Luhnow On Astros’ Trade Candidates

The 13-15 Astros have scored more runs than they’ve allowed so far this season, but they’re still expected to be sellers at the summer trade deadline. GM Jeff Luhnow acknowledged to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports that he'll consider trades that add talent to the organization. 

“If we have pieces on our club that are in demand by other clubs and we get enough future value for them to make up for the short-term loss, we’ll consider every opportunity,” Luhnow told Rosenthal.

The GM expects rival teams to have interest in some of his players late this summer. Left-hander Wandy Rodriguez, closer Brett Myers, first baseman Carlos Lee and reliever Brandon Lyon are playing well, but Luhnow said he’s not actively looking to make trades yet.

“We need those guys right now,” Luhnow said. “I’m not in any rush to have any conversations about our veteran players.”

Rodriguez, Myers and Lee have $10MM or more remaining on their contracts and relative to other middle relievers, Lyon’s $5.5MM salary is hardly a bargain. The Astros would presumably need to absorb a considerable percentage of their veteran players’ contracts to obtain highly-regarded prospects in trades.

40 Responses to Luhnow On Astros’ Trade Candidates Leave a Reply

  1. monkeydung 3 years ago

    wouldn’t hate a straight up Loney for Lee trade. Loney is a Houston native who hits well away from Dodger Stadium (.298/.352/.473 road split) and Lee offers the Dodgers some much needed pop that they likely don’t have anywhere else.

    • that would never happen….

      • monkeydung 3 years ago

        i don’t think it’s that far fetched, especially if the Astros cover some of Lee’s costs.

        • It would the other way around.  The Stros are not going to cover any of Lee’s salary is all they get in return is Loney.  The Stros are rebuilding why would they want a below average first baseman?

          • Jason_F 3 years ago

            You mean like the one they have right now?

          • Carlos lee had a 3 War last year.  Loney at his best was a 2 and last year was negative.  So Lee > Loney.  Additionally Lee has more trade value than Loney because he can be used as a DH.  Last but not least the Stros are rebuilding and I am sure they would rather eat some of the salary to get prospects to build with not a short time player.

          • Jason_F 3 years ago

            Which brings his total WAR, 2009-2012, to a robust 3.5.  I hate to burst your bubble, but Carlos Lee has zero (and most likely negative) trade value.  They would need to eat every last bit of his salary, save for the MLB minimum, of course, in order to get anything of value in return for him.  Even then, they are probably looking at getting a relief prospect, at best.  And the notion that someone’s trade value is boosted by the fact that they can DH is absolutely laughable.  You do realize that anyone can DH, right?

            For the record, Carlos Lee had the 7th worst OPS of any first baseman in MLB with 500 PA’s last season.

          • He is also playing in one of the worst lineups over the last 3 years.  Put him with the Dodgers one would think his numbers would look a lot better.  Loney doesn’t have the power to DH.  I am not saying the Astros are going to get much in a trade, what I am saying is a swap of first basemen’s isn’t something I think the Astos will look to do.  There will be a team that needs a bat and will overpay for one.

          • Jason_F 3 years ago

            It has been proven time and again, statistically, that the lineup a player is in has virtually no effect on the individual’s performance.  Also, imagine a GM on the phone saying, “Listen, I promise he’s going to hit better for you than he has for us.”  I’m not advocating for or against the trade, either.  Of course it would be nonsensical for a team not competing for a playoff spot to trade one first baseman free agent-to-be for another.  The problem I had is your statement that the Dodgers would be the ones coughing up cash in a deal of this nature.  That is ludicrous.  As I said, the best the Astros could hope for with Lee is to cover all of his salary and get back a half-decent relief prospect.

          • Hector Montes 3 years ago

            Dude have you watched Carlos play this year? He is looking slower and fatter than ever. And most importantly his bat speed is way down. He’s raised his batting average lately because he has been poking the ball to right field. He is NO LONGER the intimidating  power bat that he was 5 years ago.

          • Jason_F 3 years ago

            Except ~$11M cheaper.

          • Brian Stevenson 3 years ago

             Lee’s contract is up after this season, so it’s a moot point. By the time the deadline arrives, he’ll only be owed around $6 million for the rest of the year. We’re not that desperate to dump salary, especially if we’re going to pick up a scrub like Loney and continue to block Brett Wallace.

          • Jason_F 3 years ago

            Which happens to be $4MM more than Loney would collect in those two months.  I’m sure they could find something better to do with that money in a year that they will not be competing for a playoff spot (int’l FA, draft, etc.).  I am not advocating for or against this trade.  All I am saying is that Astros win a straight up trade of these two players.  That is more a testament of how little trade value Lee has, rather than an endorsement of Loney’s value.  As for Wallace, after last year and his .686 OPS in the traditionally offense-heavy Pacific Coast League this year, I doubt they’re worried about anyone blocking him at the moment.

    •  Why on Earth would the Astros want Loney, for any reason?  The guy will be in his early 30’s the next time the Astros are competitive, and he has no power at all.

      • monkeydung 3 years ago

        he’s only locked up for a season. they can take a chance on a local kid who plays well outside of his home stadium, and dump some of Lee’s salary.

      • monty4aloha 3 years ago

        You are correct about that…. The Astros have a first baseman for the future thanks to the Phillies… I think Lee will probably not be traded this year for anything of value until later in the year and only for a playoff team that needs a right handed bat. I think maybe is August  would there be any interest that would bring any kind of prospect.

      •  Both Loney and Lee are free agents at the end of the year.  The only reason the Astros make the trade is if the Dodgers pay some (most?) of the $11M+ salary difference.

        • monty4aloha 3 years ago

          Yea, I think you could make a case for that. Would that help the Dodgers that much?

    • Garza Nathan 3 years ago

      Chris Withrow for Carlos Lee and 3 million
      Brett Myers and 2 million for Mark Trumbo fo the Angels
      BRandon Lyon and 2 million for Matt Barnes of the Red Sox
      Wandy Rodriguiez and 7 million for Anthony Rendon Drew Storen Matt Purke and David Frietas

      • cookmeister 3 years ago

        I don’t think any of those trades make sense.  There is no way Nats trade Rendon, Storen, and Purke for an good but not great pitcher.  Matt Barnes can’t be traded (only as a PTBNL) and has been pitching well this season so far, plus Lyon sucks.  And Trumbo is starting to play every day now and hitting well, he can get much better than Myers back.

      • I think Luhnow would be GM of the year if he could get any of these deals done. I’d love Purke and Redon for Wandy. And Myers for Barnes, but I dont see it happening.

      • Brian Stevenson 3 years ago

         As an Astros fan, those ideas thrill me. As a baseball fan with a brain, I can’t help but laugh by butt off at them.

  2. chico65 3 years ago

    I wouldn’t think they have too many attractive pieces, as much as the Astros Luh[s]now.

    • johnsilver 3 years ago

      Jed Lowrie is tearing it up for them at least :-) Glad for Jed and hope he stays healthy.. No small feat for him..

      • chico65 3 years ago

        Yeah, he’s always raked when fully healthy, but as you note that’s hardly ever.  Here’s hoping he keeps it up for them.

    • Brian Stevenson 3 years ago

       Lowrie is currently tied with Furcal and Jeter for WAR among all MLB shortstops. Wandy has been one of the most consistent LH starters in baseball the last four years. Myers and Lyon are solid relievers with closing experience who’s contracts expire at season’s end. Wilton Lopez has a 138 ERA+ from 2010-2012 and has years of club control remaining. Bud Norris is a solid young starter with excellent stuff who is also under club control for years more to come. Yeah, you’re right, they have nothing.

  3. So are the Phillies going to call up (um, I mean trade for) any of these players for another bag of used balls and a box of donuts?

    • joshuap 3 years ago

      Not sure which one is a bag of used balls or box of donuts, but I’ll gladly take another Singleton + Cosart package for any of those guys :)

      • BWillie 3 years ago

        Same here – if another Singleton or Cosart is carrying the ball bag, send him on over!

    • Brian Stevenson 3 years ago

       Astros got three of the Phills’ Top 10 prospects, including their #1 and #2, for a corner OF with mediocre plate discipline who’s about to get very expensive in arbitration. U mad bro?

  4. nlewiss 3 years ago

    Considering the Phils are intimidated by a 19yr old I’d say they have much bigger problems than Altuve, Lee, and Lowrie outperforming any of their former MVPs. Congrats, though, on spending $120m more than Houston this season and having just one more win to date.  

  5. Garza Nathan 3 years ago

    I would give Carlos Lee for Chris Withrow

  6. bigpat 3 years ago

    The Astros are hitting pretty well this year for plugging in a bunch of unheralded players. Guys like Martinez, Altulve, Lowrie, Schefer, and Castro have a chance to be decent regulars. Especially Martinez and Altulve. If they can trade some of the vets and continue on with the rebuild, they will be decent in a few years. I know they have been the butt of many jokes for a few years now, but you have to like how things are looking for them now if you are a fan. They also have the top pick this year and probably will be drafting in the top 5-10 next season as well. 

    • Their new GM will do very well in the draft.  Look at what he did with the Cardinals farm system.

  7. Chris Solberg 3 years ago

    “…playing well.” is not a narrative that I would associate with a 1B with a sub-.400 SLG.

  8. mrsjohnmiltonrocks 3 years ago

    Carlos Lee would look real good in a Brewers uniform about now. 

  9. PDR297 3 years ago

    You know who needs Carlos Lee? The Nationals. Sure, he’s ugly in the outfield, but trading that D to get Bernadina to the bench and letting Ankiel take anything close.  Anything to get a good bat in the lineup with Harper and Zim at this point would be a plus. And I’d bet the Astros eat his whole salary for Washington’s 20th ranked prospect too.

  10. stl_cards16 3 years ago

    Average pitchers win you pennets?  hmmm never heard of them before.

  11. Jason_F 3 years ago

    Go back and read the crux of the argument.  One guy’s salary is triple the other guy’s.  Adam suggests that the Dodgers would be the ones picking up salary in a hypothetical straight up trade.

  12. Jason_F 3 years ago

    Which is why I wrote this:

    “I’m not advocating for or against the trade, either.  Of course it would be nonsensical for a team not competing for a playoff spot to trade one first baseman free agent-to-be for another.  The problem I had is your statement that the Dodgers would be the ones coughing up cash in a deal of this nature.”

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