The Astros and Brewers are announced a blockbuster trade on Thursday that will send center fielder Carlos Gomez, right-hander Mike Fiers and an international bonus slot (valued at $287,500) to Houston in exchange for outfield prospects Brett Phillips and Domingo Santana, right-hander Adrian Houser and lefty Josh Hader. The Astros did not have to make a 40-man move to add either player, as they had an open spot, and Santana was already on the 40-man.
Gomez, of course, was believed to be headed back to the Mets last night in a swap that would’ve sent Zack Wheeler and Wilmer Flores to the Brewers, but the trade fell through after names were agreed upon due to a combination of medical concerns pertaining to his hip and perhaps financial elements as well.
Adding Gomez to the outfield mix should result in a significant improvement for the Astros over the remainder of the season. Despite hamstring issues that cost him three weeks earlier in the year, Gomez’s defense remains above average, and if he’s 100 percent healthy, he has a track record as one of the best defensive outfielders in baseball.
Plus defense has long been part of Gomez’s game due to his excellent range, but Gomez over the past three-plus seasons has turned himself into a genuine offensive weapon at the plate as well. Dating back to Opening Day 2012, Gomez is a .275/.335/.474 hitter that has averaged 24 homers and 38 stolen bases per 162 games played. Wins above replacement pegs Gomez at an average of five to five-and-a-half wins per year in that time, depending on your preferred version of the metric. Houston center fielders have been sound from a defensive standpoint this season, but they’ve combined to bat just .226/.285/.370, making Gomez an upgrade on both sides of the ball.
In addition to his strong all-around game, though, Gomez made for an appealing trade candidate due to his contractual situation. He’s the rare Scott Boras client that took an extension as opposed to waiting for free agency, and while he should still secure a $100MM+ contract with ease following the 2016 season, he’s currently in the midst of a three-year, $24MM pact that has worked out beautifully for the Brewers. Gomez is earning $8MM in 2015 — of which about $3.02MM remains — and he’ll earn $9MM in 2016. Provided he remains healthy, the Astros will pay about $12MM for as many as 221 games of Gomez’s career.
And of course, Gomez isn’t the only piece the Astros are receiving in this deal. By persuading the Brewers to include Fiers in the contract, they’ve landed a rotation piece that can potentially be controlled through the 2019 season. In fact, he won’t even be eligible for arbitration until after the 2016 season, meaning that Houston can control him for roughly the league minimum.
Fiers, 30, is a soft-tossing righty and a pronounced fly-ball pitcher, but he’s performed well overall despite an average of just 88.8 mph on his fastball. He’s somewhat of a late bloomer but has a 3.89 ERA in 118 innings this season and a lifetime 3.66 mark in 341 2/3 innings as a Major Leaguer. Fiers has averaged 9.2 K/9 despite his pedestrian heater, and he’s paired that ability to rack up K’s with solid control (2.8 BB/9). He should step directly into the Houston rotation behind ace Dallas Keuchel, rental acquisition Scott Kazmir and right-handers Collin McHugh and Scott Feldman. Fiers drew quite a bit of interest from the Blue Jays earlier this month, though Toronto has obviously gone a different route and made a splash of their own with the acquisition of David Price.
From the Brewers’ perspective, Phillips is the clear prize of the deal. A sixth-round pick by the Astros out of high school in 2012, the 21-year-old has risen to the Double-A level and shown no signs of being overmatched by the pitching he’s faced. Phillips is hitting .320/.377/.548 with 16 homers and 16 stolen bases this season while appearing primarily in center field. He entered the season as one of the Astros’ top prospects, but his excellent first half propelled him to rank 21st on Baseball America’s midseason Top 50, 35th on the midseason Top 50 of ESPN’s Keith Law and 39th on the midseason edition of MLB.com’s Top 100 prospects. Law calls him a “true five-tool” player with the potential to remain in center field, and MLB.com gives him above-average tools across the board, with his speed and arm rating as the top tools in his profile. He should immediately become the club’s No. 2 prospect behind shortstop Orlando Arcia.
The 22-year-old Santana, originally acquired by the Astros in the 2011 Hunter Pence trade with the Phillies, went hitless in a 17-at-bat big league debut in 2014 but has fared better in another limited sample in 2015, hitting .256/.310/.462 with a couple of homers in 42 plate appearances. A corner outfielder by trade, he could potentially step right onto the Brewers’ big league roster. He’s slashed .305/.400/.515 in 195 Triple-A games — part of the reason for his No. 7 ranking on MLB.com’s midseason Top 30 for the Astros and No. 87 on their overall Top 100. Santana has everyday upside but there are plenty that worry about his penchant for strikeouts; he’s whiffed at a 29.9 percent rate throughout his minor league career.
Hader came to Houston alongside L.J. Hoes from the Orioles in the 2013 trade that sent Bud Norris to Baltimore. He ranked eighth among Astros farmhands at the time of the swap, per BA, and 14th on MLB.com’s list. BA notes that Hader’s delivery at times draws comparisons to Chris Sale, and MLB.com writes that his velocity gets up to 96 mph but is paired with inconsistent secondary pitches. Hader has a 3.17 ERA with 69 strikeouts and 24 walks in 65 1/3 innings at Double-A as a 21-year-old this season.
Houser has a 5.10 ERA split across two levels (Class-A Advanced and Double-A) this season, and he’s worked as both a starter and a reliever. He’s averaged 8.5 K/9 and 3.8 BB/9 this year, and MLB.com rated him 21st among Houston prospects prior to the trade. Their scouting report praises his mid-90s fastball and ability to generate grounders but notes that the 22-year-old’s control has plenty of room for improvement.
Jon Heyman of CBS Sports first reported (via Twitter) that Gomez and Fiers were going to Houston. The Houston Chronicle’s Evan Drellich reported that there would be four to five prospects in the return (Twitter link). Lookout Landing’s Nathan Bishop nailed the return (on Twitter), and Heyman added that all of the medicals had been approved.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.
The Great Migration 2015
Talent goes from NL to AL
I was thinking about that too. Seems to happen that way more years than not.
Wait, what just happened ?
Did the Mets inform the Astros about the “hip problem” and the “so expensive Gomez contract”? Wilpons need to be run out of baseball.
Agreed 100%. Now that the Wilpon’s buddy Mr Selig is gone, time for MLB to step in behind the scenes and facilitate an ownership change. Pauper owners in New York or anywhere for that matter is a disgrace to the fan base. This should be at least a $150mil payroll team.
Selig’s favored owner candidate, Manfred, won’t do anything. Mets need to be sold to an owner who isn’t so cheap or incompetent
That’s a clown question bro!
Definitely. The Mets are just ridiculous.
3 yrs 24 mil is expensive for a gold glove CF who can hit? Also what hip problem?
Losing Phillips is a big deal but the Astros farm system is loaded with big time OF prospects coming through the system (Daz Cameron, Kyle Tucker, Derek Fisher, Bregman and Kemp could be converted from there middle infield spots they have no chance of overtaking Correa and Altuve). Plus Astros have a top GM who knows how to draft.
I don’t think Kazmir is just a rental. He is a native Houston guy and a lifelong Astros fan. Being on a championship contender with as many young guys as the Astros have under club control for the next 5-6 years (Correa, Springer, Tucker, McCullers, Altuve, Etc) has to be a dream come true for him.
Astros are just barely tapping into the elite prospects they’ve accumulated over the last four drafts under Jeff Luhnow and company.
Astros are making smart decisions and Gomez could be a long term player with the time he will have to bond with guys on this team and possibly win a championship this year, next year or even both years.
Attention now is on adding Kimbrel and Ross to the team. Goodnight.
So much for the hip problem.
Maybe not. Astros might just figure they can get 2 months out of him no matter what and not care about anything else.
He’s signed through next year.
Whoa – Astros. I am sufficiently fizzing from these moves.
Can I get that in writing? Oh wait….
Vandals Took The Handles
What a high-grade farm system and a commitment from the owner can do.
Now if they could just agree to swap leagues back everything would be back in order.
i would assume Domingo Santana is in it , if not Preston Tucker..Tony Kemp…maybe Appel?
Phillips, Santana, Hader, Houser
Phillips. Santana and 2 SP
I think those are good guesses with Santana/Appel.
Like the deal for Milwaukee
That package is about 5 times better than Flores and Wheeler.
Yeah, exactly what I was thinking, they got lucky the Mets didn’t go through with it because this package is definitely better
Well they had to include Fiers as well in this one, but I agree in principle.
Fiers is not all that great. He’s nearing 30.
Yes, the Brewers won out on this trade!
I’ll say Santana\Ruiz and hope that Appel is in it so I can watch him give up bombs at Miller Park in a couple years.
Obviously, the details of the trade are known now but Ruiz wasn’t an option. The Astros traded him to the Braves during the Winter for Gattis.
Man, it’s tough to lose Pillips, but Milwaukee got a heck of a haul.
Astros are dealing here. They’re going all in. First Kazmir, now a pretty good bat and pitcher as well.
No Big League Choo For Yu
I really didn’t want to see Gomez go to Houston. Should be a great addition for them though. I do wish the Astros the best assuming the Rangers aren’t going to make the playoffs this year.
But we didn’t give up Appel, Velasquez, Reed or Fisher, so I’m ok with it, considering the return.
Seems fair for both sides, hope the Astros can afford Fiers in arb.
Astros lose Phillips, tough loss…but Santana has been ‘meh’ and losing Hader/Houser hardly affects their farm at all.
They still have a TON to work with for maybe Kimbrel or Chapman and STILL have a very strong core of youth.
CarGo+Kazmir+Kimbrel/Chapman would be quite the haul for that squad.
If they managed to snag either CarGo and/or one of Kimbrel/Champan, they Astros would be right there with the Royals as the biggest AL threats.
They already got Cargo. He means Gomez.
Already got CarGo? I miss a deal on the Colorado end? I don’t think they have the pieces for it actually… I don’t believe Appel gets that done
No Big League Choo For Yu
Carlos Gomez is also sometimes called CarGo.
CarGo is in Colorado. The wanna be just got traded.
They could still trade for Kimbrel or Chapman, but they may not need them now. With the addition of Fiers, McCullers will probably be shifted to the bullpen for the remainder of this season(then maybe back into the rotation for the postseason). That would help limit his innings and give Luhnow the “flamethrower” in the bullpen that he said he wanted a while back.
I don’t know that Astros system that well, but this seems to be a better haul for the Brewers (although Fiers being traded as well probably has a lot to do with that).
The law of Mets suggests that Gomez will be completely uninjured and successful as an Astro.
Great return all around. Phillips’ stock has risen a lot this year, but the Astros have a lot of OF prospects.
Wow, Milwaukee REALLY wanted to get rid of Gomez. Nice return. I’m hip.
Is Santana MLB ready, now?
He almost looks like he could end up as one of the dreaded quadruple A types…he’s got the ability and has certainly shown it at AAA but his stints in MLB have been underwhelming. Granted, we’re talking very small sample size…soooo….who knows?
If G Parra goes in the next 24 hours, the Brewers are a little thin in the OF
He’s spent a little time in the big leagues, I would guess they’ll have to bring him up right away and deal with the K’s, if Parra goes (and I’m assuming he will) loks like all of us Brewer fans get to look forward to Logan Schaefer and his .180 career batting average manning CF for a while.
It’s too bad for Logan Schafer, cause I’m not rooting against him but he’s this year Hunter Morris.
Well at least with Morris we still saw some potential, with Scheafer we all know what’s coming, solid D, can’t hit a lick. Only other option in CF would probably be calling up Phillips or Taylor and I don’t think either is quite ready. Unless of course they think they can re-sign Parra and keep him.
he’s struck out in literally half of his major league at bats so far…but he’s only 22…
OTOH, the Brewers had Gorman Thomas, Rob Deer, and Jose Hernandez when he set the single season record for Ks, so historically speaking, he’ll fit right in?
“The law of Mets suggests that Gomez will be completely uninjured and successful as an Astro.” – You win the comment of the day, much more original than the idiot national guys referencing Tom Hanks as you knew they would once Flores started crying…
Brett Phillips is going to be a superstar. Great pickup for the Brewers. But also, great trade by the Astros. Shows they really mean business. I think they will try to sign Carlos Gomez long-term if he performs well the next year and half.
Agree, OF was a big question mark and now it looks solid. Gomez effectively replaces Rasmus next year.
I wonder if Phillips power not translating to AA is what made Luhnow pull the trigger? Plus we just added two good OF prospects in the other Tucker and Cameron.
Plus they kept Derek Fisher. (As well as Teoscar Hernandez but I think his stock has fallen this season.)
I like Fiers, and was perplexed by what the Brewers had in him. He was a mediocre 4, to a good 5. I kinda wonder if he’ll get slaughtered in AL, tho.
“If you havin’ side problems I feel bad for ya son. I got 99 problems but my hip ain’t one” – Carlos Gomez
Damn Padres couldn’t make a deal…
Let me guess, Preller probably wanted Breman Xd
Looks like a better package than what the brewers would have gotten from the mets
Maybe. Mets were giving the Brewers 2 players with some MLB experience and success. The Astros gave them none.
@miggypop44 if he does well, they’ll resign him? Man, Carlos Beltran hit 8 homeruns in the playoffs the year they traded for him and didn’t resign him. Highly doubt resign him. Gotta use whatever money they have on Correa, Springer and Keuchel.
He’s under contract for 2016 as well.
They tried like crazy to re-sign Beltran that year…Carlos wanted the “lights” of NY and spurned the ‘Stros. Houston offered the exact same contract that NYM’s did but with the added bonus of ZERO STATE TAXES. Beltran made his choice to leave.
…and Correa is under club control for years to come, Springer: not sure gotta check…and I think Keuchel has at least one more cheap year left.
pretty good deal for the Brewers…
so for Houston, how do you think they line up their pitchers for playoffs? obviously they wanted Cole to lead the rotation and everyone would have fallen perfectly behind him..but now, i guess you guy Kuechel, Kazmir, McCullers, Fiers? or will they not let mccullers pitch that many innings?
Jeff Luhnow has come out on record as saying that they will not limit McCullers like other teams have with their young guns…sounds like the Astros are happy the plan to compete has developed so quickly and are “all in” this season so to speak.
Nice deal for the Brewers, I’ve liked Domingo Santana for a long time. I hope he gets to start the rest of the year for the Brewers.
Nothing was leaked about this deal until it was pretty much done, and the Astros had no problem with Gomez’s medicals. Lol Mets.
Love the return for the Brewers. Gotta hope Phillips can stay in CF for a while and maybe would have been nice to get 1 pitcher a little more pro ready than 2 works in progress, but couldn’t have asked for much more. Santana appears to be a simple all or nothing type hitter, but on Miller Park that could play well.
Good for both sides. Gomez is great for Houston, and Fiers gives them rotation depth if they want to cut McCullers innings down the last 9 weeks of the season. Brewers got a pretty good haul back, much, much better then would’ve gotten for the Mets.
Now if the Astros go trade for Kimbrel or Chapman, they’ll really be in business…
Makes the Mets Alderson and company look more dysfunctional!
Surprising. Least it happens when the brewers are playing the cubs. Im not as high on phillips as it seems most commentators are. Love santana as an upside play. Gotta flip parra now. Sellers market on bats clearly. Zobrist, moss and gomez getting nice hauls.
Much better get for the Brewers than the Mets package. Wheeler would have been nice, but Flores is what he is, and that’s not much. Milwaukee needs a quantity of young prospects with upside and this deal fits the bill.
The NL to AL mlb talent exodus is not unexpected since there are many more teams in the AL who are taking a shot, while in the NL nearly half the teams are selling (or hoping to sell). AJ Preller hasn’t even gotten to the loading dock to back up his truck…
Now make my day…Kimbrel & Cashner ..for Carlos Correa
“Now make my day…Kimbrel & Cashner ..for Carlos Correa”
I think the Padres would have to add Ross, J. Upton, Alonso, and A.J. Preller’s first born child to make that deal happen.
The big downside I see in this is the loss of Fiers almost gaurantees another season of having to watch Garza every 5 days.
This season is toast. Doesn’t matter who they trot out in 2015. Need to be pointing to 2018 and beyond.
Garza is going to have give up 10 runs in each inning of his next two starts for the Brewers to sit him down.
Also he might have to commit a crime where he harms another human being……
So for all the people who want to keep fashionably bashing the Mets, why don’t you try thinking this through. Gomez was a 6-WAR player each of the last two seasons (that’s MVP caliber). With one more season on his contract, he’s on pace for less than 3 WAR this season, after an injured and relatively unproductive first half. They just traded him for HOU’s 2, 9, 14, and not-top 20 prospects (pretty mediocre package for an MVP-caliber player who isn’t a rental). They’ve just sold him at his lowest value in at least 3 years.
The economically prudent decision would have been- provided this was the best offer they could find now for Gomez- to hold on to him (since you all claim he’s healthy), watch him have a sick second half, then trade him this offseason for maximum value. The only reason you don’t do this is if you think the guy will lose value moving forward. The fact that the Brewers traded Gomez for this package, with a year left on his deal, vindicates the Mets here. There’s clearly something up with Gomez. Why else would they be pushing him so much? It’s not like they got some great deal for him from Houston. If Gomez was really healthy and primed to have a big second half, MIL would have kept him and traded him in the offseason.
I have no idea if Carlos Gomez is healthy or his hip is made of LEGOs. Maybe the Brewers are selling some snake oil? Maybe the Mets are being silly? Maybe the Mets are right? Maybe the Astros just got taken in? I have zero idea. But that sounds like a massive “sour grapes” rationalization.
How is it sour grapes? It’s simple logic. Gomez’s value right now is at its lowest in at least 3 years (that’s a fact- he was an MVP-caliber player the last two full seasons, and is half the player so far this year, according to WAR).
There’s a reason MIL is so quick to trade him. If you know anything about economics or finance, you know that to sell a stock at its lowest value is a poor decision.
where to start. first you are most likely using out dated prospect lists, second the economically prudent decision would be to save themselves the roughly 4 mil he is due before the winter. you say hold on to him until his value his higher, yet seem to forget the club he is going to is paying more in prospects for that extra year of control.
mlb.com’s most recent prospect list has them at 2,7,14,21…. you can bump 7,14,21 up one because vincent velazquez should exhaust his prospect status this year. so 2,6,13,20, from a deep system. thats post draft too where their first 3 picks are basically automatically put in the top 5 before they have even played in the minors…
They were competitive in 2013 and 2014, so they weren’t going to trade him then. They planned to be competitive in 2015, so they didn’t trade him before the season. Now that they fell flat on their face and have a roster that will not compete in the near future, this is the earliest realistic point that the Brewers would sell Gomez. A bit of a down year sure, but I’m guessing very recent history and SSS alleviates some concerns, considering his elite status and the seller’s market.
I think you’re severely underrating the return the Brewers got as well. The Astros have one of if not the best farm in baseball right now, so the 9th best is probably top 3 for any other team and so on. Phillips was deemed untouchable as a 5 tool prospect until Fiers was added.
This pretty much sums it up.
This was a very good deal for Houston. He had an hamstring injury that’s slowed him down for part of the first half. That and Milwaukee was abysmally terrible the first few months of the season. That kind of slump is contagious, especially when the people batting around you aren’t actually batting at all. He’ll turn it on hard for the stretch run. Have you seen Gomez play? He feeds on pressure and attention.
Value just isn’t in on field production though. Ask any Brewers fan who the life of the team has been the past 4 years and you’ll get the same answer from everyone. Carlos was a stand up guy who made all the right people happy and pissed off everyone else. He’s the exact guy you want in a stretch race to keep the atmosphere loose and fun. I also think he’ll be a great influence on the younger core they have in Houston.
As far as the return on Milwaukee’s end. We’re getting 3 top 100 prospects in the game, and all 4 guys we just got immediately enter our top 30. Phillips is going to be a bonafide star and Hader has #2/#3 potential. By 2018, we could have a rotation of Peralta/Jungmann/Hader/Nelson/Lopez and an outfield of Phillips/Santana/Braun. I’ll trade 1.5 years of Gomez for that any day.
Milwaukee stocked up on some talent. Good job Melvin. I’m a little surprised Houston made this deal. They’re going all in it appears.
Astros just picked up one of the best most passionate players in the game. Carlos Gomez is the truth, fiery, aggressive and most important good. He always plays hard and will give you everything hes got on every play in the outfield and during every at bat. Smart move astros.
Game on in the AL West. Whoever loses out in the division race is going to be tough to catch for the Wild Card.
I a Astro fan and I don’t like this trade at all. Brett Phillips is going to be a All Star for many years. They have Marisnick in center who is a very good defensive player Gomez is not a upgrade in my opinion and Fiers is at best a 4 but more like a 5 starter.Brewers got more then those two are worth
AL teams loading up. Seems like a better deal for the brewers than they would have gotten from the mets
Jorge Soler Powered
Mets lost again today. Only 2 games over .500. At what point do we stop talking about them as a legit playoff contender when they can barely win more games than they lose?
I understand why the Astros made the trade. You are in 1st place, but going to have to go through a dog fight with the Angels and Rangers to keep it. You haven’t made the playoffs since 2005 and the fans deserve to see this type of progression. I get it.
But, giving up Phillips – DANG. I would’ve not done it. I think they could have found another outfield bat at a cheaper cost. I think Phillips is going to end up being an even better player that Gomez.
However, I do understand why they made the move.
Astros gave up a top 25 prospect and a bunch of borderline top 100s for a CF who could be the best in baseball outside of Trout and a #3.
Thats just it…they’re “Prospects” maybe 1 of them will pan out…who knows.