The Houston Chronicle’s Zachary Levine was lucky enough to get the following quote from Astros GM Ed Wade after asking him about the trade deadline this afternoon:
“We’re going to be viewed as a land of opportunity for teams to try to improve the teams that are in contention.”
Because of the huge firestorm about to erupt when Brett Myers is put up for bids?
As usual, Wade is a year too late. Myers likely would have netted an excellent prospect had the Astros made him available a year ago when he was 8-6 with a 3.10 ERA at the deadline. Instead, Wade signed him to a two-year, $23 million extension that he’d love to pawn off on someone else now. Myers is currently 3-9 with a 4.88 ERA.
The Astros only have three veterans with much in the way of trade value — Wandy Rodriguez, Hunter Pence and Michael Bourn — and they have no one ready to step in should they trade any of them. Outside of Jeff Keppinger, they don’t even have any role players likely to attract any interest from contenders.
So, Wade is probably doomed. The Astros have the worst record in baseball, and regardless of what Wade does this summer, they’re going to be the obvious favorites to finish last in the NL Central again next year.
The Astros have acquired shortstop Aledmys Díaz from the Blue Jays in exchange for minor league right-hander Trent Thornton, the teams announced Saturday.
Díaz, 28, was originally acquired by the Blue Jays last winter in a swap for minor leaguer J.B. Woodman. He spent the entirety of his 2018 campaign in Toronto, where he slashed .263/.303/.453 with a .756 OPS and career-best 18 home runs through 452 plate appearances. While Díaz spent the bulk of his year filling in for an injured Troy Tulowitzki at short, he has experience at second and third base and may prove useful to the Astros as an extra outfield option, too.
Per Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic, Díaz will serve as protection if the Astros lose shortstop/utility player Marwin González to free agency this winter. González did not receive a qualifying offer from the club this month and has reportedly drawn interest from 29 of 30 clubs in the league.
Thornton, 25, was selected by the Astros during the fifth round of the 2015 draft. The right-hander was promoted to Triple-A Fresno in 2017 and has been up-and-down since then, though 2018 saw some modest improvements across the board as he turned in a 9-8 record through 22 starts with a 4.42 ERA, 2.2 BB/9 and 8.8 SO/9 through 124 1/3 innings. He was one of several minor league players the Astros would have needed to protect in advance of the Rule 5 Draft on Tuesday.