J.A. Happ Traded to Jays: Why the Astros Won the Deal
In a massive blockbuster deal, the Astros traded Brandon Lyon, J.A. Happ and David Carpenter to the Blue Jays in exchange for Francisco Cordero, Ben Francisco, Joe Musgrove, Asher Wojciechowski, David Rollins, Carlos Perez and a player to be named later, according to ESPN.
Since the Astros are out of contention, it makes sense to dump these three players. Lyon is an overpaid bullpen arm who has an expiring contract. Happ hasn’t been good since coming to Houston in 2010, and now the Astros won’t have to worry about taking him to arbitration. Carpenter could be the one player in this deal that they regret dealing, but the prospects coming over make up for it.
Francisco could be a starting outfielder, but hasn't developed into anything worth noting. Cordero was signed over the offseason to a one-year deal, but hasn’t been effective out of the Toronto bullpen.
What the deal comes down to is Houston acquiring four prospects and two non-factors in an attempt to get younger for the future. These aren’t just any prospects though, as ESPN’s Jim Bowden tweets.
Astros get Blue Jays 10th, 14th & 20th best prospect according to Baseball America for Happ and Lyon....solid deal for Astros GM Jeff Luhnow
— JIM BOWDEN (@JimBowdenESPNxm) July 20, 2012
Who won this 10-player trade?
Perez is a solid defensive catcher with a good bat. He’s not much of a power hitter, but he does spread the ball all over the field. He’s not a huge kid and has the capabilities of running out triples, of which he has five this season. Houston doesn’t have a lot of depth in the minors and Perez will move from Low-A to High-A with the deal, according to Zachary Levine of the Houston Chronicle.
Although Musgrove has only pitched in rookie-ball this season, he has the potential to be a middle-of-the-rotation starter in the big leagues. He’s only pitched in eight innings this season, but has struck out nine without walking a batter. Look for Musgrove to advance quickly through the organization over the next few seasons and be in the Houston rotation around 2015 or so.
Wojciechowski has pitched very well in High-A Dunedin this season, going 7-3 in 18 starts with a 3.57 ERA in 93.1 innings. He will advance to Double-A Corpus Christi, tweets Levine. He was drafted in the first round of the 2010 MLB draft and has already progressed nicely through the Toronto system. Don’t be shocked if we see him in Houston by the end of next season.
Rollins is another solid minor league pitcher who Houston picked up in the deal. He’s 6-1 in 18 starts with a 2.78 ERA in 77.2 with Single-A Lansing this season. In just a few starts last season, Rollins was also very good. He probably is the worst prospect heading to the Astros, but there’s still plenty of time for him to develop into a big league-caliber pitcher.
The Astros got rid of three players that they didn’t really need and picked up four good prospects who could help them down the road.
This was a very smart move by the Astros, and we could see even more moves that brighten Houston's future over the next 10 days.
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