Monday, June 20, 2011

Heyman on possible trade candidates

Jon Heyman ran down a list of early trade market candidates (position players only), and there are a few Astros on there:

At #4, Michael Bourn:
A tremendous defensive centerfielder with as much speed as anyone in the game (he leads the NL with 29 stolen bases), it's something of a surprise the Astros are listening at all. But word is, they are. Their one concern, apparently, is trouble with lefthanded pitching (his OPS vs. lefties is only .544 this year compared to .737 overall). The Braves could use speed in the outfield, though Jordan Schafer has looked a bit better in recent weeks.

At #9, Hunter Pence:
The sense is Houston wants to hold onto him even if it isn't thrilled Pence beat them in arbitration for $6.9 million this winter. Pence is not only having a big year (.321, 51 RBIs) but is seen as someone who provides a great example of how to play the game for a team in transition.

At #10, Jeff Keppinger:
The versatile player has hovered around .300 (he's at .302 now) and could be a useful man for a contender.

I understand why the Astros are listening on Michael Bourn - because Bourn switched his representation to Scott Boras. Or because Jason Bourgeois is only a year older, and is kind of the same player. With perhaps a better bat. I understand holding on to Pence for Heyman's expressed reasons, but for the life of me can't figure out why they're shopping Keppinger. He's the only 2B that can hit, unless clearing out Keppinger creates room for Jose Altuve in 2012.

2 comments:

sturt said...

Really?

Kepp is the first position player I would consider to be on the block... he's older and the least difficult to replace. Altuve is an option in a year or two, and in the meantime, it might make some sense to be giving Downs some starts over there.

As for Bourn and Pence, they are still young enough that they could be impact players when the team becomes competitive again, and in the NL Central, that could be sooner than later. And Bourn's importance in Minute Maid is enhanced, obviously, by the square footage out there, as well as the fact that this is a franchise that seemingly is *always* weighted to the right side of the batters box.

A championship team has to have some veterans in the line-up... ours might as well be Bourn and Pence and a veteran FA signing to be named.

OremLK said...

Downs should be comparable to Keppinger in overall value, and Altuve will probably be in the majors next year at this rate. Also, let's remember that Bourn enters free agency after next season.