The Houston Astros made some moves finally. As fans, we’ve all been sitting and waiting, wringing our hands. I mean, really, MLB and Bud Selig had the team over a barrel for so long, I wondered if any moves would get to be made during the offseason.
But Jeff Luhnow made his first trade as the Astros GM today. And, my friends, if this is what trades with Luhnow are going to be like….things are looking up.
The Astros have sent Mark Melancon (RHP) to the Boston Red Sox in exchange for Jed Lowrie (SS) and Kyle Weiland (RHP). This is a good looking trade for Houston, especially if you’re looking at Lowrie *wink*.
Let’s examine the details. First, Jeff Luhnow came from the St. Louis Cardinals. Our history tells us that he can then only make trades with his former team, the Cardinals, ala Ed Wade and the Phillies. But no! Wait! It seems that this new GM is a rule breaker. He, dare I say it, thinks outside the box? *GASP* Yep…we’ve got a live one.
The Red Sox get a reliever out of Melancon. They aren’t likely to use him as a closer. Remember, Astros fans, that Melancon was slotted as a closer only because Brandon Lyon’s bum shoulder forced it. He was never meant to be a closer long term. So that’s good for the Red Sox.
Weiland’s a RHP who spent most of last year at AAA Pawtucket and made his MLB debut with Red Sox as well. He was originally drafted in the 3rd round in 2008. He had a rough start to his Major League Career and got beat up by MLB hitters with a 7.66 ERA, but he only appeared in 7 games and has the stuff (good command of a 90-95mph 4 seam fastball as well as pretty decent slider and curveball) to be a solid late inning reliever or even a late rotation starter, as I hear the Astros are planning to use him. One of the best points? He’s still got 6 years of contract and some minor league options remaining, so if he pans out, the Astros have a lot of flexibility with this guy.
As for 27 year old Jed Lowrie, when he’s healthy, he’s hot. He’s a switch-hitter (which always just sounds dirty, doesn’t it?) who hits big as a righty .919 career OPS and is okay as a lefty with a .635 career OPS. He hasn’t had a lot of plate appearances any season he’s played in the bigs due to some shoulder and wrist problems and then a bout with mono last season. But if Lowrie is healthy and plays a full season, this is a guy who could really make a difference both offensively and defensively for the Astros.
Yes, I like this trade. I like it primarily because it seems like a good trade all around. The Red Sox got a reliever they needed, the Astros got the SS they needed as well as another late rotation starter; everybody wins. Of course, someone will have scoot off the 40 man roster now, and no word yet on who that will be.
In the meantime while we sit and wait and see who gets moved, I’m going to just bask in the glow of a good trade. Well, done, Mr. Luhnow, well done.
Update (2:10pm) – Brian Bixler will be removed from the 40 man roster to make room for the extra player.
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.