The Houston Astros have been known to be active sellers at the trade deadline over the last several seasons. All Astros fans have been hoping to become buyers at some point, but that has yet to be the case. When July comes, it’s all about finding the best offers for some of our better talents on the major league roster.
After unloading most of our talent the last four years, it seems like the Astros may be ready to hold on to certain players. Jose Altuve, Jonathan Villar, Matt Dominguez, and George Springer appear to be keepers. So does Astros catcher Jason Castro, but there have been some talks about him as recently as this offseason.
Castro was the Astros first round pick, #10 overall, in the 2008 draft. He has had a decent career thus far but is 27-years old and plays a position that wears down faster than others. His value right now is likely at an all-time high. Though he hasn’t hit for average, he ranks third amongst catchers in home runs and sixth in RBIs. There are plenty of contending teams that would love to have a catcher who could hit 20+ HR and 70+ RBI.
Here are some trade options for the Astros.
Note: These trade destinations and players on base on my own opinion
Los Angeles Dodgers:
The Dodgers are 23-22 and are a team built to compete right now. However, their catcher position has been terrible this season. A.J. Ellis, Drew Butera, and Tim Federowicz have combined for a .170 BA with 2 HR and 9 RBI in 135 at bats. With the average age of their team being near 30-years old, Castro could boost their offense for the next few years.
Who could we get?
- Joc Pederson, OF – Pederson, #31 prospect according to MLB.com, is a do-it-all type outfielder who has played all three outfield positions with most being in CF. Pederson had legit power and can steal bases. He has shown the ability to draw walks too. He projects as a possible 20/20 or maybe even 30/30 guy in the pros. So far this season Pederson is hitting .361/.465/.663 with 14 HR, 29 RBI and 13 SB.
- Zach Lee, RHP – Lee is a 6’3″ right handed pitcher from McKinney, TX. Lee has worked his way through the minor league system since being drafted out of high school in 2010. He doesn’t walk many batters and has always had a good BB/SO ratio. In AAA this season Lee has a 4.37 ERA in 47.1 IP with 14 BB/35 SO.
- Yimi Garcia, RHP – Garcia is a right handed relief pitcher out of the Dominican Republic. Garcia has always been great at striking guys out but this season he has limited his walks too. He would be a great fit to add to the Astros bullpen.
Trading within division is not a particularly great idea and rarely happens, but trading within the state is even worse. Though most fans would not want to see Castro go to the Rangers, they could definitely use him and they have the prospects to do it. Their catcher combination of Robinson Chirinos and J.P. Arencibia has combined for a .179 BA with 3 HR and 14 RBI in 145 at bats.
Who could we get?
- Luke Jackson, RHP – Jackson is a 6’2″ right handed pitcher who was drafted out of high school in 2010. He has worked his way up the system now into AA. Jackson has a career 9.6 SO/9 in his minor league career. This season he has a 3.19 ERA in 48 IP with 13 BB/49 S).
- Nick Williams, OF – Williams was drafted in the 2nd round in the 2012 draft out of Galveston, TX. Williams has all kind of tools to include speed and power. His plate discipline has not been good but he is still hitting for a good average. This season in A+ Williams is hitting .287 with 14 2B, 4 HR and 27 RBI this season.
- Alex Gonzalez, RHP – Gonzalez was drafted in the first round of the 2013 draft out of Oral Roberts. He is only in A+ right now but should move fast. He has pitched well since hitting the minor league system. This season in A+ Gonzalez has a 2.42 ERA in 48.1 IP, 10 BB/37 SO.
There are other teams out there that would most likely like to upgrade the catcher position. As the trade deadline gets closer, these trade possibilities could clear up. With this article I am not saying I am for trading Castro. For any trade to happen I think the Astros would need to be blown away. If a team like the Dodgers were willing to part with Pederson, then I think they may be the best fit.
Whether or not to trade Castro is for a different time.
In the meantime, let’s hope Castro can add some points to that batting average and continue hitting for power.