July 31 at 4pm Eastern Time, also known as the MLB Trade Deadline, is always an interesting time of year. Fans wait to see if their favorite players remain on their favorite team or did they become a commodity that was bought or sold in some other team’s quest to make the playoffs. At no other time in baseball am I more aware of the fact that baseball is one of the most entertaining games of chess.
The moves, made by the General Managers of each team, are a part of the strategy to get them where they wish to be…The World Series. Now whether the goal is THIS World Series or a future one is dependent upon each individual team’s situation. The Houston Astros are shooting for a World Series somewhere in the not too immediate future.
Jeff Luhnow is now leading what is a refreshingly huge commitment to the rebuilding of this ball club. If you’ve been an Astros fan or follower for more than five minutes, you are completely aware of the need to strip this team as much as possible and start building from the farm up. We talked about it last year, but didn’t see it happen as the team was bandaided and patched and no real amount of talent was brought into the minor league system.
This year? It’s whole new ballgame. I saw on twitter several times as this deadline approached that the Houston Astros were willing to deal any player on the roster who was over 5’5″ tall. Yes, Mr. Altuve, you are the piece they seem to be building around.
When you go to a game now, you likely find yourself asking, “Who’s on First?” and not meaning to start a comedy routine. Let’s take a look at what moves were made and who’s playing where for the next two months of baseball.
Carlos Lee – traded to the Miami Marlins for minor leaguers Matt Dominguez (infielder) and Rob Rasmussen (LHP).
Brandon Lyon, J.A. Happ, David Carpenter – traded to the Toronto Blue Jays for Francisco Cordero (RHP), Ben Francisco (OF), and minor leaguers Joe Musgrove ( RHP), Asher Wojciechowski (RHP), David Rollins (LHP), Carlos Perez (C), and the fun PTBNL (player to be named later).
Brett Myers - traded to the Chicago White Sox. The Astros acquired Matt Heidenreich (RHP) and Blair Walters (LHP) and PTBNL.
Wandy Rodriguez - traded to the Pittsburgh Pirates. The Astros acquired minor leaguers Rudy Owens (LHP), Colton Cain (LHP) and Robbie Grossman (OF).
Chris Johnson - traded to the Arizona Diamondbacks. The Astros acquired minor leaguers matt Krauss (OF) and Bobby Borchering (OF).
Who’s on First?
|30||Armando Galarraga (starting rotation)|
|64||Lucas Harrell (starting rotation)|
|60||Dallas Keuchel (starting rotation)|
|41||Jordan Lyles (starting rotation)|
|20||Bud Norris (starting rotation)|
|13||Steve Pearce (claimed off waivers from Baltimore)|
|29||Brett Wallace (recalled from AAA Oklahoma City)|
Whew! That was a busy trade season. But I have to say that this is an exciting time to be an Astros fan. Yes, these are a LOT of changes. Yes, they are losing a LOT of games, but this is how rebuilding works when it’s done right. Severe and cost cutting trades, strong and smart drafts – they’re the name of the game. And Luhnow and company are rebuilding for the long term. (fingers crossed)
It’s going to take a couple of years to see if this plan works, but I think this team is on the right track.
Terri Schlather (AGirlintheSouth) is the tortured Senior Houston Astros Writer for Aerys Sports. You can email her at firstname.lastname@example.org, or follow her ridiculous ramblings on sports, vodka and the weeone on twitter @agirlinthesouth.