If you recall, the Astros have had Huff on their radar as far back as January of this year. The D-Rays got decent prospects in the trade, but Huff's value has been declining for a while now.
Ben Zobrist is a solid but not spectacular shortstop prospect. He may be ready to try Triple A for the first time with his new club. He kind of reminds me of Craig Counsell after reading about him a bit. Good guy to have around, gets on base, but not a star. The B.J. Upton as a shortstop experiment has officially ended because of Zobrist, and Upton should be in the bigs to stay by August if he takes to third base.
Talbot projects as a tolerable fifth starter perhaps; he'll give up a good share of hits but stay around the plate. He's got a 1.36 WHIP in Double A right now.
Looking at the numbers, the Astros might stand to gain one game in the standings from this trade when it's all said and done. That could be the difference with the team currently 3.5 games out of the wild card.
I was just reading an excellent chapter in Dayn Perry's book Winners. The biggest post-trading deadline gain ever from an outfielder was Jermaine Dye for the 2001 A's, and that accounted for maybe two extra wins. Best ever trading deadline acquisition? Doyle Alexander for the 1987 Tigers, who went 9-0 with a 1.53 ERA after the trade. Of course, a young nobody named John Smoltz went the other way. Still, no trading deadline acquisition has ever contributed more than Alexander (Randy Johnson included).
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