Houston Astros – MLB Trade Rumors 2020-10-20T03:21:32Z https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/feed/atom WordPress Anthony Franco <![CDATA[Latest On Astros' Offseason Plans]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=259006 2020-10-20T01:21:22Z 2020-10-20T01:21:22Z
  • George Springer and Michael Brantley will be two of the top free agents on the market this offseason. Astros general manager James Click confirmed the organization will look into bringing both players back, but he also cautioned that the club has to “balance the present and the future” (via Chandler Rome of the Houston Chronicle). Click pointed to the broad financial uncertainty throughout the sport thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, while expressing a more general desire to avoid “a series of short-sighted moves that (would) put us in a bad position for the long term.” If Springer and/or Brantley were to depart, the outfield would have to be addressed in some way, with Kyle Tucker the only in-house replacement locked into an everyday role. Houston will certainly make a qualifying offer to Springer, at least guaranteeing themselves draft compensation if the sides don’t agree on a deal. The QO decision on Brantley will be a tougher call.
  • There’s more certainty on the Astros’ coaching staff than there is in the outfield. Manager Dusty Baker confirmed to reporters (including Jake Kaplan of the Athletic) the entire staff is invited back for 2021. Baker himself is under contract next season by virtue of Houston’s exercising his club option in July. Bench coach Joe Espada, hitting coaches Álex Cintrón and Troy Snitker, and pitching coach Brent Strom headline Baker’s assistant group.
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    Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Astros, Rays Set Game 7 Starters]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=258094 2020-10-17T02:36:30Z 2020-10-17T02:36:30Z The Astros are one win away from pulling off one of the greatest postseason comebacks in Major League Baseball history. After dropping the first three games of the American League Championship Series against the Rays, they have won three in a row to force a Game 7 on Saturday. The Astros will use right-hander Lance McCullers Jr. as their starter then, Jake Kaplan of The Athletic tweets. The Rays, hoping to stave off a collapse, will turn to righty Charlie Morton, per Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times.

    McCullers, who debuted with the Astros in 2015, has been through the postseason wringer with the perennial contenders. He made his first playoff outing as a rookie and has since contributed 43 frames of 2.93 ERA pitching with 9.6 K/9 against 2.9 BB/9 in the postseason, including closing out the Yankees in the Astros’ 2017 ALCS victory in Game 7. As for this fall’s playoffs, the 27-year-old has tossed 11 innings of five-earned run ball, and he last took the mound for the Astros in their Game 2 loss in this series on Monday. McCullers totaled seven innings with four runs (only one earned) on four hits and no walks in that game, and he put up 11 strikeouts.

    Morton got the better of McCullers in the pair’s previous matchup, during which he fired five scoreless frames. The 36-year-old Morton helped lead the Astros to a championship in 2017 with his excellent playoff performance, but he could now end their season with his current club. Not only has Morton largely been a tremendous regular-season pitcher since he broke out as an Astro during their title-winning campaign, but he has been as good or better in the fall, evidenced by his lifetime 3.16 ERA with 9.6 K/9 and 3.5 BB/9 in 51 1/3 playoff innings. Based on the success he has had in the postseason, Morton seems well equipped to handle a do-or-die matchup.

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    Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Framber Valdez, Blake Snell To Start Game 6 Of ALCS]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=257788 2020-10-16T02:17:36Z 2020-10-16T02:12:50Z Thanks to the heroics of shortstop Carlos Correa, who hit a walk-off home run Thursday, the Astros forced a Game 6 of the American League Championship Series against the Rays. Both teams’ starters are set for that affair on Friday. The Astros will use left-hander Framber Valdez, per manager Dusty Baker (via Brian McTaggart of MLB.com), while the Rays will turn to fellow southpaw Blake Snell, Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times tweets.

    This will be the third straight backs-against-the-wall game for the Astros, who fell behind 3-0 in the series but have refused to go away quietly. They’ve won two consecutive games by a 4-3 score and will now rely on the 26-year-old Valdez to keep their season going. He was an indispensable part of their Justin Verlander-less rotation during the regular season, when he tossed 70 2/3 innings of 3.57 ERA/2.85 FIP ball with 9.68 K/9, 2.04 BB/9 and a 60 percent groundball rate. Valdez has added another 18 frames in the postseason and allowed just four earned runs. The Rays did, however, get the better of him in Game 1 of the ALCS with a 2-1 victory.

    Snell was at the helm for the Rays in the series’ first game, and the former AL Cy Young winner gave up one run in five innings. He has generally been excellent in these playoffs, having surrendered five ER in 15 2/3 frames. Before that, Snell had another effective regular season with 50 innings of 3.24 ERA/4.35 FIP pitching with 11.34 K/9, 3.24 BB/9 and a 49.2 percent GB rate. The 27-year-old now has a chance to pitch Tampa Bay into the World Series for the first time since 2008.

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    Steve Adams <![CDATA[Rays, Astros Set Game 5 Starters]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=257601 2020-10-15T17:45:44Z 2020-10-15T17:45:44Z The Rays and Astros have set their starters for Thursday’s Game 5 of the ALCS. Tampa Bay will give the start to right-handed reliever John Curtiss in what should be a bullpen game, while Houston is turning to rookie right-hander Luis Garcia with their season on the line. Garcia has yet to pitch in the playoffs and pitched just 12 1/3 regular-season frames — his first career work above the Class-A Advanced level.

    The 27-year-old Curtiss proved to be the latest gem unearthed by the Rays, as he gave the club 25 innings of 1.80 ERA ball with a 25-to-3 K/BB ratio during the regular season. The former Twins prospect was greeted rudely in his playoff debut earlier this month when the Yankees clobbered him for five runs in just two thirds of an inning, but he’s bounced back with a trio of scoreless outings. Curtiss didn’t pitch more than 2 2/3 innings in any appearance this season and hasn’t thrown more than 43 pitches in an outing, so it’ll be an all-hands-on-deck approach for the Rays today.

    Garcia, 23, hasn’t pitched in a game since Sept. 27 and wasn’t asked to pitch more than two innings at any point after a five-inning effort back on Sept. 9. The Astros won’t be asking for bulk innings from the rookie today, as manager Dusty Baker told reporters his hope is that Garcia can navigate a potent Rays lineup once through the order (Twitter link via MLB.com’s Brian McTaggart). It’s a stark contrast from last year’s Astros club, which rode the trio of Justin Verlander, Gerrit Cole and Zack Greinke to Game 7 of the World Series, but it’s also a testament to the club’s young pitching that their arms have been able to take them this far in spite of so many key injuries to veteran pitchers.

    In other lineup news, Baker revealed that x-rays taken after Michael Brantley fouled a ball into his foot were negative. He’s batting second as the Astros’ DH in today’s elimination game.

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    Anthony Franco <![CDATA[Astros To Start Zack Greinke In ALCS Game 4]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=255943 2020-10-13T02:24:51Z 2020-10-13T02:24:51Z The Astros are starting Zack Greinke in Wednesday’s AL Championship Series Game 4 against the Rays, manager Dusty Baker announced to reporters (including Brian McTaggart of MLB.com). The veteran’s most recent appearance came on Thursday, so he’ll be working on an extra day of rest.

    Greinke has been dealing with some arm trouble over the past couple weeks, so Houston elected to turn to Framber ValdezLance McCullers Jr. and José Urquidy over the series’ first three games. As long as he was healthy enough to take the ball, Greinke was guaranteed at least one start this week regardless.

    Houston will hope the 36-year-old won’t have to start facing elimination. The top-seeded Rays have jumped out to a 2-0 series lead and likely have Tyler Glasnow in reserve for Game 4, making tomorrow’s contest a near must-win for the Astros.

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    Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Astros To Start Jose Urquidy In Game 3 Of ALCS]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=255523 2020-10-12T17:55:10Z 2020-10-12T17:54:32Z Astros right-hander Jose Urquidy will start Game 3 of the American League Championship Series against the Rays, manager Dusty Baker told Chandler Rome of the Houston Chronicle and other reporters Monday. Urquidy will follow Lance McCullers Jr., who will get the ball in this afternoon’s second game.

    Zack Greinke, the Astros’ ace, seems likely to be their choice in Game 4, but Baker’s not quite willing to make that commitment yet, as Mark Berman of Fox 26 tweets. Greinke last pitched Oct. 8, and though he struggled in that game against the Athletics, the Astros still won to close out the ALDS. Greinke battled arm troubles leading up to that contest, but he’s not dealing with any structural damage. With Greinke unavailable Sunday, the Astros turned to Framber Valdez, who pitched well in a 2-1 loss.

    Regardless of Monday’s outcome, the Astros will soon lean on the 25-year-old Urquidy, who has been effective during a 14-appearance, 12-start career that began in 2019. While Urquidy missed the first month-plus of this season because of COVID-19, he returned in early September to make five starts and put up 29 2/3 innings of 2.73 ERA/4.71 FIP ball. Urquidy had a difficult outing against the A’s last Wednesday, though, as he yielded four earned runs in 4 1/3 innings.

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    TC Zencka <![CDATA[Joe Morgan Passes Away]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=255307 2020-10-12T15:55:19Z 2020-10-12T14:59:59Z In a year defined by loss, the baseball community was hit with more heartbreak this morning. Baseball legend, Hall of Famer, and one of the greatest second baseman of all-time Joe Morgan has passed away at the age of 77, per USA Today’s Bob Nightengale (via Twitter). The Cincinnati Reds released a statement of condolences, as many around the baseball community have already started to share stories and praise Morgan’s character and career.

    Morgan played in the major leagues for 22 seasons for the Colt.45s/Astros, Reds, Giants, Phillies, and A’s, most recognizably as a member of the Big Red Machine from 1972 to 1979. Even on a team stacked with all-time greats like Johnny Bench and Pete Rose, Morgan stood out, not only for his iconic wing-flap batting stance, but for his MVP-turn on the field. His acquisition prior to the 1972 season turned Sparky Anderson’s Reds into the juggernaut that we remember them as today. Led by Morgan’s triple slash of .292/.417/.435 – a 9.3 rWAR season – the Reds won the pennant in his first season with the club, falling to the A’s in the seventh game of the World Series.

    That was just the beginning for Morgan and the Reds, however. Morgan won MVP honors in back-to-back seasons in 1975 and 1976, leading the Reds to World Series victories in both seasons. He was a 10-time All-Star and 5-time Glove Glove Award winner. A refined eye at the plate contributed to a stellar .392 career OBP and 100.5 rWAR, 31st all-time. Morgan was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1990 with 2,517 hits, 268 home runs, and 2,649 games played from 1963 to 1984. He is a member of both the Astros’ and Reds’ Hall of Fame. The Reds also retired Morgan’s #8 in 1987, not long after the end of his playing career.

    The gregarious and always respectful Morgan took on a second life as a broadcaster after his playing career. Morgan was part of ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball broadcast team along with Jon Miller from 1990 until 2010, when he took on a role as special adviser for the Reds’ baseball operations department.

    We at MLB Trade Rumors extend our condolences to the family, friends and loved ones of Morgan. Morgan will forever be an remembered as a baseball legend.

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    Mark Polishuk <![CDATA[Astros Set ALCS Roster]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=254938 2020-10-11T17:38:11Z 2020-10-11T17:38:11Z The Astros officially released their 28-man roster for their ALCS matchup with the Rays.  Only one change was made from the Astros’ ALDS roster, as rookie outfielder Chas McCormick (who didn’t play in any of the four games against the Athletics) was omitted in favor of right-hander Chase De Jong.  This gives Houston an additional arm and more pitching depth over what could be a seven-game series with no off-days.

    Chandler Rome of the Houston Chronicle notes that De Jong “is stretched out” and could thus be used to eat multiple innings out of the bullpen, if necessary.  Since De Jong only had a 14.73 ERA over 7 1/3 innings this season, however, one would imagine the Astros aren’t planning to deploy him for any critical situations.

    Here is how the rest of the roster shakes out:

    Right-Handed Pitchers

    Left-Handed Pitchers

    Catchers

    Infielders

    Outfielders

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    TC Zencka <![CDATA[MLBTR Poll: Who Will Win The ALCS?]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=254534 2020-10-10T22:59:51Z 2020-10-10T22:59:51Z It was just last season when the Rays battled back from down 2-0 to force a game 5 winner-take-all match with the Astros in the ALDS. That game featured a showdown of Gerrit Cole versus Tyler Glasnow, one that would be replayed this year, but with Cole wearing pinstripes. Cole fared better last year, when the Astros took down the Rays by a score of 6-1. The Rays got their revenge on Cole Friday night, and now they’re ready to check the Astros off their list as well. Easier said than done, however, as these Astros have proven they won’t go quietly.

    The home team won every game in their playoff showdown last year. Of course, this season there will be no home crowd to contend with, but the tables have turned in that the Rays are the AL East champs who will enjoy last bats for games 1, 2, 5, and 7. As a wild card entrant, the Astros are a rare much-disliked underdog. They’re also a much different team from last year, at least on the pitching side of things.

    Of course, their front offices know each other well. After the Astros were forced to fire Jeff Luhnow, James Click was hired away from the Rays to take over as General Manager. Per MLB.com’s Brian McTaggart, Click said about facing his former team, “On a scale from zero to weird, it’s going to be weird.”

    This series will be played over 7 consecutive days, should it go the distance. Both the Rays and Astros have gone to “playoff style” in their pitcher usage, but a 7-game, 7-day series will stretch those staffs even further. For the Astros, there’s concern about the health of Zack Greinke. The 36-year-old enigmatic ace has been dealing with arm soreness for the past month, though doctors did not find any structural damage. Still, it’s a concern for the Astros, as Greinke hasn’t been at his sharpest, surrendering 5 earned runs in 8 2/3 postseason innings thus far.

    They’ve survived without him largely due to the breakout of 26-year-old Framber Valdez, who will start game one on Sunday night. Lance McCullers Jr. will go in game two. They’re planning to remove a position player in favor of having an extra arm for the ALCS, per The Athletic’s Jake Kaplan (via Twitter). Jose Urquidy and Cristian Javier are also options to start games, while Enoli Paredes stepped up in a multi-inning role for the Astros against the Athletics. As a staff, they’re breaking new ground with every new win. Even Ryan Pressly, one of their few veterans, is experiencing his first postseason as a closer.

    Same as Houston, the Rays will add a 14th pitcher to the staff and drop a position player, per Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times (via Twitter). That should help them cope with a drawn-out series, the but the Rays chart their own path in terms of managing their pitching staff, as evidenced by manager Kevin Cash bringing back Glasnow to serve as a glorified opener on 2-days rest for the clinching game of the ALDS. Blake Snell will get the game one start for the third round in a row, while Charlie Morton is expected – though not announced – as the game two starter.

    Because they play in different divisions, these two teams haven’t faced off since last year’s ALDS. The series starts tomorrow night. MLBTR readers, who is going to win this series? (Link to poll for Trade Rumors mobile app users)

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    TC Zencka <![CDATA[Astros Name Starters For First Two Games Of ALCS]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=254562 2020-10-11T01:05:01Z 2020-10-10T21:32:40Z The Houston Astros named their starters for the first two games of the upcoming ALCS versus the Tampa Bay Rays. Breakout star Framber Valdez will get the ball in game one, while Lance McCullers Jr. will start the second game on Monday night, per MLB.com’s Brian McTaggart and others (via Twitter).

    The 26-year-old Valdez established himself in the rotation this season for the Astros, going 5-3 with a 3.57 ERA/2.85 FIP over 70 2/3 innings with 9.7 K/9 to 2.0 BB/9. His two postseason appearances have been particularly sharp. He threw 5 scoreless innings in relief to lock down game one of the wild card series against the Twins. He then went 7 innings in game two against the A’s, yielding just a pair of runs en route to a victory and a 2-0 series advantage. He’ll get a shot to set a similar tone against the left-leaning Rays.

    A veteran of big games, McCullers Jr. will get the ball in game two. The Tampa native will make his 6th career postseason start against the Rays on Monday night. McCullers’ sole postseason appearance this year came in an ALDS game one start against the Athletics. It wasn’t a great outing, as the 27-year-old went 4 innings, giving up 8 hits, 3 home runs, and 5 runs in total – though only 4 were earned. During the regular season, he made 11 starts with a 3.93 ERA/3.70 FIP across 55 innings with 9.2 K/9 to 3.3 BB/9.

    Because this series has the potential to go 7 games in 7 days, it’s unclear when Valdez and McCullers Jr. might be ready to pitch a second time. On normal rest, they could return for back-to-back starts in games 6 and 7, but it’s more likely the Astros turn to them sooner, depending on the results of the first few games of the series.

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    Steve Adams <![CDATA[Joe Biagini Elects Free Agency]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=254033 2020-10-09T17:39:03Z 2020-10-09T17:39:03Z Right-hander Joe Biagini has rejected an outright assignment from the Astros in favor of free agency, the team announced to reporters (Twitter link via The Athletic’s Jake Kaplan). He was designated for assignment late last month.

    The move was all but a foregone conclusion after Biagini cleared waivers. Players with three-plus years of service time have the right to become free agents at the end of a season in which they’ve been outrighted off the 40-man roster, and there’s no reason for Biagini not to explore his opportunities under that setting. Virtually every three-plus service player who is outrighted goes this route unless they have a guaranteed contract they’d forfeit by taking free agency. That wasn’t the case with Biagini, who played out the 2020 season on a one-year deal after avoiding arbitration last winter.

    Biagini, 30, was a solid reliever for much of his time with the Blue Jays but immediately struggled upon being traded to Houston alongside Aaron Sanchez in the 2019 trade that brought Derek Fisher to Toronto. Biagini served up a dozen runs in just 14 2/3 innings down the stretch in 2019, and he was clobbered for 10 runs in just four outings this year. Overall, he logged a 10.74 ERA in 19 frames as an Astro.

    That (clearly) wasn’t what the ’Stros had in mind when acquiring a righty who, through 50 innings in 2019 at the time of the trade, had pitched to a 3.78 ERA with a 50-to-17 K/BB ratio. Beyond those rudimentary numbers, Biagini boasted elite spin rate on his breaking ball as well as career-high swinging-strike and opponents’ chase rates at the time of the trade. There was plenty for the Astros to dream on, but their high hopes for Biagini simply never came together.

    Biagini will hit what is expected to be a tepid free-agent market and likely need to prove himself to a new club on a minor league deal. He carries a 5.07 ERA in 328 big league innings, although that mark is weighed down a bit by an unsuccessful attempt by the Blue Jays to work him into the rotation (6.08 career ERA as a starter). Prior to being traded to Houston, Biagini carried a 4.04 ERA in just over 200 inning of relief. Biagini has four-plus years of service, so if he latches on with a new club and rights the ship, he’d be controllable through the 2022 season via arbitration.

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    Anthony Franco <![CDATA[Latest On Zack Greinke]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=253639 2020-10-08T16:20:19Z 2020-10-08T16:07:29Z
  • The Athletics are turning the ball over to right-hander Frankie Montas for this afternoon’s must-win Game 4 against the Astros, per various reporters (including Shayna Rubin of the San Jose Mercury News). The 27-year-old was the best pitcher on staff in 2019 before an 80-game suspension following a positive PED test derailed his season. Montas hasn’t performed anywhere close to last year’s level in 2020, although he continues to pump high-90’s heat and strike batters out at a high rate.
  • The Astros haven’t yet named their opposing starter for Game 4. Manager Dusty Baker didn’t rule out turning the ball over to veteran Zack Greinke, who has been dealing with some arm soreness, notes Jason Beck of MLB.com. The 36-year-old ran in the outfield before yesterday’s game but did not throw, reported Chandler Rome of the Houston Chronicle (via Twitter). If Greinke doesn’t go, fellow righty Cristian Javier would be the logical choice to get the ball. [UPDATE: Greinke will get the ball for this afternoon’s potential clincher, via Jake Kaplan of the Athletic and others].
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    Mark Polishuk <![CDATA[Astros To Start Jose Urquidy In Game Three; Zack Greinke Battling Arm Soreness]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=252968 2020-10-07T16:36:19Z 2020-10-07T16:30:22Z October 7: Doctors have told Greinke that there were no signs of structural damage in his arm, per Chandler Rome of the Houston Chronicle and others (via Twitter). That’s great news for the Astros, but there’s still no word on whether or not Greinke will be available to pitch in the divisional series.

    If Greinke can’t go in a potential game 4, Cristian Javier could get the start, but Javier will also be available out of the bullpen today, per The Athletic’s Jake Kaplan (via Twitter). If they win today, after all, they can rest easy and not have to worry about Greinke’s readiness until the ALCS next week.

    October 6: The Astros have a commanding 2-0 lead in their best-of-five ALDS matchup with the Athletics, though not without some uncertainty in their pitching rotation.  Manager Dusty Baker told Chandler Rome of the Houston Chronicle (Twitter links) and other reporters that righty Jose Urquidy will start tomorrow’s Game 3, as Zack Greinke is “ailing some” due to arm soreness.  No specifics were given about Greinke’s condition, though Baker said Greinke has been examined by doctors.

    Greinke last pitched during Game 1 of the Astros’ wild card series with the Twins, tossing 79 pitches over four innings and allowing one earned run on two hits and three walks.  While nothing to write home about, Greinke’s outing nonetheless represented his best work in over a month, as he posted a 5.73 ERA over his final seven starts and 37 2/3 innings of the regular season.  This isn’t to say that Greinke’s current arm problem contributed to these struggles, however, as Rome noted that Greinke was on the roster for both the wild card round and the ALDS, and the right-hander was even throwing during Sunday’s team workout.

    Pitching injuries have been a major story of Houston’s season, and the idea of the Astros being on the doorstep of the ALCS without either a healthy Greinke or without Justin Verlander (who made only one start before suffering the forearm injury that eventually led to Tommy John surgery) would have seemed inconceivable.  The Astros posted only a 29-31 record during the season, yet solid work from starters like Framber Valdez, Cristian Javier, Lance McCullers Jr., and Urquidy helped carry Houston into the postseason despite an inconsistent offense.

    This work has continued into October.  The Astros allowed just two runs during their two-game sweep of the Twins, and while McCullers didn’t pitch well in Game 1 against Oakland, the bats came alive in a 10-5 Houston victory.  Today, Valdez was outstanding in seven innings of two-run ball, leading the Astros to a 5-2 win in Game 2.

    While Urquidy obviously have Greinke’s track record, the second-year pitcher has already delivered in the playoffs.  Urquidy started Game 2 against the Twins and allowed one run in 4 1/3 innings of work, and he most memorably threw five shutout innings starting Game 4 of last year’s World Series against the Nationals.

    Still, it isn’t good news for the Astros that Greinke’s status for both this series and potentially the best of the postseason could be in question.  The lack of off-days in these playoffs will test Houston’s pitching depth, but the Astros can earn themselves some extra time off if they can eliminate the A’s either tomorrow or in Thursday’s Game 4.

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    TC Zencka <![CDATA[Brad Peacock Undergoes Arthroscopic Shoulder Surgery]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=253088 2020-10-07T16:16:11Z 2020-10-07T16:16:11Z Brad Peacock underwent arthroscopic surgery on his right shoulder on Tuesday, per Chandler Rome of the Houston Chronicle (via Twitter). The exploratory surgery could present a number of different diagnoses, so it’s unclear at this time how long Peacock will be sidelined or whether he’ll be ready for Opening Day in 2021.

    Peacock managed just 3 appearances in 2020 before being shut down due to shoulder soreness. The surgery is particularly bad timing for Peacock, who is set to become a free agent at year’s end after making the prorated sum of his initial $3.9MM contract. This season was Peacock’s 8th with the Astros, with his only other major league appearances coming in 2011 with the Nationals, for whom he pitched 12 total innings. For his career, the 32-year-old owns a 4.01 ERA/4.22 FIP in 181 games (83 starts) covering 554 2/3 innings with 9.5 K/9 to 3.9 BB/9 for a 2.47 K/BB ratio.

    Two notable trades brought Peacock to the Astros prior to the 2013 season. The first sent him from the Nationals – the organization that drafted him in the 41st round of the 2006 draft – to the Athletics as part of the return for Gio Gonzalez. Just about two years after that, the Astros acquired him with Max Stassi and Chris Carter in the Jed Lowrie deal.

    He is one of a number of Houston bullpen staples from years past that are absent from their current run. Peacock, Chris Devenski and Roberto Osuna are all out due to injuries (while Will Harris joined the Nationals). Osuna, of course, led the AL in saved in 2019 but missed all but 4 outings of 2020. Last we heard of Osuna, he was going to attempt rehab to avoid a potential Tommy John surgery. Devenski underwent arthroscopic elbow surgery last month. He also only appeared in 4 games for Houston this season. Devenski and Osuna both have one season of arbitration remaining.

    In other Astros news, right-hander Joe Biagini has been outrighted to Triple-A Round Rock after clearing waivers, per Rome. He will have the option of electing free agency. The 30-year-old struggled mightily after joining Houston as part of the Aaron Sanchez deal last season. After posting a 7.36 ERA in 13 appearances to close out 2019, Biagini allowed 10 earned runs in just 4 1/3 innings this year.

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    TC Zencka <![CDATA[Brewers Almost Acquired Framber Valdez In 2015]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=252686 2020-10-06T13:43:27Z 2020-10-06T03:48:23Z
  • Framber Valdez will start game two of the ALDS for the Houston Astros on Tuesday with a chance to go up 2-0 in the series. But there was a version of events in which Valdez never would have been employed by the Astros at all. Valdez told reporters Monday that he was actually signed by the Brewers back in 2015, but he was released after a failed physical (Twitter link via Chandler Rome of the Houston Chronicle). The lefty didn’t elaborate as to what brought about the failed the physical, and given the range of possibilities, it’s not worth speculating. The Astros signed the hard-throwing southpaw on March 18, 2015 as an amateur free agent out of the Dominican Republic, and he made his big-league debut in 2018. This season was his real breakout, however, as he locked down a spot in the Astros’ rotation with a 3.57 ERA/2.85 FIP in 70 2/3 innings before turning in a dominant, five-inning relief showing in Game 1 of the Wild Card round.
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