years from now that Houser and Santana were busts and Hader was a solid setup man, I'd go "...yeah, that sounds about right." I'm totally fine with losing them.

But Phillips hurts. People can argue that Bregman is our top prospect, but I would probably still lean towards Phillips. When you trade your top prospect, who is a legitimate Top 25 national prospect type, you need to get something big. I'm not sure Gomez and Fiers qualifies as that. They're both good players, but they both have warts. Gomez is a big upgrade over Marisnick, but he's having a down year on both sides of the ball. He has some club control left, but it's just one year. Fiers had a great year last year, but he's declined this one. He has four years of control left, but he's already 30, so how valuable with those years be?

Unless Phillips becomes a legit star-level player and/or Fiers and Gomez flop with us, it will be hard to lose this trade. Gomez should provide at least 4.5 WAR over the remainder of his contract, and the last two seasons make it clear he could provide much, much more than that. When Gomez is at his best, he's Michael Bourn with 20+ home run power, and that's a heck of a player. Fiers, if he rebounds under Strom to his 2014 form (a partial season), could be the second-best pitcher in a rotation that is already not at all short on legit talent. The Angels went out and stocked up on lefty-killing bats right after we dealt for Kazmir; another strong righty in the rotation might be just what the doctor ordered for the stretch run. Even if the best case is not reached, the Astros should get very solid value out of these two guys, but there's probably not a high chance that that value is reached.

I think I do like this trade, but I can't love it. I may be able to love it in retrospect some day, but on principal, I don't approve of dealing your top prospect and not getting a star in return. Maybe they did get one, but we don't know they did. Fiers isn't Hamels. He isn't even Tyson Ross. The Astros got better for this year, and they got better for the future, too. There's no way they'd have given up Phillips for a rental. The question is how much better did they actually get, and will it be enough to really put them over the top? If not and Phillips hits his ceiling, this will hurt in a few years. Deeply.

Alex Goodwin

I should clarify: I don't really like this trade. But I mostly understand the Astros' line of thinking.

David Coleman

I love, love, love this trade. There were very few impact bats on the market this July and Houston got the only one.

They also got two players who are under team control past this year. To do so, they didn't even give up their top prospect (Alex Bregman) or their top pitching prospect (Mark Appel...haha, LMJ or VV).

To upgrade from Jake Marisnick offensively, you probably have to downgrade defensively. With Gomez, that's not the case. He's just as good as Marisnick in the field and has an impact bat. Oh, and he'll be around next year.

That's not even thinking about Mike Fiers, who could be just as good or better than Cole Hamels over the next four years (with Strommie's pitch tunneling). They already had the best rotation in the AL. Now, they can go toe to toe with the Dodgers and Nationals.

Losing the prospects hurts. This is what depth does, though. Realistically, the jewel of the trade is Brett Phillips. He could be a star, but he's probably a slightly better George Springer. Well, where does be play if we already have a star Springer? Ditto Santana. Even if he hits (I don't believe he will), he's blocked by Springer and Tucker and Rasmus (who I think the Astros will re-sign after the season).

Outstanding deal. It hurts, but not as much as the Kazmir deal. That should tell you what a wizard Luhnow is.

Now, bring on the Angels and their deals for platoon outfielders. The Astros got two top-line starters and impact bat. Come at us, bros.


Carl Everett ruined me for ever rooting for a player like Carlos Gomez again. I've long been the anti-fan when it comes to players like him, Carl Everett, Milton Bradley, etc. I have no patience for it, personally.

Add to that that I value Brett Phillips as a future MLB star, and this trade is almost completely unpalatable for me.

Then, examining the 30 year old Fiers' statistics, I find myself unmoved by his 37.7 GB%, his 3.89 ERA/3.79 FIP, his 3.28 BB/9, his .316 BABIP...I've heard several amongst my TCB brethren - who are much more knowledgeable than me - rave about Fiers, but I just don't see it. I reserve the right to change my mind on him upon further study, but for now, I am aghast at this trade, overall.

Please note that I recognize that my reaction is skewed by emotion, both regarding Carlos Gomez, whom I abhor, and Brett Phillips, whom I'm a huge proponent of.

I apologize sincerely in the knowledge that this will be perceived as a "hot take", but my personal opposition to Gomez, at the very least, runs much deeper than just this trade. I've already been told more than once that I'll love Gomez as soon as he hits a walk off home run.

No. I assure you, I won't.

Alex Goodwin

Milwaukee fans love Gomez. For what it's worth.


First, I was floored. This was not at all what I was expecting. My jaw dropped.

Then: I didn't like it. That was the immediate, visceral reaction.

I will now set about reading what everybody says about it and feel free to adjust my opinion as I see fit.


Carlos Gomez put up roughly 13 WAR combined between 2013-14. If he can get back to that level he's not a small upgrade he's one of the best players on the team. He also has a year remaining on his contract at 9 million for 2016, again a complete steal if he performs anywhere close to how he has in the past. Mike Fiers has team control as well, and gives the Astros the chance to limit the innings of Lance McCullers and Vince Velasquez.

It's hard to part with a prospect like Brett Phillips, but Gomez is a finished product who is already at the level that Phillips only has the potential to reach. The other 3 prospects were unlikely to have major impacts on the Astros. It hurts to give up Phillips, but the Astros got real value in return, and not just rentals. The goal is to win games not have the best prospects, and this trade makes them better right now.


I haven't really had a chance to process, but my snap reaction is that this is a really good trade for the Astros. I really like Brett Phillips. A lot. I think he's perhaps the best outfield prospect for the Astros since Hunter Pence. However, Santana had no place with this team (and I have doubts about his ability to make contact in the majors), Hader is a player buried at a startlingly deep position, and Houser is a guy who's never quite matched the pedigree. All four of those guys have the chance to be very good or even star-level major leaguers. But Gomez is the best defensive CF over the past five years in the majors, is a clear improvement with the bat over Marisnick, and Fiers is a good, controlled middle-rotation pitcher who limits walks and gets great strikeout numbers. I also like that, as a flyball pitcher, he will benefit from a Rasmus/Gomez/Springer outfield.


I really like adding Gomez and losing Phillips really hurts, but I just keep coming back to Carter and for that matter Singleton. How dangerous would this team be now if we could get second half of 2014 Chris Carter???

In all seriousness I really do like this trade, as it sets us up to go for it both this year and next, while not devastating our farm system. We still have Appell and Musgrove and we still have Reed, Fisher, Tucker, Bregman and Cameron. Phillips could be a perennial all-star or he could flame out or he could get injured and never amount to anything at the major league level. To me the risk is worth the reward.

Dave Spradley

Great trade for the Astros. Like others have said, the only piece that hurts giving up is Brett Phillips, but in Gomez they're getting the guy they hope Brett Phillips becomes, and Gomez is in his prime.

Jeff Luhnow has done a great job this year at slowly plugging up every hole the team has. Rotation is looking thin? Bring up LMJ and VV and trade for Kazmir. Marisnick's bat has died and Springer is hurt? Deal for Gomez. Jed Lowrie just got off the DL, and when Springer comes back? This looks like it could be a very dangerous lineup. A lineup worthy of a championship team.


Great trade for the Astros. Like others have said, the only piece that hurts giving up is Brett Phillips, but in Gomez they're getting the guy they hope Brett Phillips becomes, and Gomez is in his prime.

Jeff Luhnow has done a great job this year at slowly plugging up every hole the team has. Rotation is looking thin? Bring up LMJ and VV and trade for Kazmir. Marisnick's bat has died and Springer is hurt? Deal for Gomez. Jed Lowrie just got off the DL, and when Springer comes back? This looks like it could be a very dangerous lineup. A lineup worthy of a championship team.