Astros Notes: Oswalt, Berkman, Reds, Castro

Not surprisingly, there's a lot of talk about the Astros tonight in the wake of Roy Oswalt's trade demand.  Here are a few pieces of hot stove info about Houston and their possibly-departing ace….

  • Richard Justice of the Houston Chronicle thinks the Astros should completely look to the future and start looking to trade the likes of Lance Berkman, Brett Myers, Matt Lindstrom and other notable players.  Justice sets 2012 as the date when Houston "might be good again" and says "if [Astros GM Ed Wade] thinks a player would still be capable of contributing in 2012, then he ought to stay."
  • Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle dismisses a reader's tweet about any possible interest from the Giants in Oswalt, replying that San Fran needs hitting, not (another) ace pitcher.  In another tweet, he mentions that Berkman is an Astro who would "make more sense" for a Giants trade, and adds that it wouldn't take a prospect the caliber of Madison Bumgarner or Buster Posey to make it happen.
  • An unnamed Reds official "was intrigued" at Oswalt's availability, reports John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer.  Fay is doubtful a trade could be worked out due to Oswalt's contract, but he notes that Oswalt's 2010 salary isn't much larger than those of Aaron Harang and Bronson Arroyo, both of whom can be bought out of their 2011 contracts for $2MM.  (Harang's buyout is worth $500K more if he's traded.)  An NBA-style deal for a semi-expiring contract might interest the Astros since it would free up a lot of payroll space. 
  • Wade tells's Brian McTaggart that catching prospect Jason Castro still needs some more time at Triple-A before Houston thinks about calling him up.  Castro, the 10th overall pick in the 2008 amateur draft, has a peculiar .259/.390/.295 line in 136 plate appearances for Triple-A Round Rock this season.
  • The Astros will have a hard time getting full value back for Oswalt, says R.J. Anderson of Fangraphs.  Anderson notes that only the Padres were able to get a good return on a pitcher in a similar situation when they dealt Jake Peavy to Chicago.

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9 Comments on "Astros Notes: Oswalt, Berkman, Reds, Castro"

5 years 3 months ago

I agree with Schulman and it wouldn’t take Bumgarner or Posey to get Berkman. If I was Sabean I would do the following. Trade Roger Kieschnick and two pitchers for Berkman. I would then trade Molina to the Red Sox or a team seeking a catcher for a major league ready reliever or infield prospect. My following line up for the Giants would be:1.Schierholtz/Torres 2.Sanchez3.Sandoval 4.Berkman 5.Huff6.Rowand 7.Posey8.Rentria/UribeThis is a much respectable lineup because the 2-3-4 hitters all have .300 + average potential with a 3-4 with 20 HR potential. Rowand would be right where he belongs at 6th. Posey is in the 7th spot with no pressure to produce and can concentrate on adjusting to major league pitching. Rent or Uribe would add an added punch not too mention clutch hitting in the bottom of the order. I just hate to trade Molina because he has such a way with the staff, but his stock is up and LA and SD will pull away if we don’t do something in a couple weeks.

*You can make a trade for Fielder, but you would then have three left handed hitters in a row. Not too mention the slowestttttttttttttt base runners in the history of the game. Huff, Sandoval, Fielder, Molina <– not too attractive eh?

5 years 3 months ago

No one is pulling away in the west, especially sd. The Padres are playing so far over their head right now, so no giants fans should be too worried about them. Their starting pitching success is so ridiculously unsustainable and their offense is punchless. Panicking and overpaying for a bat right away is not the answer. Also, did you forget that sandoval is a switch hitter?

5 years 3 months ago

No I didnt forget sandoval was a switch hitter, but most of his power and hits are left-handed because a majority of baseball pitchers are right-handed. If you were to get Berkman (yes I know he switch hits too), like Schulman said, it wont take much. Roger Kieschnick isn’t a bonafide prospect, but he’s not bad either. If you threw in two pitchers from either AA or AAA or a combination of both, the Giants can pry Berkman away from the Astros. They will only do a move like this if the offense is faltering in July, but let’s hope they are still in contention.As for the West LA will always be LA and they have been division champs the last two years. The way the standings are right now its hard not to say they won’t pull away, especially when they are playing the way they are playing. At some point the Giants are going to make a move and if they are serious about taking the strides to get to the playoffs then they will make it. My suggestion for getting Berkman is not invalid, and it does give the Giants a viable option if they were to pursue it. Berkman is the safest bet because you don’t give up a highly rated prospect.

5 years 3 months ago

Berkman has had extremely slow starts the last three years. Or maybe two… Anyways, he is still an OBP machine even when he isn’t hitting. He hits for power to all fields and is a great clubhouse guy.

I know he is having a down year, but you have to believe his results are an effect of playing on a horrendous offensive ballclub over the past several years. Playing for a contender could definitely help him to focus again.

You said it best, he has the potential to hit between .276 and .315. It just depends on if he gets hot or not.

5 years 3 months ago

What exactly do the Astros expect to have going on by 2012? They have a couple of nice pieces on the way, but not a ton.

5 years 3 months ago

If I’m the Reds and want to trade for Oswalt this is where I’d start:

1. Juan Fransisco, 3B/LF, probably more 1B/LF in MLB but amazing power potential and almost MLB ready
2. Matt Maloney…solid LH starter at AAA right now, he is ready for MLB and currently doing great in AAA.
3. Aaron Harang, take this as a salary swap because Oswalt makes too much for us to take on top of what we have already.

Reds rotation for the year:
Oswalt, Cueto, Arroyo, Bailey, Leake

Reds rotation 2011:
Oswalt, Cueto, Bailey, Leake, Chapman …really like Arroyo as a veteran innings eater but I don’t think he would be brought back if we had Oswalt

5 years 3 months ago

Don’t forget about Volquez in 2011.

I’d also give up Dorn or Wood.

5 years 3 months ago

True about Volquez I hope he returns to form after rehab but I’m not penciling him in just yet. If he does return to form I think Chapman may get more time in AAA unless he has completely gotten rid of the command issues by then. That would create a an interesting battle for the rotation and interesting trade options

5 years 3 months ago

The Astros are looking for salary relief. Taking back Harang does nothing for them. They can find other teams that will take on most, if not all, of Oswalt’s salary.

Francisco is a decent bat. Career minor league OPS of below 800 (which is right where his 2010 stats are so far this year). The guy doesn’t walk and is 23 this year. He’s OK at best. Doubt his bat will be good enough to stick at 1B, 3B or LF.

Maloney is old (26 and still in the minors). Solid numbers though. Wonder why he hasn’t been called up for anything beyond a brief stint in 09. Career 3.26 ERA with a K/9 of almost 9. Good control, good WHIP. Really, besides his age, he seems like a decent enough starter.

I would think that these are the kind of guys you would have to give up AND take on most of Oswalt’s salary AND keep Harang.