Ed Wade’s first move as Astros GM was something of a favor to his former boss, Kevin Towers. He dealt 30 year-old outfielder Jason Lane to the Padres for a player to be named later or cash considerations. MLB.com’s Alyson Footer expects the Astros to take the cash.
Lane was featured in our non-tender candidate list written back in August. He has a bit more than three years of service time and makes $1.05MM this year. I believe he’ll reach arbitration for the first time this winter.
The Padres apparently want Lane for more than just this week (he won’t be eligible for the postseason should they make it). Towers says Lane will be in the mix with Scott Hairston and Brian Giles for next year’s outfield. They might use Lane in center field.
So far Lane has a .241/.315/.458 line in about 1200 big league at-bats. The average NL center fielder is hitting .273/.336/.427 this year. If Lane can play to his career averages and not embarrass himself defensively the Padres might have something here. He has some interesting comparables in his list, including Jermaine Dye and Eric Byrnes on the optimistic end. This is a typical Towers stathead-type move. There’s really no downside to it.