My Astros Trade Proposal for Jose Quintana

First, I definitely would not trade Alex Bregman. He is such a baseball natural, and I see him developing much the same way as a previous Houston baseball natural – Jeff Bagwell. Baggy didn’t have great size or speed, but worked his butt off in the weight room and in studying the game to join Barry Bonds as the ONLY PLAYERS IN MLB HISTORY with two 40 HR/ 30 SB seasons.

Now, the headliner that I would part with is Francis Martes. He is a stud prospect without injury history – and obviously coveted. The thing that makes me see him as tradeable is this: he is a luxury for the Astros. He wasn’t drafted by us and wasn’t even the headliner when we traded for him. He was the lottery ticket that panned out into a top prospect. For some reason, I think human nature makes Jeff Luhnow more likely to part with him than with someone he drafted (although I could be wrong – he did finally trade Mark Appel… but Appel NEVER showed signs of success).

For the same reasons, I would include Springer as part of the package. Again, Springer was inherited by Luhnow. And, Springer doesn’t really fit in this lineup. We have right-handed power bats that are more reliable than him. We put him at leadoff because of his “energy”, but honestly his strikeouts and thus-far lack of base stealing ability does not make him a leadoff hitter in my book. I would much rather see a Jose Altuve/Tony Kemp type at leadoff – someone who is a pesky out and is a much more efficient base-stealer.

Another thing that makes Springer expendable is the replacements we have for him. Marisnick would instantly provide elite defense in Center and better base stealing.  Would Marisnick get on base as much? Almost assuredly not. But that’s a tradeoff I would make for an ace like Quintana. And the OF prospects we have would make the loss easier to take – Tucker, Cameron, Laureano, Fisher, Hernandez, and Kemp are all quality prospects (though some I would include in the trade for Quintana).

Speaking of Derek Fisher, he is another one that tantalizes with a power/speed combo. You can just take one look at him to know he has power, but his 11/11 steals this spring training were a nice reminder of his speed. And again, he is a luxury for the Astros. He was the compensation sandwich pick that we acquired via trade. He panned out into a good prospect, and thus I see him as more tradeable.

Similarly, Daz Cameron was drafted with a compensation pick we acquired. He has definitely NOT panned out so far, but is the type of lottery ticket to sweeten a deal for the White Sox.

So far, that’s Martes, Springer, Fisher, and Cameron. Something tells me that is not quite enough for the White Sox. Martes is the only one that has shown elite player potential so far.

The Astros have 3 corner infield bats that are all knocking on the door of the big leagues. That’s AJ Reed, Colin Moran, and JD Davis. I would allow the White Sox their choice of two of those 3. They all have a pretty similar prospect status at the moment, though some still regard former top prospect Reed as a premier prospect despite his rookie struggles (Anthony Rizzo anyone?). And we only need to keep one with Bregman, Correa, and Gurriel all capable of playing corner infield spots.

I’m assuming the Sox would want Reed and Moran. So the final package is Martes, Springer, Fisher, Cameron, Moran, and Reed.  That sure seems like a king’s ransom to me.

That would leave the lineup looking something like this:

vs RHP:

  1. 3B Bregman
  2. CF Kemp
  3. 2B Altuve
  4. SS Correa
  5. DH Beltran
  6. RF Reddick
  7. 1B Gurriel/Gonzalez
  8. C McCann
  9. LF Aoki

vs LHP:

  1. 3B Bregman
  2. LF Hernandez
  3. 2B Altuve
  4. SS Correa
  5. DH Beltran
  6. 1B Gurriel
  7. C Gattis
  8. RF Reddick
  9. CF Marisnick

And the pitching staff like this:

  1. Quintana, 2. Keuchel, 3. McCullers, 4. Musgrove, 5. Morton/Fiers

 

I’m including a lot bats from the Astros. The White Sox seem pretty stocked on pitching with Giolito, Kopech, Lopez, and Fulmer. But heck, if they wanted another pitcher then I would exchange either Paulino or Whitley for one of the bats.

It seems like a lot, but four years of Quintana with that contract is incredibly valuable. Especially when you consider that the Astros foreseeable World Series window is basically these next few years.

And think of it like this: we would pay him $36 million total for four seasons of excellence. $36 million is what we paid Doug Fister, Colby Rasmus, and Carlos Gomez for JUST ONE SEASON last year (one season of crap from Rasmus and Gomez – Fister was at least good for the first half).

 

4 thoughts on “My Astros Trade Proposal for Jose Quintana”

  1. Lol I’ll bet. As an Astros fan, I don’t want to give up Tucker. Getting a pick like him is one of the reasons we lost 100 games for 3 years in a row. If Hahn insisted though, I would cave in…bc Quintana is that good.

    Something like Martes, Springer, and Tucker seems like enough. But I’d throw in one of Fisher/Cameron and two of Reed/Moran/Davis too. Our window is now and we NEED Quintana. I’m putting a lot of bats in there bc it seems like the Sox got plenty of pitching with their other trades.

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  2. If the Astros are giving up the package you proposed I would rightfully vomit. Quintana is a great pitcher, who would easily make the team better in the short term and improve the pitching staff with another viable front-end starter, providing Keuchel recovers from last season and McCullers can stay healthy.
    That being said, this package is ludicrous and seriously hinders the Astros going forward.

    Any Quintana trade would definitely involve some top prospect sacrifices, that much is a given. Francis Martes and Derek Fisher are probably gone. Heck, I could see AJ Reed or Colin Moran being included too. But that’s where I would draw the line. If the White Sox want Springer, Cameron, and the outlier of Moran/Reed on top of top prospects Martes and Fisher…I tell them to go and shove it where the sun don’t shine. Here is why.

    Quintana is a solid pitcher. He’s consistent, he’s controllable for a long time and he’s still young. What’s not to love? Well, for starters, he is only one guy. The Astros would trade pretty much the Fresno Grizzlies starting lineup and chip in Springer for one player in return. So if Quintana goes down with injury, needs Tommy John surgery or worse, then the Astros return shoots all the way down to zero. A pretty tough reality given that all of the Astros top prospects are gone. On the other side of the coin, I’d like to think one of Francis Martes, Derek Fisher or AJ Reed will become a very successful major league player. I also know George Springer is a very solid major league player though he’s not taken the next step to stardom the most of us would hope for. So effectively, the Astros would put all their eggs in one basket and hope Quintana not only stays healthy, but is able to put up similar numbers in a new home ballpark.

    For those who don’t remember, one of the worst trades of the 2000s the Astros ever made was the blockbuster of Willy Taveras, Jason Hirsch and Taylor Buchholz for Jason Jennings and Miguel Asencio. The Astros traded a solid outfielder in Willy T as well as their top two pitching prospects (Hirsch and Buchholz) for Baylor product Jason Jennings and reliever Miguel Asencio. Jennings would pitch only 99 innings in Houston to a tune of 6.45 ERA, a 1.545 WHIP while letting up 19 HRs. Asencio never pitched for the Astros (he actually never pitched in the majors again).

    Why is this important? Well after 2006, we all know the Astros were only competitive once in 2008 before sliding into the dark days of 2010-2014. The Astros would end up without any players from that deal and their star prospect pitchers would go on to have very unsatisfying careers in Colorado. Willy Taveras would enjoy a couple years of success before fading out of baseball. Fast forward to 2017. The Astros could sling a big haul over for Quintana (who is much, much better than Jennings). However, in doing so, they can cripple their own farm system in the process. if Quintana gets hurt or take the Jason Jennings route and pitches his way out of town, who is called up to take his place? Paulino? Brady Rogers? Neither of which has performed well in limited major league action/spring training?

    The point is, if you trade the entire top half of the farm system away, how do the Astros keep feeding talent to the majors? We all saw how stripping the minor league system to pieces went in the early 2000’s. It left the Astros with 4 painfully awful seasons as the minor leagues essientally had to be recreated. Why make a mistake like that again when the Astros just spent so long trying to build it back up?

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  3. Thanks. Those were some great points. Honestly, if Quintana was making the money he should be making – then I wouldn’t offer that proposal. But his contract makes him that much more valuable.

    My fear with Moran and Reed is that they are losing value. 25 year old prospects, which they are soon to be, just don’t sound as appealing as 24 year old rookies. I don’t see them making this team in the next 4 years either (with Bregman/Correa/Gurriel all capable of playing the corner IF spots). I would rather give up the quantity to blow away the White Sox, and not have to give up another bluechipper in Kyle Tucker.

    Marisnick could handle CF for 2 years, mayble less, until Tucker is ready.

    And, I didn’t include the one I think is the best hitter – Tyler White. The Astros system is just loaded. Even if we gave up all of that, we would STILL have Tucker/Kemp/Laureano/Ronnie Dawson/Kemmer/Straw as OF depth. Our corner IF depth takes a hit, but my thought is where are we going to play any corner IFs on this team?

    Good point about Jennings. I thought he was decent in Colorado, but I did not like the trade of our top pitching prospect and our speedy CF in Taveras. The Astros just seem to like trading away good young CF’s… whether it’s Kenny Lofton, Steve Finley, Bryan Hunter, or Willy T.

    Tim Purpura had to be the dumbest tub of lard to ever sit in a GM’s chair. Carlos Beltran insists he would have stayed here if given the no-trade clause… seriously Purpura??? You couldn’t offer that to him but did offer it to Carlos Lee 2 years later???

    But that Jennings trade should also show you how rare it is for prospects to pan out. Even with the quantity I’m proposing, the Sox know that the reality of more than one sticking in the big leagues is small.

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