Discussion: Could The Angels And Astros Be A Match?

Recently, after learning of Jason Castro's season-ending injury, Astros owner Drayton McLane reportedly decided that the club could allocate extra money to find a backstop for 2011.  It remains to be seen exactly how much funding the team is willing to put towards the catcher position, especially since Houston doesn't seem poised to contend this season and whoever they acquire will be simply keeping the spot warm for Castro.

There are plenty of catchers on the block, such as Pittsburgh's Ryan Doumit.  Doumit could fit the bill as a one-year solution, though he will take in $5.6MM on the year when including the $500K buyout of his remaining years.  The Astros' first choice to step in for Castro was Twins catcher Drew Butera, but they were quickly rebuffed.  Nationals backstop Jesus Flores reportedly drew interest from GM Ed Wade but the club is said to have cooled on him in recent days.  The 26-year-old has appeared healthy in Spring Training but Houston is still wary of his surgically repaired right shoulder.

While it seems that Wade won't take advantage of the Nats' glut at the catcher position, he could look elsewhere to find a club with a backstop to spare.  We've yet to hear of the Astros reaching out to the Angels about one of their catchers, but it would make an awful lot of sense for them to make an inquiry. 

While Jeff Mathis is in position to be the club's Opening Day catcher, Bobby Wilson is looking good in Spring Training – both literally and figuratively.  The soon-to-be 28-year-old dropped 33 pounds at the behest of manager Mike Scioscia and seems likely to take the No. 2 position on the depth chart, in part because he's out-of-options.  With youngster Hank Conger waiting in the wings, it would make sense for the Halos to clear a path for the up-and-coming prospect by dealing from a position of strength.  Wilson could obviously be had for less than Mathis, but both catchers have affordable contracts and it's unlikely that either one would be termed "untouchable".


46 Responses to Discussion: Could The Angels And Astros Be A Match? Leave a Reply

  1. maze88 4 years ago

    You can have Mathis. We’ll throw in Brandon Wood…

  2. Yes, Please take Mathis

  3. Chase Kimura 4 years ago

    Bourjos, Mathis, and a bullpen guy for Bourn

    • wild05fan 4 years ago

      That would be a dumb trade for the Angels.

      • AceGunderson 4 years ago

        You say that like it’ll stop them from doing it.

        • vtadave 4 years ago

          It will. Bourn’s salary is too low for the Angels…

      • crashcameron 4 years ago

        the angels are where they are because they can’t make trades, period
        they hang on to “A prospects” like Brandon Wood, but don’t develop them and then they become looked at as “A bust.”

        that said, Houston and that park could be a place where Wood might find himself

        • You’re right, can’t make trades.. How did they get Dan Haren again? Must have claimed him off waivers, couldn’t have been a trade for Joe Saunders and a prospect or two..

    • ewwww, that’s too much appraise for Bourn. Get serious!! Did you not mean Pence?

  4. halos1 4 years ago

    No this won’t happen. Conger’s been having a bad spring and will go to AAA to work on a lot. Especially after trading Napoli, I don’t think Mike or the FO want to trade another catcher at this point. Maybe in a year or two when Conger is actually ready. Now if they trade Conger it’s a different story, but I don’t think that will happen.

    • Bad spring? How can you even make that determination based on such a small sample size? Conger is plenty ready.

      • 3-20 isn’t a HUGE sample size, but it’s enough to say he’s not ready – which he’s not. That was apparent in September callups, and it’s still the case. No need to rush it. He would not be a significant enough improvement over what is in place right now to warrant rushing him.

        • Nick Sossamon 4 years ago

          Wow. He had 29 at bats during his callup in September with very sporadic playtime, and has had 20 at bats in Spring and you’re writing him off as “not ready”. That is fairly laughable I must say.

      • halos1 4 years ago

        he’s hitting .150 mostly against minor league pitching

  5. Chase Kimura 4 years ago

    How about Jepsen

  6. Rangers will move Teagarden

    • MadmanTX 4 years ago

      Unless the Astros prefer a guy like Treanor. But what would/could the Astros give the Rangers in return since I guess guys like Bourn and Pence are untouchable?

  7. If I was working in the Halo Front Office, I would deal Wilson and try to land a pitching prospect or a left side of the infield prospect. As it looks today, the Angels do not need any additional outfield pieces with Trout surely to compete for a spot in 2012. The infield is pretty much set with the exception of third for the time being with Morales, Kendrick, Aybar and third being platooned by Izturis, Callaspo, and Wood.

  8. BK 4 years ago

    Bourn For Mathis and Wood and Minor Leaguer

    or

    Pence for Burjous and Jepsen

    • vtadave 4 years ago

      Pence? Good luck with that.

    • Verlander_Will_Save_Us_All 4 years ago

      Vernon Wells, Torii Hunter, Mike Trout, Peter Bourjos, etc. The Angels don’t need another outfielder.

    • The Astros would not part with either of those players. They are looking to build for the furutre, and those 2 guys are DEFINITELY part of the future. It would only be a trade for a back-up type catcher for a non-prospect minor leaguer

  9. bjsguess 4 years ago

    Angel fans don’t expect much from Wilson or Mathis. The whole point of the Astros making a move is to better their team. Giving up corner pieces like Bourn or Pence makes them weaker.

    Mathis/Wilson are worth a couple minor league farm hands at best. That keeps the Astros “competitive”, doesn’t increase their payroll much, and adds to the Angels great low minors depth.

  10. DCD+in+Indiana 4 years ago

    Mathis, Wood & Callaspo for Chris Johnson

    • Too much. Mathis and Wood for Johnson.

      • CaseyBlakeDeWitt 4 years ago

        Too much? Mathis and Wood are both next to worthless and I don’t think Callaspo has much value either, while Johnson is a young controllable player who played very well the second half of last year.

        • I think Brandon Wood compares favorably to Brooks Robinson.

          And by that I mean, Brandon Wood now compares favorably to Brooks Robinson now.

          By that I mean, I still might take Brooks Robinson.

      • rovert22044 4 years ago

        Johnson is very good… You couldn’t give us Vernon Wells, Torri Hunter, or whoever you got for him. He is a future All-Star.

  11. johnsilver 4 years ago

    Maybe they would want Varitek, intangibles, arm and all. Who knows? McLane isn’t exactly known for making good deals anyway..

  12. hrbomber1113 4 years ago

    It’s too bad Cervelli hurt his foot and they signed Wandy to an extension. That would have been a perfect fit. Obviously it wouldn’t be straight up 1 for 1 but I think that would be a good starting point.

    • johnsilver 4 years ago

      Isn’t ift funny how everyone is trying (hoping) to dump a discard here on the hapless Houston ownership? While we are at it.. Maybe Luria and the Fish can dump John Baker, who is about 12 months recovery time from TJ surgery on McLane and Wade also?

      Odds are, Houston will get stuck with someone’s discard in the end..Only question is which team gets to fleece ’em.

  13. With the way the Angels are playing, you have to assume that Mathis is deemed untouchable.

  14. I can’t believe that someone was willing to give up something for Drew Butera.

    • bglaszcz 4 years ago

      I wonder what the offer was, and I’m surprised that the Twins just shot it down.

  15. notsureifsrs 4 years ago

    hank conger and peter bourjos for carlos lee. done

  16. Wouldn’t surprise with the Halos getting Carlos Lee as part of the deal should they part with Mathis or Wilson to the Stros. Doubtful the Halos will be holding 3 catchers while Scioscia’s decided on 12 pitchers to the early season roster. Conger’s either being sent or the Halos are moving one of their catchers.

    Abreu, Mathis, and Bulger for Lee (and the Halos taking on Lee’s money)?

    • cookmeister 4 years ago

      Angels might consider that except that Abreu is a big part of the offense. One of the only lefties (although they have switch hittter), takes pitches, and has been a good teacher for some of the younger guys. That being said, i would hope that the angels would realize that he is only about 450 AB away from a option vesting, one in which they should not want to happen.

      Carlos Lee has a NTC, and has said he will not waive it. I’m sure he could change his mind, just not sure. Also he is owed quite a bit of money. $18.5 million for not only this year, but the year after, not sure if the Halos would be willing to do that after the scrutiny they have been under for the Wells trade. Angels would insist on kicking in a decent amount of cash.

  17. Why why why do people keep calling catcher a “position of strength” for the Angels? That they have had a bunch of guys play back there by no means indicates strength. Just ask Jeff Mathis and has battle with the Mendoza line. I don’t care how good you are defensively or what you think of advanced metrics: hitting .200 is hitting .200, which is to say, it means you can’t hit major league pitching.

    Behind him are a 28 year old mostly career minor leaguer and a guy with about 25 major league at bats who may or may not be good- it is frankly impossible to tell.

    Catcher simply isn’t a position of strength for the Angels, unless by “position of strength” you mean, “Hank Conger and Bobby Wilson probably can’t hit much worse than Jeff Mathis, and even if they do, they won’t be as good on defense, so it doesn’t matter which one is back there.”

    I had the exact same thought when they traded Napoli, one of the top hitting catchers in baseball.

  18. crashcameron 4 years ago

    they traded Napoli because the angels can’t resist adding another aging overpaid outfielder
    (BTW, I am a big fan of VW and wish him well … just not the Angels)

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