With yesterday’s announcement of Berkman’s retirement, I’m sure many were asking themselves who the Astros received in the Lance Berkman trade. The answer: Jimmy Paredes and Mark Melancon. So basically nothing, right?
Let’s take a look at those two players, and the branch of players that lead us to some current Astros now.
Mr. Paredes. We can keep this part short. Paredes played sparingly in three season with the Astros, before being claimed by the Miami Marlins earlier this offseason. He provided us with some excitement on the field (to anyone not named Jose Altuve), but nothing more in terms of future production for the Astros.
Now that I finished that part, let’s get to the good stuff.
Melancon came over at the deadline and finished the season with a 3.12 ERA in 20 appearances. Heading into the 2011 season, Melancon was dubbed the “closer” and performed very well during the year. Though he only finished with 20 saves (that has more to do with the Astros than Melancon himself), he finished with a 2.78 ERA in 74.1 innings.
That season put him on other team’s wish lists and Astros GM Jeff Luhnow took advantage another “asset”. Luhnow sent Melancon to the Boston Red Sox in exchange for Kyle Weiland and Jed Lowrie. Weiland had 6.62 ERA in 3 starts for the Astros in 2012, but has been sidelined by injuries ever since. The Astros have been quiet on the Weiland front, so if you see him, please contact @AstrosCounty.
Lowrie on the other hand produced well for the Astros in his one year with the team. In 2012, Lowrie finished with 16 home runs and a .769 OPS. His season was cut short due to ankle and thumb injuries, which has been the story of his career. Some thought the Astros should keep the power-hitting shortstop, but the Astros chose (wisely) to ship him away for three members of the Oakland Athletics.
All three players look promising for the Astros future. Carter smashed 29 home runs last season, and appears to be a legitimate threat in the middle of the lineup. Stassi is the top catching prospect in the organization and appears to be on track for significant playing time later this season or next. Peacock finished the season with a 5.18 ERA, but he appeared to have settled down in his second stint with the Astros, finishing with a 3.64 ERA in 54 1/3 innings in August and September.
Even though Berkman retired, he’s still indirectly producing the for the Astros. Who knows, maybe 10 years down the line the Berkman trade-chain will still be going strong!