Monday, August 1, 2016

Astros trade Feldman, Fields, promote Musgrove

So the Trade Deadline passed with not a whole lot to report, actually, as far as the Astros go. Let's get to the moves that the Astros did make:

Traded Scott Feldman to Toronto 

The Astros sent Scott Feldman over to the Visitors' Clubhouse in exchange for 18-year old 6'2" 150b RHP Guadalupe Chavez.

First, Feldman was one of the Extras. He got bumped to the bullpen and had pitched well, but with the glut of pitching prospects on the rise, he was expendable. And since he's a free agent at the end of the year, the Astros were okay with letting him go.

Chavez, at 6'2" 150lbs, could certainly use a glass of milk and will fill out as he gets older. Listed by as Toronto's 20th-ranked prospect, he can get a fastball up to 93 and has an "above-average" changeup and "good pitchability for his experience level (according to the linked BA article) from 2014.

For the GCL Blue Jays this year, he has thrown 32IP, 29H/6ER, 26K:4BB with a 1.69 ERA. He's actually hit more batters (six) than he has walked (four).

Traded Josh Fields to the Dodgers 

The Astros traded Fresno reliever Josh Fields to Los Angeles for 6'4" 190lb 19-year old Cuban infielder Yordan Alvarez. He bats left, throws right, and hasn't played in the US yet. Baseball-Reference lists his Cuban stats from 2013-14 (Age 16 and 17 seasons), where he hit .279/.342/.327. Again, he was very young. Still is, I suppose.

This Baseball America article has a scouting report gleaned from a handful of plate appearances. But the Dodgers only signed him six weeks ago.

The biggest immediate impact of this deal is that the removal of Fields clears up a spot on the 40-man roster, which had been full. The 40-Man now sits at 38 Men with Feldman and Fields riding off into the sunset. It's like the Astros are just trying to dismantle that legendary 2014 team.

Promoted Joe Musgrove

Musgrove was already in Houston pending the arrival of Lil' Fister, so now this saves them the prohibitive cost of a plane ticket back to Fresno. And Feldman's trade clears a spot on the 25-Man roster, so Fister can go paternitying whenever the water breaks.

Musgrove is the first in what will hopefully be a wave of pitching talent to come up. Brady Rodgers and James Hoyt, I'm looking at you. What Musgrove's role will be is up in the air. If he's replacing Feldman, he can join Devenski in long relief, but that seems silly.

Saturday's start aside, Fiers has been relatively mediocre. Capable of giving you some decent innings mixed with absolute disaster. In his last five starts he's thrown 26.1IP, 27H/13ER, 21K:9BB. That includes starts on either side of the All-Star Break in which he threw a total of 7IP, 10H/10ER, 9K:5BB.


I'm still working through it. The Astros decided to stand pat. The Rangers didn't, and that's where I think the problem lies. The Rangers will come to town on Friday with Carlos Beltran and Jonathan Lucroy. The Astros will very much be the same. I'm also trying not to fall in the hypocrisy of blasting the Astros for how poorly the Kazmir/Gomez/Fiers trades worked out and then blasting them for not taking the same risk. We can't have it both ways. We very much want it both ways.

Word could very well trickle out that the Brewers and Yankees wanted a king's ransom for both guys. The Rangers paid it, and that's the decision the Astros have to live with. The Astros aren't apparently going to acquire someone simply so the Rangers won't acquire that someone. But the Rangers did give up some talent to acquire a 39-year old rental and a 30-year old catcher. Lucroy is very good.

Today hurts for the Astros. The Rangers decided to try to win this year. The Astros are going to stick to whatever plan they have in effect. But let's be clear that Arlington is a place players want to play. Cole Hamels chose Dallas over Houston. Lucroy seemingly engineered his trade to the Ramgers because, once he vetoed that Indians deal, it seemed inevitable that the Rangers would land him. Can the same be said about Houston?

Maybe the Rangers will get Astros'd and Beltran will seemingly forget how to play the game of baseball and it will backfire. Maybe Lucroy will struggle in the AL. Probably not, but who knows? The Rangers were just more short-term aggressive than the Astros, and - like most trades - time will tell if it will pay off for the Astros.


Scott Eiland said...

I get it. It just sucks right now.

When I saw the Ramgers were going to have to play the Royals 2038249 times in the last two weeks, I thought "good." Unfortunately, this bunch reminds me of the Tony Pena Royals, not the Royals who sent us home last year. SO MUCH ANGER AND DESPAIR.

So i'm doing an exercise. Repeat after me:

Altuve. Correa. Springer. Bregman.
Altuve. Correa. Springer. Bregman.
Altuve. Correa. Springer. Bregman.

AND eventually the stench from the Gomez deal last year will wear off, and maybe Beltran turns into a pumpkin for Texas while Lucroy's deal with Satan ends this weekend?

Anyway, the above mantra makes me feel better until I remember that if the Astros picked Kris Bryant #1 instead of Mark Appel, Bregman would be learning how to play center field and we'd be 10831 games up.

Where did I put that gun?

Anonymous said...

So, I just looked over all three of the big trades the Astros made prior to this season to acquire Scott Kazmir, Carlos Gomez, Mike Fiers, and Ken Giles. I know it's a pretty small sample size, and one bad to mediocre season doesn't mean these guys are not going to pan out, but of all the prospects and Major League players we gave up for all those guys, only Vince Velasquez has numbers this year that make me think twice about giving him up for what we got in return. And Ken Giles has started to look pretty darn good. So when all is said and done, maybe we only gave up Vince for Giles, and I'm suddenly feeling a lot better about how bad those trades turned out! Anyway, it seems like making trades is a huge gamble, no matter if you're receiving the proven guys or getting the prospects back.

ntxlfty said...

Does anyone really think Luhnow did all he could to make this team better?

Anonymous said...

I'm actually happy with the trade deadline. There was a part of me that wanted a big time pitcher, but I'm glad they didn't. Lunhow showed restraint. Check out his video comments about the Rangers and what they spent. Our window to contend is for many years. The Rangers went all in, but they did at a big cost to the farm and the team is getting older. Our team is young, cheap, and we have a wave of guys soon ready to come up. In do think we need another great frontline starting pitcher, but wait till the offseason. I think our team might get the wild card but most likely just miss and Lunhow knew it. He stayed patient and I appreciate it. I would be thoroughly ticked if our farm was gutted today.

ntxlfty said...

I can see why you want to remain anonymous.

Anonymous said...

Ntxlfty coming in strong against anon's tonight.

I'm happy with standing pat.

Lucas Levin said...

Anonymous is me. I just wasn't logged in when I posted. Don't you miss VV that was sent to the Phillies? What if we would of lost 3 of our top 5 today? We would of lost big time. Better to wait till offseason to pay for a FA. This year would be a miracle to make the playoffs .

ntxlfty said...

You obviously haven't looked at the 2017 free agent starting pitchers. That list is one of the reasons the price for starting pitchers was so high.

Chas R said...

How can any Astros fan be happy with doing nothing? We are happy with hoping to be competitive for some window of years instead of going All In to try to win it all this year. Anything can happen next season and in the seasons after that. We know what we have this season and know where the weakspots are, why not fix them?

Lucas Levin said...

I know what the free agent market looks like, but there is always a sunrise move in the offseason.

ntxlfty said...

What are you talking about?

Anonymous said...

For me, it's not about making a move to make a move. There's a long term bet that has to be made as well. People think that a trade will undoubtedly improve the club which is 100% false. It is highly likely it will but not a guarantee, just as it's not a guarantee that if we didn't make a move this year it would pay off and we would be in better position to win the World Series. I am just of the opinion that the rewards don't outweigh the risks of future damage.

My personal opinion is that we have the pieces to be competitive this year and in the future without making a drastic move. That's why I'm ok with staying put.