MLB Trade Rumors: Hunter Pence and Three Houston Astros Who Could Be Dealt
If they do, these players would follow former Astros' third basemen Jeff Keppinger, who was traded to the San Francisco Giants this week.
As the worst team in the league, major trades are imminent. They are looking to give up Pence, their best player, for two to four future contributors to the major league club. Who is desperate enough to do that?
Many teams are considering just that, although Houston will have to see the perfect deal on the table to part-ways with their star.
Obviously Pence has been in trade talks for a while, but who are the other players generating the most interest?
Here are the three players that are being talked about the most.
No 3: Clint Barmes
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In 272 plate appearances, Barmes has hit .253 with five home runs and 18 RBI. He has five errors with the Astros in 2011.
Barmes will valuable at a utility role for any team he gets traded to. He isn't the best baseball player, but his ability to play at second or short could help teams down the stretch.
He could also help teams in terms of depth.
He could play a bench role and have no problem stepping in if there is an injury to a starter.
No 2: Wandy Rodriguez
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Acquiring a left-handed starting pitcher is always important come deadline time.
The Houston Astros have expressed interest in dealing Rodriguez before the July 31 deadline.
Rodriguez is a .500 pitcher (6-6) on the worst team in Major League Baseball, which says a lot. He carries a 3.67 ERA and a 1.37 WHIP.
He is 68-70 in 184 career starts during his six-year career.
American League teams can sometimes be nervous when dealing for National League pitchers because of the inflated ERA's in the AL. This will limit interest, but injuries could change teams' thoughts and opinions on Rodriguez.
No 1: Hunter Pence
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All-Star Hunter Pence will generate the best prospects in return via a trade.
If the Houston Astros could receive three or four contributors for Pence then they will strongly consider dealing the young outfielder.
Pence is a guy who never makes anything look smooth. He looks like one of the least athletic players in the majors, yet continues to deliver.
Whether it is hitting, fielding or base running, Pence finds ways to get every task completed. He is the hottest hitter on the market, and many teams have called the Astros for his services.
Pence leads the Astros in just about every offensive category imaginable. He leads them in batting average (.316), home runs (11), RBI (61), OBP (.361) and hits (118).
He has been the one and only Astro who has been effective offensively. His value couldn't be higher, and it helps that the Astros don't want to give him up.