It is no secret that the Houston Astros left many fans disappointed with how the trade deadline ended. Report after report would have Houston rumored to be in serious talks about acquiring top-shelf talent to strengthen their roster for the play offs. In the end all we walked away with was Francisco Liriano.
General Manager Jeff Luhnow stated very early on that they would not part ways with top prospects Kyle Tucker and Derek Fisher because he did not want to trade away the franchise’s future. Some have criticized his lack luster performance at the deadline.
Usually speaking, there is nothing wrong with planning three moves ahead. However, sometimes it can make you blind to the issue right in front of you.
The one thing that has been their biggest issue all year has been their health, especially in their starting pitching. When the season started Colin McHugh was on the disabled list, and was joined quickly by Charlie Morton. Fast forward a few months and both Keuchel and McCullers were joining their fellow teammates. Now All Star short stop Carlos Correa is on the disabled list and is expected to return just in time for the play offs.
When your pitching rotation is plagued with injuries and a bullpen that is being over used because of it, it wouldn’t be inappropriate to expect the departure of quality prospects if it means winning a World Series. If anything, the majority of fans would not have minded if Houston parted ways with prospects if it meant getting Sonny Gray, Yu Darvish, or even Zach Britton.
Soon after the deadline, Dallas Keuchel was quick to give his two cents about the front office’s performance. “Disappointment would be an understatement” was the big take away from the former Cy Young winner’s interview. At first it appeared that Keuchel was the only one in the club house who had this feeling. That was until this past Thursday.
A few days ago, Josh Reddick did an interview with MLB Network radio where he stated that Astros players “were down in the dumps after the deadline”. The players frustration is completely understandable. This is the best chance the franchise has ever had in their 55 year existence, and by not making big trades I can see how the players felt let down.
Then I started to look at the broader picture.
The most consistent pieces of information in every trade rumor involving the Astros was Luhnow not wanting to trade top prospects, and teams asking for top prospects. From what it sounded like, unless names like Tucker or Fisher weren’t attached to a trade, it wasn’t going to happen. Luhnow seemed rather comfortable with his decision to hold true to his unwillingness to trade the future away, and I think the players should as well.
If anything, Luhnow showed his confidence in the team’s ability to still win regardless of new additions. In the beginning of the year when most of the team was healthy they were the best team in baseball. So far, none of them have a season ending injury so it isn’t out of the realm of possibility that once everyone is back to firing on all cylinders, the Astros still have a decent chance to win the Fall Classic.
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