The Houston Astros have already unloaded Carlos Lee, Brett Myers, Brandon Lyon and Wandy Rodriguez, but that doesn’t mean they are done selling. In fact, according to reports, Houston is willing to part with virtually anyone on its roster.
Though the club isn’t really interested in moving diminutive second baseman Jose Altuve, the rest of the squad is definitely in play. Altuve is currently hitting .296 with five home runs, 27 RBI and 17 stolen bases. The 5’5″ Venezuelan is in his second year and currently has 109 hits in 91 games this season.
Our baseball sources have suggested that even Altuve would be made available in the right deal, though it is unlikely the 22-year-old moves.
The Astros are currently 34-66 which gives them the worst record in Major League Baseball, so it stands to reason they would be sellers as we approach the trade deadline. But from what we’re hearing this isn’t just a fire sale, it’s more like a going out of business giveaway. Everything must go.
The average age on Houston’s roster is currently 26.1 years old. That’s incredibly young, so the fact that the Astros aren’t done selling means they likely aren’t all that thrilled with the young players they have. That has to be troubling to the team’s fans.
In fact, Altuve and outfielder J.D. Martinez are the only young guys who have shown an ability to play every day in the big leagues.
Several players Houston has traded for haven’t exactly panned out as planned.
Jordan Schafer was regarded by many as a can’t-miss prospect when he was in the Atlanta Braves farm system, but he’s 25 now and has hit just .224 with three home runs and 20 RBI this season.
The same goes for Matt Dominguez (career .245 averages, no home runs, two RBI in 21 games) who came over from the Miami Marlins in the Carlos Lee deal. Ditto for Brett Wallace who arrived via the Toronto Blue Jays (career .254 hitter with nine home runs and 46 RBI in 177 games). Dominguez and Wallace are both currently in Triple-A.
The Astros had the No. 1 pick in this year’s draft and I loved their selection of shortstop Carlos Correa. But they appear headed for another top pick in the 2013 MLB Draft and there doesn’t appear to be a ton of help coming up from the minors. In fact, Keith Law had Houston’s farm system ranked 27th before the 2012 season.
After selling off Michael Bourn and Hunter Pence last July and making all the moves they have so far this year, you’d figure the Astros would be much better situated for the future.. But they aren’t. Their roster is still a mess and they know it.
Expect more deals to come out of Houston over the next few days if the Astros can find willing buyers.