Thursday, November 6, 2014


Hank Conger, switch-hitting catcher, was traded from the Angels in exchange for Nick Tropeano and Carlos Perez earlier today.  Perez had recently been added to the Astros 40-man - on the same day that Will Harris was claimed off waivers - so this represents a 2-1 swap in terms of the 40-man.

Pundits seem to think that the Angels have managed to fill a rotation need whilst trading their backup catcher (albeit one who received approximately 40% of the catcher plate-appearances for the Angels - second to Chris Iannetta) and getting their 2015 backup catcher back in Carlos Perez.

As for the Astros, my thoughts are that this trade will need to be evaluated at the end of the off-season.  With Castro, Stassi and Corporan, along with Conger, all looking to catch - and none being consistently good enough for DH duties - then I would be stunned with one (more likely two) wasn't traded shortly.

The free-agent market is miserable for catchers this offseason, and therefore the Astros may be shopping Castro to whomever loses out on the Russell Martin sweepstakes.  The Astros again deal from their perceived future-rotation logjam for a (possibly undervalued) major-league player whilst freeing up a 40-man slot.  There are significant parallels with the Marisnick trade in this case as well.

This will make more sense when the next move happens, but I am picking that Castro and Corporan will be traded this offseason.  This may, in turn, free up uniform-number-15 for Will Harris.  Stay tuned.


JoeinAlaska said...

I'm not sure I get this move if it's other than to clear spots on the 40 man roster.It seems like Castro and Corporan hit better than Conger. Conger might have a slight defensive edge on them. We also have Stassi fairly close to stepping up, but it looks like he won't hit much better than Conger. Thoughts?

Anonymous said...

It might be more accurate to refer to Conger as a 'switch batting' catcher since hitting is not his forte.

Anonymous said...

I actually like this move. Any combination of the three (I'm betting it's Conger & Stassi) would create a very solid catching situation. It's obvious this was a roster clearing move, but I think the Astros got some real value for mid-level prospects..


Terence said...

It might seem like Castro hit much better than Conger but that's because they played their home games in two very different parks. After park adjustment, Conger had a wRC+ of 82 last year, Castro was at 84. There's no discernible difference in the offensive skills displayed by these two players last year. Conger is younger, healthier, and produced better offensive numbers in the minors coming up. It is possible that the front office sees Conger as the better offensive player and that 2013 Jason Castro is never coming back.

Even though Conger is a "switch-hitter" the Angels basically only had him facing RHP in 2014, and that's where all of his power has come from. It'd be hard to imagine Conger and Castro both on this roster at the beginning of the season.

Anonymous said...

Assuming everything goes as planned this offseason, we won't need our cather batting in the middle of the order anymore. Congers defensive ability is only getting better while his offense only needs to be good enough the be a bottom of the order guy. I really like the move.