The Toronto Blue Jays and Houston Astros announced a huge ten player trade just a moment ago. I haven't had time to break down the particulars yet, so I'll do it as I go.
HEADING TO TORONTO
JA Happ, Brandon Lyon, David Carpenter
HEADING TO HOUSTON
Francisco Cordero, Ben Francisco, Joe Musgrove, Asher Wojciechowski, David Rollins, Carlos Perez, PTBNL
OK, now to break it down player by player. Happ has been a massive disappointment for the Astros since they acquired him from the Phillies in the Roy Oswalt deal in 2010. He's tallied just 1.7 fWAR in 332 2/3 innings, but he has improved this year by boosting his strikeout rate and slashing his walk rate. The major problem? Homers. He allowed 21 last year, and has already allowed 17 this year...and he's going to a much stronger division in the AL East, and a fantastic park for homers in the Rogers Centre. This has disaster potential for the Blue Jays, but with their glut of injuries, I understand why they needed a starter. Lyon is your typical overpaid reliever, and only threw 13 1/3 innings last year. This year, he's been fine, posting a 3.75 ERA and striking out close to a batter per inning. Again, the move makes sense, because the Blue Jays bullpen has been a disappointment this year. Carpenter is your typical hard-throwing reliever, but he's been bad for the Astros this year thanks to a .402 BABIP. During his minor league career, he's consistently struck out a batter per inning with spotty control....so there's that.
Now, the return to Houston. Cordero is like Lyon, an overpaid reliever whose better days are behind him. Francisco is a fourth outfielder. As for the prospects heading back to Houston...there's some value here. Musgrove is a 19 year-old first round supplemental pick from the 2011 draft who has thrown 32 2/3 career innings, striking out 27 and walking five. He ranked as the team's 20th best prospect coming into the year. Wojciechowski was a first round supplemental pick in the 2010 draft, and the 23 year-old has a 3.57 ERA for high-A Dunedin this year, striking out 76 while walking only 22 in 93 1/3 innings. He ranked as the team's tenth best prospect coming into the year. Rollins was a 24th round pick in the 2011 draft, and is currently on the DL for low-A Lansing. He has a 2.78 ERA in 77 2/3 innings, and has struck out 75 while walking 36. Finally, there is the 21 year-old Perez, who was signed out of Venezuela as an international free agent in 2008. The young catcher has an .804 OPS for Lansing, and up until last year, hit well at every level he played at. He ranked as Toronto's 14th best prospect coming into the year.
It seems like this is definitely a solid win for the Astros, who beefed up a still-weak farm system with this deal. Throwing three top 20 prospects into an organization that desperately needs them isn't a bad move at all, and Houston really gave up nothing that looked like a solid part of their future. As for the Blue Jays, this entire deal hinges around Happ. Will he be able to keep balls in the park in Toronto, or will his homer problems get even worse? The best case scenario is that Toronto has a back of the rotation arm here.
One more tidbit with the deal. Toronto also promoted Travis Snider from AAA Las Vegas to the majors, and hopefully he'll be able to get consistent playing time. Thank god he wasn't part of this deal, otherwise Blue Jays fans would probably be going ballistic.
Photo courtesy of Daylife.com
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