The Astros and Angels were locked in a scoreless tie Thursday night until Jason Castro stepped to the plate against Fernando Salas with two on and two out in the bottom of the ninth inning. Take it away, Mr. Castro…
Now that’s a quality bat-flip.
Scott Kazmir, who was acquired from the Athletics last week, held the Angels to three hits over 7 2/3 scoreless frames. The Astros swept the three-game series from the Angels, so they now hold a two-game lead in the American League West. Oh, and they have Carlos Gomez and Mike Fiers on the way. Pretty fun night to be an Astros fan, huh?
UPDATE: The deal is official. The Astros will also receive slot #76 in the 2015-2016 international pool as part of the trade.
7:33 p.m. ET: Carlos Gomez was nearly dealt to the Mets last night before the deal fell apart, but it didn’t take long for the Brewers to find a new suitor. According to CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman, the Astros have agreed to acquire Gomez and right-hander Mike Fiers from the Brewers. By the way, Heyman hears that Gomez has already passed the Astros’ medical review.
FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal reports that Milwaukee will receive outfielders Brett Phillips, Domingo Santana, right-hander Adrian Houser, and left-hander Josh Hader.
After acquiring left-hander Scott Kazmir from the Athletics last week, it’s clear that the Astros are all in. Gomez has seen a dip in production at the plate this year, but he’s still one of the best defensive center fielders in the game and is under contract for $9 million next season. Fiers, 30, has posted a 3.89 ERA over 21 starts this season and should make for another solid addition to Houston’s rotation. He’s not arbitration-eligible for the first time until after the 2016 season, so this move isn’t just about this season.
The Mets reportedly backed out of the trade for Gomez last night due to concerns about his hip, but there was a report out of Milwaukee this morning which stated that the deal broke down primarily because of financial issues. That looks pretty accurate at the moment.
Even after bolstering their rotation with Scott Kazmir the Astros made a strong run at Cole Hamels, but a possible deal with Philadelphia came to a halt when Hamels used his no-trade rights to veto a potential move to Houston.
According to both Bob Nightengale of USA Today and Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com Hamels informed the Phillies at some point in the process that he would not accept a trade to the first-place Astros, causing them to focus on the eventual deal with the third-place Rangers.
Kazmir is merely a two-month rental for a team contending ahead of scheule, whereas the Astros no doubt liked the idea of being able to pair Hamels with Dallas Keuchel atop their rotation for several years of contending teams. It’s possible the Rangers’ offer would have topped the Astros’ offer anyway, but Houston’s involvement does signal that the Astros were willing to add significant salary now that they’re through the massive rebuild phase and firmly established as contenders.