I had almost forgotten what it was like to experience an immediate gratification trade. We get to see Dexter Fowler in an Astros uniform THIS year. I have gotten used to sending most of our newly acquired talent to Corpus Christi or Oklahoma City, but not this time. This time it’s straight to the top, which is still probably the bottom of the American League, but it’s a start.
So most of you by now will have heard what the package is; Jordan Lyles and Brandon Barnes for Dexter Fowler and a player to be named later (PTBNL). This has widely been considered a coup for Jeff Luhnow and company and I tend to agree. Dexter Fowler (27) is a legitimate major league outfielder that gets on a base (.365 career OBP), has the athleticism to steal a few bases (19 in 2013) and play at least a serviceable center field. The Astros front office has also done a very nice job with past PTBNL negotiations so I know I anxiously await who else we can drag out of the Rockies organization.
The Astros lost their starting centerfielder (Barnes) and their fourth or fifth man in the rotation (Lyles) which on a 111 loss team obviously doesn’t mean as much as usual. Barnes (26) played an above average center field but hasn’t gotten on base enough to really solidify himself as an everyday major leaguer in many baseball minds. Jordan Lyles (23) has all of the tools to become a middle of the rotation piece but in his three years at the top level, he has consistently struggled to put it together. He is still young and I believe he was probably Colorado’s center piece for this deal since the upside is still there.
The Astros and Their Fans Are the Winners
I think it is ignorant to assume that any GM in Major League Baseball is truly an idiot; although if you ask Rockies fans right now they might disagree. These GMs had to have done something right to get to their position in the organization, and they are just operating on the best information that they have available to them. Fortunately for Astros fans, it seems that the information Luhnow is able to gather is just better so far. He uses that information to search every bargain bin in the nation but now instead of gathering other people’s scraps (waiver claims), we get to have our own meal.
I believe the Astros did “win” this trade but as always time will tell all. The thing that is indisputable about this whole scenario is that Astros fans can get excited because this move signals the beginning of the revolution. Like a veritable Katniss Everdeen, Jeff Luhnow holds up the three finger salute, and shows us that things are going to start changing for the better. Yeah, I made a Hunger Games reference, wanna fight about it?!
Astros made a move for a player that is not only talented but also young. Fowler is a piece that can contribute to the rebuilding process and then still be in his prime for when the Astros make their runs at the playoffs. He is a legitimate leadoff man, has enough pop and versatility to move to right field once a certain minor league center fielder can make his debut, and he is not Rick Ankiel.
So yeah, It Was a Good Day.