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Looking Back At The 2006 Purpura Trade

Four years ago, Astros fans were calling for the head of GM Tim Purpura. Why? Because following the 2005 World Series, Purpura overpaid for Jason Jennings. Drastically.

Purpura traded away our only highly-touted prospect in Jason Hirsh, a fan-favorite in speedy Willy Taveras and a potentially great set-up man in Taylor Buccholz. 

After failing to get Jon Garland, Purpura turned to Jennings. However, in his six years in Colorado, Jennings proved to be very hittable and rather inefficient. He posted a sub 4.50 ERA only once, and opposing hitters batted .285. He had just one good year. Unfortunately, that one year was enough for the Astros front office. 

Why am I bringing this up now? With the Rockies recently designating Taylor Buccholz for assignment, both teams have officially given up on the trade. 

Though the deal looked awful years ago, neither team truly came out on top. Let's recap on where the players are today:

Who the Astros got: Jason Jennings, Miguel Asencio

Jennings: After an awful, injury-shortened season with the Astros (2-9, 6.45 ERA), Jennings signed with the Rangers, only to sputter once more. In his first and only season, he posted an 8.56 ERA in 6 games. The Rangers signed him the following year to a minor league contract before releasing him. He is now in the Athletics organization at 32. Good luck with that.

Asencio: After being acquired in December of 2006, Asencio was designated for assignment in September of 2007. In 2008, Asencio signed a minor league contract with the Red Sox. He is now a free agent.

Who the Rockies got: Willy Taveras, Jason Hirsh, Taylor Buccholz

Willy Taveras: Taveras lead the league in stolen bases in 2008 (68). He sparked their lineup during their 2007 World Series run, but was released after the 2008 season. Taveras has failed to stick with a team, playing with both the Reds and Nationals. Prior to the 2010 season, he signed a minor league contract with the Phillies but was soon released. In August of 2010, he signed yet another minor league contract with the Texas Rangers. 

Jason Hirsh: Hirsh was a highly touted prospect, but could not stay off the disabled list. After being named the number 4 starter in his rookie year, Hirsh sprained his ankle and later broke his fibula. He was traded to the Yankees for a player to be named later. He is still in their minor league system.

Taylor Buccholz: Possibly the most productive player in the trade, Buccholz turned out to be one of the most effective set-up pitchers in 2008, posting a 2.17 ERA in 66 innings. However, he missed the 2009 season with Tommy John Surgery, and was subsequently designated for assignment the following year after his velocity fell off.

Images by eflon used in background images under a Creative Commons license. Thank you.