clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Astros 2016 Potential Trades Series: Shortstop

New, 52 comments

The Astros have a flat-out glut of talented players all jostling for major league position. How is this going to be handled going forward? Let's examine shortstop in part six of an eight-part series.

The future of Alex Bregman has been hotly debated since the Astros made him the second overall draft pick less than a year ago out of LSU.
The future of Alex Bregman has been hotly debated since the Astros made him the second overall draft pick less than a year ago out of LSU.
Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

While not heavily mentioned by MLB.com as particularly active this trade season, it seems exceedingly likely in spite of a rocky start to 2016 that the Astros are once again deadline buyers this season, and not just to address holes at the major league level...but possibly also to address mounting logjams at the upper minor league levels.

Welcome to part six of an eight-segment, position by position run down of the situation with the club, and then we'll examine possible (and perhaps even likely) outcomes of these situations near the end of the series. Here’s the schedule, so you know when to expect each article:

Pitching: Published April 25th, 2016
Catching:
Published April 26th, 2016
First Base: Published April 27th, 2016
Second Base: Published April 28th, 2016

Third Base: Published April 29th, 2016
Shortstop: May 2nd, 2016
Outfield: May 3rd, 2016
Conclusions Drawn: May 4th, 2016

Shortstop

Perhaps the only position on the entire team that is truly locked down with superhuman Man-God Carlos Correa in the fold, right?

Well, sort of.

The debate has raged, red-hot, since the end of the first day of the 2015 draft.  Will Correa remain at shortstop?  Or will he move to third base to accommodate another hot shot shortstop prospect, Alex Bregman, in Houston?  Who can really say, definitively?  Not this writer.  There's the school of thought that says "Carlos Correa was here first.  He's the rising face of the franchise, and one of the rising faces of the very sport.  He was the Rookie of the Year.  If he wants to play shortstop, he plays shortstop."

That kind of rationale is understandable - though one might argue the case of Alex Rodriguez and Derek Jeter in New York, and that Rodriguez was a significantly better defender at shortstop than Jeter was, as a negative example of letting non-baseball related (strictly speaking) factors affect such a decision.  It's also reasonable, to an extent, to be concerned about retaining Correa's services beyond his arbitration years, as he's expressed a desire - if not an expectation - to stay at shortstop.

The truth is, there is no publicly available data (of which this writer is aware) accurately comparing the two young future stars, Correa and Bregman, defensively to see which profiles better as a shortstop and which profiles better as a third baseman.  Or a second baseman or left fielder, in Bregatron's (possible) case.

As Chris Perry pointed out in a discussion in preparation for this piece, were Bregman to make a move to left field to ultimately make room for Colin Moran at third, it is conceivable that the Astros field the following lineup (or one similar) as soon as 2017:

Name

Position

Jose Altuve

Second Base

Alex Bregman

Left Field

A.J. Reed

First Base

Carlos Correa

Shortstop

George Springer

Right Field

Colin Moran

Third Base

Tyler White

Designated Hitter

Literally anyone

Catcher

Tony Kemp

Center Field

That might be a lineup lacking in the "three true outcomes" punch we've come to expect recently in Houston, but it certainly does appear to be eight fairly difficult outs and a catcher.

Point is, there are a huge number of possible outcomes still remaining with regards to Bregman.  And moving to Left Field should probably be seriously considered, along with any number of other potential position moves for him.  Also attractive, if he's up to it, is the specter of a Ben Zobrist-type baseball player playing literally all over the field as necessary.
Of course, the potential for a trade of Bregman looms large.  It would be great if he could stay in Houston with us, be it as an infielder or an outfielder.
Speaking of the outfield...be sure to check back tomorrow for Part Seven, examining the outfield situation in Houston and its trade potential!