Houston Astros Trade to Win it All

In a wild finish to the MLB trade deadline, the Houston Astros received the much needed help that has plagued them all year. Houston has a lineup that would make anyone envious. Their pitching rotation, however, has a huge drop in talent after Justin Verlander, Gerrit Cole, and Wade Miley. These three starters have started 69 games, but eight other players have started games for Astros this season. They felt a need to solidify their rotation and get some consistency out of the back end.

The Astros Biggest Trade of the Deadline

In the final minutes of the deadline, Houston acquired Zack Greinke from the Arizona Diamondbacks. Greinke (10-4) is having a Cy Young award winning year posting an ERA of 2.90, 135 strikeouts, and a WHIP of 0.95. Jeff Luhnow said, “Zack Greinke’s one of the best pitchers in baseball. We had him high on our list.” Houston sent four prospects to Arizona for Greinke.

Arizona received first baseman Seth Beer, right-handers J.B. Bukauskas, Corbin Martin, and infielder Josh Rojas. “We gave up four legitimate prospects that we were very excited about. To get a future Hall of Famer like Zack Greinke on our team for the next 2 ½ years, we had to give up a lot of value, and it was painful.’ Luhnow said. ‘That’s why it took so long. We were really resisting giving up all four of those guys and tried different permutations and different replacements, but at the end of the day, that’s the deal they insisted on and that’s the only deal that was going to get done. We ended up conceding at the last moment.” Including four top prospects, Arizona gets salary relief, as Greinke was set to make $35 million each of the next two seasons.

The Result

For Houston’s rotation, it’s a case of the rich just keep getting richer. Before they traded for Greinke, Astros’ starting pitchers ranked first in the majors in both strikeouts per nine innings (10.5) and opponents’ batting average (.213). They also ranked fourth in ERA (3.68). Verlander leads the AL in wins (14) and in ERA (2.73), and Cole tops the majors with 216 strikeouts. When the players learned of the deal, there was “a lot of hooting and hollering at 4:07, Cole said. We are ecstatic. We’re getting a Hall of Fame pitcher, a craftsman.”

Greinke will give Houston insurance in case Cole leaves the team in free agency. He is in the fourth year of a six-year, $206.5 million deal that he signed with Arizona. As part of the trade Arizona will send $24 million to the Astros to help with the contact.

Other Trades

The Astros also acquired Joe Biagini and Aaron Sanchez from the Blue Jays and Martin Maldonado from the Cubs in exchange for Tony Kemp. The Los Angeles Angels also received Catcher, Max Stassi for minor League outfielders Rainier Rivas and Raider Uceta. They were also able to keep their two top prospects, outfielder Kyle Tucker and pitcher Forrest Whitley.

With the addition to Greinke, the Houston Astros have become the odds on favorite to win the World Series at 2-1 odds. The next likeliest team to win the AL is the Yankees, and they are currently at 6-1 odds.

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