The Houston Astros have been saying all off season that they would make changes to the roster. Like most people, I didn’t really expect much. The Astros started off by signing Peter Moylan to a minor league contract with an invite to Spring Training. That was the type of move I was expecting the Astros to make. However, two days ago, the Astros shocked me, as well as many others, when they traded for the Colorado Rockies’ center fielder, Dexter Fowler.
The Astros traded starting pitcher Jordan Lyles and outfielder Brandon Barnes for Colorado’s Dexter Fowler and a PTBNL. As far as this trade goes, my initial reaction was excitement. The Astros fleeced the Rockies, at least in my mind. As most of you know, I’m a huge fan of Jordan Lyles. I have thought that he could turn it around in Houston. I still feel he can turn it around, but I’m not sure Houston was the place. Not sure how well Colorado will treat him either.
I waited a few days before I wrote this article, mainly because had I wrote it three days ago when this trade went down, there would have been a lot of excitement and loud noises. I’m pumped for this trade. You should be too. Dexter Fowler is a very nice asset for the Astros. Over the course of 162 games, Fowler will give you a slash line of about .270/.365/.423. He’ll average around 15 home runs per year, as well as 20 stolen bases. A lot has been made of Fowler’s defensive “woes.” I’m not exactly sure why. As far as fielding percentage goes, Fowler has a fielding percentage of .986 over his six year career. While we watched Brandon Barnes make spectacular diving catches in center field, for what seemed like all season long, his fielding percentage wasn’t much better than Fowler at .989.
Many people have had their very on reaction to this trade. Since the smoke has cleared, Richard and I have discussed this trade, and will give you our reactions to this trade not that our excitement level has gone down a bit.
First off, what was your initial reaction to the trade?
Richard Perez (RP): As with any trade where one of the most likable players are involved, I was extremely disappointed to know that two of our very likable players were gone. I was more upset that Brandon Barnes was out, but with acquisition of Fowler, it was a little easier to take. As far as receiving Dexter Fowler, I was also surprised that Colorado would be willing to give up somebody like that. In my opinion, Fowler is one of the better lead off hitters in the game, on of my favorites along with Shin-Soo Choo.
Lee White (Me): As mentioned earlier, I’m disappointed in the fact that the Astros no longer have Jordan Lyles. At age 23, he still has a ton of time to grow. He has solid stuff, but couldn’t figure it out. Due to the fact that he was rushed, I think his mindset may have changed. Houston just wasn’t right for him, but I’m not sure Colorado is either. As far as acquiring Fowler, I was pumped. Still am. The Astros traded a fourth outfielder and an under-performing starting pitcher for Fowler and a PTBNL. My favorite part of this trade is the fact that the Astros finally have their true lead off bat.
Realistically, what expectations do you have for the Astros’ new center fielder?
RP: Speed. Lots of it. I know Barnes was very well versed out in center, I just hope Fowler can learn how to play the unusual center field of Minute Maid Park. In my mind, I thought back to when Willy Tavares was Houston’s speedy center fielder. I expect good things to come of Fowler.
Me: Realistically? I expect him to get on base, and once he is on there, the Astros will send him in motion. Fowler is the type of player, in my mind, who will be pretty balanced. He isn’t going to hit for an extremely high average, isn’t going to crush long balls all day everyday, but he will certainly hit for an average around .260-.265, probably 10-15 home runs, and 20 stolen bases. He could possibly rack up more stolen bases, just depends on if the Astros put him in motion as much as I would.
In terms of statistical numbers, do you think his home run numbers were inflated by the high altitude of Coors Field?
RP: Everybody says numbers are inflated in Coors Field, but I tend to not believe that, especially in this case. If you look at his home run numbers of the last three years, he only had 30 total home runs. However, his extra base hits are his best statistic. I’d say his speed is more to thank than the thin air in Denver.
Me: Saying his numbers may have been inflated by high altitude in Colorado bugs me. They weren’t. Not to mention, Minute Maid Park can be a bit of a boom box too. As Richard says, it’s not as if he was hitting 30 home runs a year. If he were, it might be a different story, but I expect Fowler to hit around 15 home runs in the upcoming season.
If you had to guess, what would be the next move that the Astros make, and will it be a free agent signing or another trade?
RP: Given the circumstances, I’d say the Astros trade one of their outfielders, possibly JD Martinez if he doesn’t get taken in the Rule 5 Draft. I’m not sure where he would get shipped, but I’d say that a trade is more likely than a free agent signing, and it could happen before the Winter Meetings on the 12th.
Me: With the signing of Scott Feldman today, and the Dexter Fowler trade three days ago, I think the Astros sign their next player. Preferably a relief pitcher. Maybe a return of The V, Jose Veras, in Houston? There are also a couple players he weren’t tendered contracts that the Astros could make a run, and those include Andrew Bailey and John Axford. Either of those would be nice in Houston.
As for the Scott Feldman signing, we’ll have another post on that up sometime later today. Another special thanks to Ryan Dunsmore of The Crawfish Boxes for his awesome photoshop skills.
In 2012, the Houston Astros were not shy when it came to trading, and are no stranger to dealing players to teams who want to make additions before trying to make a run at the postseason, and they showed that virtually nobody off limit when they dealt Chris Johnson to the Arizona Diamondbacks days before the trade deadline in July. With am outstanding showing of potential in recent days by a few players, it seems that the Astros have some more potent trade bait on their hands with the recent power showing of Bud Norris, Lucas Harrell, and even Chris Carter are hypothesized to potentially be in trade talks later on in the season. Continue reading
As I’m sure you’ve heard by now, the Astros have traded Shortstop Jed Lowrie and pitcher Fernando Rodriguez to the Oakland A’s for Chris Carter, Brad Peacock, and minor leaguer Max Stassi. Astros mastermind General Manager Jeff Luhnow worked out another amazing trade, getting anybody to agree to take Fernando Rodriguez all on its own is a miracle, but getting more than what he’s worth is astounding. Continue reading
Over the last week or so, I have been amused, outraged and confused by the articles and comments that I have been reading. Call this a follow-up to my first article, An Open Letter to the Casual Fan, because various media outlets and bloggers are clogging the minds of fans with worthless information that I would like to clear up.
First on my list, Josh Hamilton: The Houston Chronicle posted an article that Josh Hamilton was a fit with the Astros and even went as far as posting a poll as to whether or not they should make an attempt to sign him. Really? This type of journalism is foolish and should have never been published. This article generated pages of fans debating on whether or whether not Josh Hamilton should actually be signed by the Astros.
Now that the distraction of politics and the presidential election is out of the way, it means that November is getting started and the Arizona Fall Leagues are going strong!
While the season may be over, the prospecting and evaluating is just beginning, Jeff Luhnow and company are getting to the meat of the hot stove MLB free agency. We all know that Luhnow set the bar high with the expectation of a .500 season next year, and if he is confident in what this team can do, it can only speak to the potential of what he sees in this team Continue reading
The Houston Astros had been one of the more flamboyant franchises in baseball until 2000. They had outrageous jerseys, an awesome mascot, and a one of a kind ballpark. Not to mention, on of the greatest 10 year runs in baseball. Though the 10 years didn’t bring home a World Series, it did bring Houston their first NL Championship and some of the best records in baseball. Also, the Astros played the first World Series game in Texas. But after that, everything went downhill.
It’s official! Astros have chosen to hire Washington National Third Base coach Bo Porter as the new Manager! Suspicions were tossed around by Lee and I minutes before Ken Rosenthal and Jon Paul Morosi tweeted that sourced told and confirmed with them that the press conference the Astros have for tomorrow at 10AM is to introduce Bo as the manager. Continue reading