HOUSTON, TX - JUNE 18: Houston Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow answers questions during a press conference to introduce right-handed pitcher Lance McCullers, who was selected in the compensation first round (41st overall) of the 2012 MLB First Year Player Draft at Minute Maid Park on June 18, 2012 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
Another busy week in Astros Land.
Ever since J.A. Happ received $2.1m in arbitration at the start of the season I did question how much longer he would be wearing an Astros uniform and several times since. Cost-controlled mediocre pitchers can be replaced with better cost-controlled pitchers.
Jarred Cosart shutdown a Frisco lineup that contained Mike Olt and Jurickson Profar last night, while Ariel Ovando boomed out his first two home runs of the season, going 3-4 with a walk. If only we could get some wins at the major league level eh?
Trade dichotomies are always fun to search through, and the general consensus is Andrew Anthopoulos, the fleecer, got fleeced.
Some people forget in this era of jealousy guarding your prospects and building them up in your own minds as the next star pitcher or gold glover that most fail and the whole point of having organisation depth, especially in the minors, is to trade it to get what you need right now.
As many have pointed out there were many reasons for Toronto to ship the pieces it did to Houston, with the one small caveat that the PTBNL, thought to be a 2011 draftee that signed between this time and the August deadline last year. Carlos Perez had catchers in front of him, and either they would have had to waste a 40-man roster spot next year to protect him, or someone would have grabbed him in the Rule 5 Draft. Joe Musgrove is an intriguing arm, but has shoulder issues. Asher Wojciechowski is 24 this year and still in High-A ball.
And AA may be right on betting on a Happ rebound, but I wouldn't count on it. Yet if he can fluke an excellent season in Philadelphia, as most people agree it was a fluke, then he could fluke another one. Or even two. But at the moment he is getting outpitched by Lucas Harrell, an unheralded White Sox castoff, and has shown no real signs that he will ever be more than a league average starter.
So perhaps we should not be too eager to get too suckered into lazy reporting, falling into 'narratives' and buying into the fact that Jeff Luhnow is, in fact, a wizard.
The Brett Myers to the White Sox return did not really wow me, but again, until we see the PTBNL and understand what the Astros are on the hook for if Myers' 2014 option is triggered, it really is difficult to gauge.
Still, with this and the Carlos Lee trades give the organisation a few more minor league pieces to play with.
I noticed this from Buster Olney earlier in the week:
Rival execs noting Astros are following path of Devil Rays: Field a team so bad that they will draft No. 1 or near top of draft for years.
Well, I don't think they are playing this bad intentionally. Some of this is down to trading assets for stock that could help the Astros in the future rather than being intentionally the worst team in the majors to amass 1-1 picks.
Next to go for the Astros? Given that Luhnow seems to be able to get actual prospects back for relievers, I would not be surprised to see teams inquire about Wilton Lopez, even if recent injuries will have dented his stock somewhat.