Previously on The Tricks of the Trade, Jared speculated on what Houston could get in a trade for Bud Norris and Jed Lowrie. Today, he offers a look at what Luhnow could get for Wesley Wright, Carlos "OPS" Pena and Jose Veras. All player rankings listed are taken from MLB.com.
Washington-Tyler Moore, LF 25 yrs old
Tyler Moore offers the power that Houston is looking for. Moore hit 30 HR twice in the minors. He stepped into the Nationals lineup this year and hit 10 long balls while batting .263 and offering a pretty good OBP and a good slugging percentage. Moore is now blocked at 1B/LF in Washington by Adam Laroche and Bryce Harper, so he could be a good trade target. I honestly don't know the true value for a LOOGY like Wesley Wright, but I would immediately ask the Nationals for Tyler Moore.
Speculation-I've only heard of one team looking for left handed relief help. Wright is a cheap option who was incredibly dependable through 2012, and he is cheap. I honestly don't know if he will be dealt, but it could happen if a team offers the right piece.
(This speculation assumes that Pena returns to his pre-2012 form and hits in the .220/.350/.450 25HR region)
Cleveland- T.J. House, LHP 22 yrs old/Cody Allen, RHP 23 yrs old
T.J. House ranked in the 10-20 prospect region according to BA, and had a decent year at AA Akron. He features a low 90's FB with a very solid change up. He won't be a star, but he could be a solid back of the rotation guy. House could offer lefty depth considering how slim the Astros are on good lefties.
Cody Allen was one of the fastest moving 2011 draftees, reaching the majors a mere 22 days after Trevor Bauer. The difference was, Allen stuck in the show. Allen has a mid 90's FB and a very good curve ball that ranked best in the Cleveland system in 2012. Allen could walk into the back of Houston's bullpen, or the Astros could attempt to develop him as a starter.
Speculation- A lot of things will need to come together for Pena to have real trade value, but he does offer power and a very good glove at 1B. I don't see him netting Houston any front line prospects, but Luhnow could get some average value for Pena if he hits.
(This speculation assumes that Veras has a productive season as a closer and keeps his walk numbers in check)
Colorado- Tim Wheeler, OF 24 yrs old/Joe Gardner, RHP 23 yrs old(Ranked #14)
Tim Wheeler could play CF or RF for the Astros in 2013. He has the speed to swipe bags and some power that could propel him to the 20 HR level. He suffered a hamate bone injury that sapped his power in 2012, and some see him as a RF instead of a CF. This could be the perfect time to buy low on a guy who is blocked by Dexter Fowler and Carlos Gonzalez. Wheeler might strike out too much to hit for high average, but he has posted good numbers in the minors
Joe Gardner fits the sinker/slider mold that Jeff Lunhow seems to like. Gardner looks like he will become a reliever, but is still being developed as a starter. He mainly works with a low 90's sinker and a fringe slider. Of the two Rockies' prospects mentioned, Wheeler has more value. Gardner is much lower on other ranking lists, but even with that he might be to valuable to package with Tim Wheeler.
Speculation- Veras' contract could make him valuable if he puts up a good season. His walks would need to decrease for him to have value in the trade arena. Closers tend to have good trade value, especially when other closers start getting injured. I based Veras' value off of the value of other closers.
All of these trades are purely speculation and assuming the Astros players involved have productive years. Other teams could pop up as trade partners, but I used teams who have either asked about the player mentioned, or who have a current need for the type of player mentioned. I tried not to overvalue the Houston players, so some could say that I undersold. I also went more after young MLB ready talent, which would lessen the amount the Astros would receive in a deal.
I also favored LHP because I love the lefties. In addition, Houston is very weak in the LHP department.
I favored outfielders because we lack OF prospects with true impact potential other than George Springer. The MLB club is also very weak at the OF position with most of the players not even profiling as 4th outfielders.
Please realize that I picked players that are somewhat recognizable in attempt to give readers an idea of the type of value that I think the Astros could ask for. This is all speculation because I am still trying to figure out how Jeff Lunhow thinks. I'm currently trying to learn how to read minds so I can obtain the best understanding of what goes through a general managers head during a trade. If this were Ed Wade I would have just picked a few random names that sounded neat and just tossed them in.
Next Time: What Could Luhnow Get For...Jeff Luhnow?
c2013 by Jared Webb. Used with permission.