Astros Open To Trading Keuchel, McHugh, Cosart

TUESDAY, 7:11pm: Houston is reluctant to deal Keuchel, a GM tells Evan Drellich of the Houston Chronicle, who discusses the club’s decisions on whether to deal arms that come with future control. The Orioles could be a fit for the emergent southpaw if the Astros are willing to part with him, sources tell Drellich.

1:18pm: The Astros are getting increased calls about their pitchers after yesterday’s comments from Luhnow, reports’s Brian McTaggart (on Twitter). The goal remains the same, says McTaggart: MLB-ready offense.

MONDAY, 6:21pm: When asked about prospective deals Houston GM Jeff Luhnow said there’s “nothing that feels close” at this time, tweets Evan Drellich of the Houston Chronicle. The GM went on to say (link), “There’s conversations happening and there have been for the past week multiple conversations happening every day.”

5:32pm: The Astros have previously said that they weren’t inclined to move left-hander Dallas Keuchel or right-hander Collin McHugh, both of whom are in the midst of breakout seasons, but Luhnow softened his stance when speaking to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports (12:23 timestamp in the update window). The Houston GM tells Rosenthal that the lack of available starting pitching has prompted him to consider dealing Keuchel, McHugh, or right-hander Jarred Cosart:

“We do seem to have an excess of pretty good young starters so we wouldn’t rule anything out. We’d have to get back a big-league piece, preferably a bat, in a package that makes sense for the future and present.”

The 26-year-old Keuchel can be controlled through the 2018 season, while McHugh, 27, and Cosart, 24, are controllable through the 2019 campaign. Keuchel and McHugh, in particular, have had surprisingly strong seasons, with Keuchel posting a 3.11 ERA in 127 1/3 innings, and McHugh notching a 3.45 ERA with 102 strikeouts in 88 2/3 innings (10.4 K/9).

Keuchel was Houston’s seventh-round selection in the 2009 draft, while McHugh was claimed off waivers (Houston had tried to trade for him in 2013), and Cosart was acquired in the Hunter Pence deal back in 2011. None of three are eligible for arbitration after the season. Keuchel will be arb-eligible following the 2015 season, while Cosart and McHugh are eligible following the 2016 season.

44 Responses to Astros Open To Trading Keuchel, McHugh, Cosart Leave a Reply

  1. Dynasty22 11 months ago

    I wonder how these discussions will look on the next Astros’ data leak.

  2. Seth Guttman 11 months ago

    Why is that? Luhnow wants to see if anyone out there is dumb enough to trade their version of Lucas Giolito for Lucas Harrell? No one is going to bite if his asking price is even close to what it was last year.

    • Overbrook 11 months ago

      Nobody will do that. And is it really helpful in forging relationships and working out trades when you ask for a real prospect for AAAA fodder like Lucas Harrell?

  3. WhoKilledTheRallyMonkey 11 months ago

    Keuchel is a hard player to price. He has been great this year and is under team control for 4 more years but was mediocre to terrible previously. Selling high on him may be a wise choice.

    • Tanthalas 11 months ago

      In his defense, those were his first 1 1/2 years in the Majors, and he did actually make a major improvement last year, even though it didn’t show in his ERA. He had an insane BABIP of .342 last year that would’ve been the highest in the majors among qualified starters if he had thrown 9 more innings. His walk rate and FIP have dropped substantially in the last 2 seasons. Until he proves otherwise, I think you have to say he’s improved, and not that his numbers this year are an aberration.

    • Stuart Brown 11 months ago

      There was an article about him from one of the Fangraphs’ writers just today about him re-developing an outpitch in his slurve. He lost the feel for it with the fluid that accumulated in his wrist earlier this season, but all signs point to him rebounding to what he did this season prior to his injury once he can command that pitch again. If they trade him I can’t imagine it will be cheap for the acquiring team.

  4. i'm me .. 11 months ago

    SP is thin…these (3) can help lots of teams win this year. this should be fun to see played out.

  5. FOmeOLS 11 months ago

    There comes a time to stop selling. The Astros shouldn’t dump good present players for good future players, or they’ll forever be a 65-win team, always trading present for future.

  6. OriginalHitman 11 months ago

    This makes absolutely no sense. Keuchel should be a staple in that rotation.

  7. richardb21 11 months ago

    If they trade Cosart or Keuchel it better be for a decent hitter or its just another slap in the face to the fans.

  8. Zak Arn 11 months ago

    Dom Brown? haha or maybe THE Big Piece…

    • The_Porcupine 11 months ago

      that actually wouldn’t be that bad for either team. Dom definitely needs to get out of Phillie and need someone to fill out the rotation when they get rid of Hamels, Lee, and Burnett.

    • shova 11 months ago

      I was actually thinking about this, too… but didnt have the guts to post it :-)
      Im sure if we keep Dom hes doomed, we trade him, he’ll return to All start form. Its the Philly curse.
      It would help both teams…..

    • KJ4realz 11 months ago

      I actually really like this idea. Would make sense for the Phillies. Maybe even just a one for one?

      • Zak Arn 11 months ago

        You know…as far as Brown goes, there have only been about 6 or 7 busts in the last 20 give or take years out of players ranked in the annual top 5 of Baseball America’s top prospects. So chances are he has more than just 1 good season in him… those guys are pretty spot on.

    • KJ4realz 11 months ago

      I actually really like this idea. Would make sense for the Phillies. Maybe even just a one for one?

  9. The_Porcupine 11 months ago

    I could understand this if there was an arm down on the farm ready for promotion, but there isn’t to my knowledge. Who would take their spots in the rotation? I’m perfectly fine with selling high on these 3 because I think they’ve reached their ceiling as far as projection go. But they aren’t the type of players that are going to land you anything of great value.

    • Lefty_Orioles_Fan 11 months ago

      Keuchel has three complete games this year.
      That has to be worth something.

    • Stuart Brown 11 months ago

      With the way he’s pitched this season and the fact that he won’t be a free agent until 2019, Keuchel has some very real value. I don’t think the Astros will trade him because no one would likely be able to meet their asking price.

  10. Overbrook 11 months ago

    It’s like the Astros want to trade anyone on their major league roster who they don’t think has all star potential. On edit it seems that they want major league player in return. That’s better, Astros (although they don’t seem particularly pitching rich to me).

  11. ian 11 months ago

    Maybe they can trade Cosart for Giolito and Bundy in a 3 way deal. The can kick in Ruiz if Cosart is a bit light.

    • Overbrook 11 months ago

      Cosart is more than a bit light for either Giolito or Bundy by themselves.

      • ian 11 months ago

        Well, obviously. It was sarcasm based on the Norris for Bundy thing that was leaked.

        • Overbrook 11 months ago

          Sorry – hard to tell, sometimes, esp. with the Astros, although the Giolito reference should have made your intent clear.
          Anyway, I would do a buy-low on Cosart.

        • southside 11 months ago

          the harrell for giolito leak was also terrible

  12. brian310 11 months ago

    Wish the White Sox had something to trade for one of the right handers

    • Overbrook 11 months ago

      They do, but you really want to buy low on those guys. Cosart, once a top prospect, has had a rough year. McHugh was a waiver-wire salvage job (like Noesi was for the Sox) – his top WHIP prior to this year was over 1.6. He’s pitched well this year, but is it repeatable? In the end, those 2 will probably be about like Noesi.

      • shysox 11 months ago

        White Sox need a righty badly. I’m sure the asking price is high, but Cosart would be a nice fit. He’s been roughed up in four straight starts but before that his ERA was a solid 3.60.

  13. DempseyK 11 months ago

    I wouldnt mind seeing the Pirates go after Keuchel. I think he can be more than serviceable in the middle of the rotation.

  14. Jeff Snedden 11 months ago

    I like Keuchel as a buy-low target for the Pirates. Although the Astros may be reconsidering their pitching beliefs after watching Jordan Lyles develop quite well in Colorado. Maybe they should hang onto a few of these high upside arms.

    • DempseyK 11 months ago

      Actually, I think it would be buying high on Kuechel given his poor numbers in previous years; however, its a move that wouldnt cost nearly as much as acquiring the likes of Jon Lester, and you actually have affordable years of service with Kuechel.

  15. So wait a minute, these young SPs are available, but 35yr old RP Chad Qualls is close to untouchable? Huh?

    • DempseyK 11 months ago

      Yeah, this shocks me too…Chad Qualls having any value is remarkable after the previous few seasons he has turned in…Id dump him at a high now.

    • tmengd 11 months ago

      the main reason is they want to keep their bullpen. After Veras was traded last year they blew more leads in the ninth then any team in August and September and destroyed the moral around the clubhouse. Plus Qualls is under control through next year and has publicly stated he wants to remain in Houston and retire here. They need all the players they can get that want to remain in Houston during the rebuild. Plus they have a few Starters in AAA they could bring up including bringing Peacock back and there are no decent relievers in their upper minors at the moment.

  16. davengmusic 11 months ago

    Wandy Rodriguez wasn’t fantastic his first few seasons, and then he came around. Luhnow should be banking on Keuchel to do that, too. McHugh…that’s a tough one. Is he having the greatest run of his life, or was he able to pitch like this the whole time and is just figuring it out now?

    If Cosart can net the Astros anything meaningful, by all means, trade him.

  17. Trade all three to dodgers for Kemp

  18. DippityDoo 11 months ago

    All 3 for Starlin Castro.

  19. coldgoldenfalstaff 11 months ago

    I can’t see anybody paying enough for them to part with Cosart.

  20. Lefty_Orioles_Fan 11 months ago

    Like, I typed before I would be down with trading for Keuchel.
    It would all depend on what the Astros would want and that’s if they really do want to trade him.

  21. agureghian 11 months ago

    this is all luhnows work.
    he makes the three available, then when he gets interest on keuchel, he says he would rather not trade him.
    hypocritical much?

  22. tmengd 11 months ago

    Curious. How is the last update on this article showing Wednesday when it is still Tuesday? Does MLBTRADERUMORS for see the future now? I knew they were good, but dang :O

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