In a ten-player deal, the Astros have acquired Francisco Cordero and Ben Francisco from the Toronto Blue Jays. Houston will also receive minor leaguers Joe Musgrove, Asher Wojciechowski, David Rollins, and Carlos Perez in the deal. Finally, the Blue Jays will send a player to be named later to Houston at some point in the future. The Astros will send Brandon Lyon, J.A. Happ, and David Carpenter to Toronto.
The deal is the biggest of this year’s trade season player-wise, but will not likely have an immediate impact for Houston. For the Blue Jays, the deal could help them stay in contention this year. In 36 innings out of the bullpen, Lyon has a 3.25 ERA. Happ has a 4.83 ERA in 18 starts this season. Carpenter has stubbled this season in 29 2/3 innings-pitched. He has a 6/07 ERA, but he adds to the pitching help the Blue Jays need.
While Toronto, who was dealt some difficult blows by injuries to their pitchers, have many of the pieces in place now to hold their pitching staff together, Houston GM, Jeff Lunhow is happy with their haul according to the Associated Press.
“This is a very good deal for us,” Houston general manager Jeff Luhnow said. “Once again, we are adding depth to our minor-league system with quality young players. We really feel this will help us moving forward and are extremely excited about the players we’ve added to our organization.”
The Astros have changed their approach to rebuilding since being sold to Jim Crane. Crane has brought in people with an analysis focus – both on the statistical side and the player development side. They are rebuilding from the ground up and want to compete with home-grown talent.
Combine the young players Houston got in this deal with Cordero’s experience and Francisco’s normally above-average OPS, and Houston could have a combination of youth and veterans that can help them be successful sooner rather than later.
Cordero is 3-5 with a 5.77 ERA in 34 1/3 innings. He has been largely removed from the role of closer but has 329 saves in his career. Francisco is hitting just .240/.296/.380 in 27 games, but he owns a career .759 OPS (good enough for a 102 OPS+).
Cordero is a free agent after this year, and Francisco is a free agent after next year. If the Astros have any intention of using these players toward their ultimate goal of being competitive, they will have to extend both of them. They will not be competitive this year or next, but two or three years down the line, they might. Cordero’s age will probably prevent him from contributing when the Astros do turn things around, but if he performs well enough in Houston, and if Houston re-signs him, they could turn around and trade him next year.
The Astros are 34-59 and in last place in the National League Central. The Blue Jays are also in last place, but they are just two games under .500 and still in the hunt for a Wild Card berth.
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