If there is one team that has made it clear that they are sellers at this year’s trade deadline it’s the Houston Astros. Why wait until July 31st to make some some moves though? Houston already dealt Carlos Lee to Miami that we covered here and Astros General Manager Jeff Luhnow is continuing to build towards the future by pulling off two more deals this weekend. Let’s take a look at how the Astros did.
Astros receive: RP Francisco Cordero and OF Ben Francisco, plus prospects RHP Joe Musgrove and Asher Wojciechowski, LHP David Rollins, C Carlos Perez and a player to be named later
Blue Jays receive: SP J.A. Happ, RP’s Brandon Lyon and David Carpenter
The Blue Jays were looking for any pitching help after losing Brandon Morrow, Kyle Drabek, Drew Hutchison, Sergio Santos, Luis Perez, and Jason Frasor to injuries. Drabek, Perez, and Santos are done for the season. Happ can be serviceable in both the rotation and out of the bullpen. He came out of the bullpen in his first appearance with the Jays. Lyon will replace Cordero as the righty set-up man in the bullpen.
Cordero joins his 6th MLB team in his career and comes back to the N.L. Central after being with Cincinnati from 2008-11. He has fallen off this season with a 5.77 ERA, but is only signed to a one-year contract, meaning the Astros will clear his salary at the end of the season or it makes him a target to be flipped by the end of July for more prospects. Francisco was a former big-name prospect, but hasn’t lived up to it. He’s turned into a reserve outfielder and is hitting .236 this season.
The Astros made this deal though for the prospects. The three pitchers all have been good in the minors so far and two were high draft picks in the 1st compensation round. Wojciechowski and Perez were top 15 prospects in the Blue Jays system according to “Prospect Corner.”
Astros receive: Prospects RHP Matt Heidenreich, LHP Blair Walters, and a player to be named later
White Sox receive: RP Brett Myers
Was there a more obvious trade candidate in the 2012 season than Brett Myers? The Astros converted him to closer in order to maximize his value on the trade market. The two prospects aren’t anything overly special, but stockpiling pitching lottery tickets and hoping one makes it, isn’t a bad strategy. Walters, 22, was ranked by Baseball America as the 26th best prospect in the White Sox system, but has struggled since moving up to high A with a 7.01 ERA and 1.63 WHIP for Winston-Salem. 21 year-old Heidenreich was solid in Winston-Salem going 8-2 with a 3.57 ERA this season, but also has struggled since moving up another level.
Myers moves to the Windy City to help stabilize a bullpen that has the 3rd worst bullpen ERA in the American League. Myers has 19 saves and a 3.52 ERA for Houston before being traded. Myers, Matt Thornton, and Addison Reed isn’t exactly the strongest combination at the end of games, but it can be good enough to keep the White Sox in contention for the A.L. Central.
The Astros have shown that they’re trying to bottom out completely and pick up high draft picks in the draft to build a nucleus for the latter part of this decade. We’ve already seen Houston grab Carlos Correa with the #1 pick in this years draft. They’re setting themselves up to pick near the top once again.
-Bryan Mapes (@IAmMapes)