With the Astros already in the doldrums, MLB Trade Rumors has taken to previewing what they might be able to do at the trade deadline. Most of it revolves around two players who have long been rumored to be traded, despite a lack of evidence that the Astros will actually deal them: Wandy Rodriguez and Brett Myers. Here's what MLBTR has to say:
Wandy Rodriguez, SP: Up to $38.3MM owed through 2014. Since Wandy is paid only $7MM this year, he'd fit into most contenders' 2011 budgets. His '13 club option becomes a player option with a trade, the salary of which is reflected in the $38.3MM figure. If the 32-year-old is in the midst of a disappointing but not terrible season, the Astros could have a way of getting out of the contract. If he's pitching well, the Astros could get solid players in return.
Brett Myers, SP: $16.3MM owed through 2012; could become $23.3MM through 2013 if option vests. Like Rodriguez, Myers is earning only $7MM this year. At the least he's an innings eater, and the Astros could extract a decent bounty from a desperate team at the trade deadline. GM Ed Wade holds a couple of excellent trade chips in Rodriguez and Myers, though it remains to be seen if they'll become available.
The real problem here is that the long-term contracts that Wade handed out to these two have effectively lowered their trade value. Why would he give them the contracts and then turn around and trade them? It doesn't make a lick of sense. Now I guess something could happen between then and now that would make him more willing to deal them, like say, a Jim Crane takeover. But barring that, it doesn't seem very likely that either of them will get dealt.
Right now, the Astros just don't have much to deal. Bill Hall and Clint Barmes make some sense if they re-establish their value, as does Jeff Keppinger when he gets back from injury. But I'd be surprised to see any core-shaking moves for the Astros at the deadline. Don't look for a real roster shakeup until a new owner is in place.