The Houston Astros are, as of this writing, the worst team in all of baseball. And they were the worst team in baseball for 2011 as well. When a once proud team is as bad as the Astros currently are, changes need to be made.
But the Astros need to make changes to the roster more than to the coaching staff. The roster needs an overhaul. General Manager Jeff Luhnow was brought over to the Astros before this season to refashion the team in the manner of his old organization, the defending champion St. Louis Cardinals. And evidently, his scouting report of the team as currently put together is "Yuck."
He is making trades to bring in new players the same way people shop at Costco. He is acquiring in bulk.
He dealt Carlos Lee to the Miami Marlins and got a pair of players in return. Infielder Matt Dominguez is already on the big league club at age 22 and Rob Rasmussen has been promoted to Double-A.
Today, Luhnow turned three players into seven. J. A. Happ was part of a previous rebuilding process when he came over in the Roy Oswalt trade. He's gone. Brandon Lyon, who gave the Astros some bullpen depth, is gone. David Carpenter, who just a year ago looked so promising, is gone.
Luhnow is willing to trade everyone on the team, including pitchers who are not yet eligible for free agency.
The haul in return from Toronto? The only familiar names are Francisco Cordero and Ben Francisco. They have two things in common: Their names include "Francisco" and neither will be members of the 2013 Astros.
The rest of the players, Asher Wojciechowski, David Rollins, Carlos Perez and Joe Musgrove are all minor leaguers who are in Double-A or lower.
There is a very good chance that not one player from the trade will be on the 2013 roster when the season begins. Which means that even more new players will have to be added to the Astros' 25-man squad.
When a team is this bad, perhaps the method of rebuilding is to scorch the Earth. Luhnow is building it from the ground up and by the time he is done, there might not be a single player left over the age of 25.
Wandy Rodriguez and Brett Myers are the next Astros veterans who will probably be dealt. Don't be surprised if they are each dealt for two players who are in Single-A ball.