Just when it seemed like the 2019 trade deadline has passed without any truly major transactions, a blockbuster deal between the Astros and Diamondbacks shook things up when details emerged of the swap shortly after 3pm CT yesterday. The Astros landed one of baseball’s top arms in Zack Greinke (and also $24MM of the roughly $77MM owed to Greinke through 2021), while trading away four interesting prospects in right-handers Corbin Martin and J.B. Bukauskas, first baseman Seth Beer and infielder Joshua Rojas.
The Athletic’s Zach Buchanan (subscription required), ESPN.com’s Jeff Passan, and the Houston Chronicle’s Chandler Rome all provided some of the details that led up to the trade, including the fact that Astros GM Jeff Luhnow didn’t get in touch with the D’Backs about Greinke until the day before the deadline. Arizona GM Mike Hazen and his front office wanted four prospects for Greinke and didn’t move from those demands, despite some counters from the Astros. Talks didn’t pick up again until around 35 minutes before the deadline.
“At the end of the day, that was the deal they insisted on, and that was the only deal that was going to get done, and we conceded at the last moment,” Luhnow said in a conference call with Rome and other media members.
It could be that the Astros were willing to bend on the Diamondbacks’ ask since Arizona may have been one of the few teams that didn’t try to pry away Kyle Tucker or Forrest Whitley, Houston’s top two prospects. Luhnow told rival clubs that Tucker and Whitley were “off limits” — the Tigers and Mets are two of the teams known to have asked about Tucker, in discussions around Matt Boyd and Noah Syndergaard.
Also, as Passan writes, “it dawned on the Astros: No one else was doing anything” on deadline day. The biggest moves for starting pitching were driven by teams that weren’t really contenders in 2019, namely the Reds’ acquisition of Trevor Bauer and the Mets’ acquisition of Marcus Stroman. With teams like the Yankees, Red Sox, and Dodgers having quiet deadlines and other top teams like the Nationals, Twins, and Braves focusing on bullpen moves, Houston felt a Greinke trade would make an even bigger splash than usual due to the relative lack of activity from other World Series challengers.
Speaking of the Mets’ Stroman deal, that surprise trade served as something of a catalyst for the Greinke trade, Passan notes. The Astros had interest in Stroman themselves, and once the right-hander went elsewhere, it broadened Houston’s search into other potentially available arms, including Greinke.
From the Diamondbacks’ perspective, a Greinke deal wasn’t a priority for Hazen, despite constant speculation over the last several years that Greinke’s large contract was simply too much of a burden on the Snakes’ payroll. When the Astros were agreeable to Arizona’s asking price, however, Hazen got the go-ahead from D’Backs owner Ken Kendrick and team president/CEO Derrick Hall.
“This was how the deal came together,” Hazen said. “I think we anticipated, as we’ve gone through the last few weeks, if we were going to get any sizable amount of talent in return that there was going to have to be some compromise financially. That talent return was extremely important to us. We would never have considered trading Zack Greinke without talent (coming back). That would have been a nonstarter.”
With the Greinke trade coming down to the final few minutes before the deadline, the D’Backs were simultaneously in a scramble to replace him in the rotation with another veteran arm in Mike Leake. Seattle general manager Jerry Dipoto told reporters (including MLB.com’s Greg Johns) yesterday that the Leake trade was finalized with only 68 seconds remaining before the 3pm deadline.
“Human beings are notoriously bad when deadlines are imposed….For some reason, we don’t ever get to work until there are 20 minutes to go. This was a big one to be tackling with 20 minutes to go,” Hazen joked about the two trades.
Both sides won in this deal…if Greinke stays healthy
Or if he helps them get another title this year. Then fall off a cliff or sustain whatever he has left and the one title will make the trade a winner.
Exactly. Like I still love the Johnson trade in 98. Gave up some good prospects but the guy dominated for Houston.
This was a great deal for both sides, I agree. Astros filled a hole in the rotation for the next 2 + years. D’Backs get some nice talent and get out from under a huge contract
Honestly I give Hazen credit for getting AZ out from under Greinke & Dealing Goldy for a nice package with only 1 year of control left on his deal.
A healthy Walker, Weaver, Martin and Bukauskas looks like a formidable crew to go forward with after all is said and done.
Carson Kelly is a stud and if Beer or Rojas turn out to anything then job well done by Hazen.
I’m glad to hear that about Kelly and weaver…mostly Kelly because I always said he was the prospect the diamondbacks should be happy about
When you say Walker, do you mean Christian or Taijuan?
I was referring to Taijuan
Astros fan here.
The centerpiece of this trade for you guys will be Seth Beer. That guy is going to be a monster. He hits for both average and power. He’s another Yordon Alvarez that we were projecting to take over 1st base when Yuli’s contract is up.
Bukauskas will be a nice reliable #2 or #3 starter. Nothing fancy, but he’ll be solid.
Rojas is a young Marwin Gonzalez (utility infielder with a plus bat).
Corbin Martin is a big question mark. He came up a little over a month ago. He had one good start, then 2 bad starts. We sent him down. A week later, he Tommy John’s his elbow in the minors..
Beer will be a stud for you guys for years to come. You have to give up something to get something, but Beer is the one that will hurt down the line for Astros fans.
The prospects have potential, but to play devil’s advocate…
Too many Jon Singleton’s, Tyler White’s, and AJ Reed’s to say for sure that Seth Beer will be a monster.
Bukauskas and Martin have only had success as high as AA, same as failed top prospects like Francis Martes, David Paulino, Vince Velasquez. DEFINITELY can’t say any of them will be a solid #2 MLB Starter.
Every org. has a guy like Rojas with speed/power combination.
Only about 20% of prospects that get called up stick in the big leagues. DBacks will be happy if one these guys turns into a regular.
That’s the correct answer. I hope I’m wrong, even as an Astros fan because I don’t like to see unfair trades. Nothing better than both teams winning. But, I think Bukauskas will be a lights out closer or 8th inning guy.
I like Beer, too. Bells from Kalamazoo is my favorite.
He won’t be back until 2021, but I think Corbin Martin will be better than Buskauskas.
I think the Leake trade is awesome. Being able to be close to his dad will be pretty neat for both of them.
For sure, Leake made a ton of sense and can anchor a rotation with what will most likely be a lot of young arms going forward.
They will be an interesting team to watch in 20’ based off what they did this deadline.
Fair trade overall….which is why the Tigers still have Boyd….the Tigers were asking for way too much to make it a fair trade….I knew he wasn’t going anywhere with those demands….
Perfectly fine with Boyd staying in Detroit. He is a very good pitcher and will make a solid #3 or 4 when Mize and Manning come up. Fulmer getting healthy and it will be a very solid rotation.
Why would you assume the Tigers only wanted a fair trade? No one valued Boyd more highly than the Tigers do.
And, if he’s a solid 3-4, Tigers fans certainly never admitted that in all their chatter…..he was made or to be an ACE which he isn’t!
Exactly rocky 7….Tigers fans built him up to an ace and said that he was worth multiple top 100 prospects plus an MLB ready bat….lmao….but if u ask those same people if they would give all that up for him in a trade they would laugh and say he is a #3 having a decent season….with some really good games thrown in….
Tigers wanted to fleece someone. They tried to market and sell him using the Tampa model.
I didn’t read anywhere that said Boyd was an ace. He was always listed as someone to get if they couldn’t get Stroman or Bumgarner or Thor or even Minor… he was always a 3 or 4. He has great peripherals, but he doesn’t have the history to be an ace. I don’t recall anyone saying he was an ace. Many said he wasn’t in fact. They always mentioned the 3 years of control, which is huge for a starter.
You could say the same about Torrez of the Yankees… They weren’t going to give him away There is no need to.
In truth, Matthew Boyd wasn’t available. Still, I’m disappointed with the Tigers’ scouting overall. Only asking for another team’s untouchables is fool hearty especially since there are oftentimes better players in their system they don’t see (ala Luke Voit).
In addition, they need to stop signing high risk free agents with the sole intent of trading them away (Mike Fires for eventual waiver wire trash). They assume all the risk and are ultimately tools for other teams. I doubt Al Avila is this inept (or maybe he is) and I suspect heavy owner interference.
Great get by D-Backs. Greinke may help Houston this year, but beyond that, huge win for Arizona.
^ when you don’t realize he is having one of his best years ever and is still under contract for 2020 and 2021
And if the Astros get a ring it is a fair trade.
Just being a legit contender for the WS makes it a good deal.
I hadn’t realized Arizona was picking up so much of the contract, so Hou has Greinke for essentially 13 million per for next 4 years? That’s a great price, even if he fades in years 3 and 4.
Otoh for a team like Arizona it is good to see ownership approved of essentially spending money to buy prospects.
The astros are going to be paying roughly $23 mil per year for him in 2020 and 2021
AZ is only picking up $24M. Hou is picking up $53M for 2+ seasons. That’s roughly about $10M(amount owed to Greinke this season) in 19 and $21.5M for each of the two full seasons.
And most of it is deferred so keeps Houston under the luxury tax and gives them room to sign Springer or Cole long term.
Most is differed
Most is not deferred. Only a third of 19/20/21 is differed.
I didn’t realize Hou is paying the deferred money. That’s $12.5M per year 22-26. That makes this deal even better for AZ.
Hey man…he’s 35 and is very expensive!
Verander is 36 and making more, what’s your point?
Jakec No it’s not 4 years and No it’s not $13M per, and No Az did not kick in much at all
Funny how everyone anointed Houston champs already based on this trade mostly but let’s be honest, Grienke wasn’t going to any other team and Arizona kicked in 24 million which is absurd. Houston was handed this deal based on the money exchange and the fact those prospects are not big time prospects on any team!
except that they are good prospects. Martin and Seth Beer are good.
Ignore billyssballs he just trolls, has no clue what is reality, those are very good prospects
Tell us all how there not the best team us baseball now? Please I’m waiting patiently…
Easy, because I said so.
Grienke is done no big deal anymore. Every team he goes to is suppose to go to the WS. heard this in AZ didn’t happen because he’s lost a ton of ability the last 2 years.
You realize his era has been better than his career average the last two years right? How many starters are under 3.00 right now. I will wait. He’s only top ten in pitching WAR lmao
3rd in the AL (5th overall) in WHIP, behind Verlander and Cole. Yeah, he’s washed up:) This is the same kind of sour grapes stuff being spouted when the Astros got Cole. I can’t wait to see how good he gets to be once Strom gets ahold of him. Really good pitchers go to the Astros and become great. Happened too many times now to discount it.
No team he went to previously had Verlander and Cole on top of the rotation. Arizona has never had a team as talented as the Stros.
The Grienke contract was OK as long as Arizona had all other players young and cheap. Their competitive window closed, hence, time to get rid of the contract…..
Followed Grienke in KC and thru out his career. The guy is worth the $$ the Astros have to pay. He stays on top and makes adjustments when necessary to stay on top. I have always been impressed with him. Solid player and will adjust as necessary.
That’s my boy Jerry Dipoto with the last minute deals!
Houston easily becomes the team to beat after this deal. They have no holes left anywhere on their team! Only injuries can derail them.
Don’t discount what Wade Miley has done for Houston this year either; he has been fantastic as their #4 starter!