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State Of The Astros

Astros GM Tim Purpura has finally admitted that the Astros should not be making player acquisitions with this year in mind.  A huge veteran firesale makes perfect sense right now.

As far as the huge blockbuster names - Carlos Lee, Lance Berkman, and Roy Oswalt - Purpura specifically says they will not be traded.  I have avoided wasting ink on the Oswalt rumors that have bounced around over the past few weeks, because I just didn't believe them.  Oswalt's 2008-11 total salary - $58MM - is about the same as Mark Buehrle's and an equal-sized bargain. 

Oswalt mentioned his willingness to waive his no-trade clause if a deal would help the Astros, which I imagine would require the $16MM option for 2012 to be exercised.  Regardless, trading Oswalt would be silly.  A pitcher of his stature at a reasonable contract is a rarity. 

Fortunately for a website that specializes in trade rumors, Purpura still has plenty of parts to sell off.  I outlined all the trade candidates in this post.

Brad Lidge seems to be healthy now, and spending all of next week in the Majors closing games for the Astros would go a long way toward his trade value.  But maybe a nice run would convince Purpura to keep him.  We've heard conflicting messages on whether the Astros are willing to trade Lidge.  Today, Richard Justice mentions the Indians, Red Sox, and Tigers as "hot for" Lidge.

Right behind Lidge in trade value is Jason Jennings.  Jennings, who typically acts as a bullpen-saver, is on the road to re-establishing his health after missing most of April and May with elbow problems.  He had a decent June, making six starts and going seven innings in three of them.  Since the injury risk and impending free agency may keep his price down, Jennings might be the best realistic trade target among starters.


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I think they should really try to trade Jennings. Regardless of what the Astros front office believes, very few players give a crap about their hometown team. Jennings is going to go for the most money and the only advantage the Astros will have in signing him is being able to negotiate before other teams. It's not really an advantage if he wants to be a free agent. If they can't get a good prospect for him, better to offer him arbitration to get the draft pick. I'm guessing he won't take arbitration because he will want a multi-year contract. As an Astros fan, I wouldn't be sad to see him go.

Dick Justice said in one of his blogs the past week that he thought Jennings wanted to pitch in San Diego. Not sure why he thinks it, but that's what he said. He also doesn't think Jennings is going to sign on the cheap to stay with the Astros (obviously). The Astros should trade him. Andy LaRoche straight up?

That would be awesome if we could get Andy Laroche, but the Dodgers aren't going to just give him up for a rental player.

Maybe if we offered the Dodgers a trade of Lidge/Jennings for Andy LaRoche and a mid level prospect, they would go for it. Seems like Atlanta is asking for the farm for Saltalamacchia and plus we have JR Towels tearing it up in AA right now, so C isnt as a big a priority for me as a SS or 3B.

I was listening to local sports radio in Houston (ESPN 790, Charlie Pallillo) and he said the trade being discussed was Lidge for LaRoche straight up,but with other teams inquiring about LaRoche and Lidge, both teams will have to add more players.

Yeah I would have to agree that both teams would have add pieces to that trade to make it work, but a nice start. I dont see why the Astros dont give Cody Ransom a shot at 3rd.

As a Dodgers fan I would totally do Lidge or Jennings for LaRoche straight up. Get er done. LaRoche will probably be a good major leaguer but there's already about 15 capable third baseman on the 25 man roster so I don't see how he'll get playing time the rest of this year. The Dodgers REALLY need a starting pitcher though so I would think they would be after Jennings more.

Yeah, there's no reason why the Astros should part with Jennings for less. I mean really. Teams are not in the business of giving up impact players midseason for nothing. The Dodgers' farm system depth brings up a lot of sleight-of-hand trade offers, like Delwyn Young, who's been cited in rumors forever.

Andy LaRoche. I'm a little more doubtful on him than I was in the past. The truly great prospects teams should be chomping at the bit to get them in the game. Not so for LaRoche. A lot of Dodgers can't-miss prospects seem to get stuck in that twilight realm between AAA and the majors, like Joel Guzman and Edwin Jackson. He's got an .808 OPS in the hitter-friendly Las Vegas in the hitter friendly PCL. Is this Joel Guzman-itis at work?

"That would be awesome if we could get Andy Laroche, but the Dodgers aren't going to just give him up for a rental player."

Especially for a barely above average rental player. I personally agree with DentalPlan and dont think Andy will develop into anything great, probably nothing more then a nice little big league 3rd baseman. That said, this is just my opinion on the guy and he is too highly thought of to just give up for 6 weeks of jason jennings

Why do you expect pitchers who will nab two draft picks in compensation, draft picks that get teams guys like Andy LaRoche and so forth, to be handed over for nothing?

Maybe the Astros should trade GM Tim Purpura.

His complete failures of the last 2+ seasons are why the Astros are in this spot.

Lee and Oswalt are definitely staying in Houston. I'd be shocked if either left. Berkman has some wiggle room for the right deal.

I'd like the Astros to make an effort to re-sign Jennings, since the young starters called up to replace Clemens/Pettite are decent, but they'll likely never get to the Jennings' level.

The 2 greatest priorities, IMO are getting a catcher that can hit, and getting anything of value for the horrible Morgan Ensberg.

I'd use Lidge as sweeteners in either deal

The Dodgers REALLY need a starter they need either Garland of CHW or Jennings evan if Wolf comes back healthey

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