A look back at two years of Astros trades

With the Trade Deadline over, it’s time to reflect on the deals the Astros have made in the past three seasons. Houston has made a flurry of deadline deals in 2010, ’11 and ’12 as it rebuilds and stockpiles prospects.

In that time span, the Astros said goodbye to, among others, Lance Berkman, Roy Oswalt, Hunter Pence, Michael Bourn, Brett Myers, Carlos Lee, J.A. Happ, Brandon Lyon, Wandy Rodriguez and Chris Johnson.

In the month of July of this year alone, they acquired 13 Minor Leaguers and two players to be named later and were the most active team when it came to trading.

Here’s a look at the major deals the Astros have made in the last two years (you can click on the players’ names for his current stats):

Date: July 29, 2010.

General manager: Ed Wade.

Astros receive: LHP J.A. Happ, OF Anthony Gose, SS Jonathan Villar.

Phillies receive: RHP Roy Oswalt, cash.

The skinny: Oswalt had requested a trade after being frustrated with how the Astros were playing. The Astros obliged, getting a low-cost starting pitcher in Happ and a pair of prospects. Gose was immediately shipped to the Blue Jays, and Villar remains one of the team’s top prospects, though he recently broke his hand punching a door.

Date: July 29, 2010.

General manager: Ed Wade.

Astros receive: IF Brett Wallace.

Blue Jays receive: OF Anthony Gose.

The skinny: After acquiring Gose from the Phillies, the Astros immediately turned around and dealt him to the Jays in exchange for Wallace. Considering Wallace was a first baseman, that began speculation that Lance Berkman was on his way out the door.

Date: July 31, 2010.

General manager: Ed Wade.

Astros receive: RHP Mark Melancon, IF Jimmy Paredes.

Yankees receive: 1B Lance Berkman, cash.

The skinny: Berkman had the right to approve any trade, and when the Astros came to him and said they possibly had a deal with the Yanks, he didn’t stand in Houston’s way of getting more young players. Berkman didn’t do much with the Yankees, and Melancon wound up taking over as closer in 2011 before later being shipped to Boston. Paredes has moved around the infield, but he’s one of the most athletic players in the system and is putting up stellar numbers in Triple-A this year.

Date: Dec. 23, 2010.

General manager: Ed Wade.

Astros receive: LHP Wes Musick, RHP Jonnathan Aristil.

Rockies receive: RHP Matt Lindstrom.

The skinny: Lindstrom pitched one year in Houston and was inconsistent while battling to stay healthy, so the Astros spun him to Colorado and took a flier on a pair of Minor League pitchers.

Date: July 19, 2011.

General manager: Ed Wade.

Astros receive: RHP Henry Sosa, RHP Jason Stoffel.

Giants receive: IF Jeff Keppinger.

The skinny: Keppinger was a solid hitter who performed well in Houston, but with the club in rebuilding mode, the Astros dealt him for a pair of Minor League arms. Sosa wound up pitching in the Astros’ rotation last year, but is now playing in Korea. Stoffel is closing at Double-A and has some potential.

Date: July 29, 2011.

General manager: Ed Wade.

Astros receive: RHP Jarred Cosart, IF Jonathan Singleton, RHP Josh Zeid, player to be named later (OF Domingo Santana).

Phillies receive: OF Hunter Pence.

The skinny: Pence was Houston’s best hitter and due to receive a big raise in arbitration, which really didn’t make much sense for the Astros considering the direction the club was going. Thus, the popular outfielder was sent to the contending Phillies, who paid a high price. Cosart and Singleton became Houston’s top two prospects, and some scouts believed Santana might wind up being the best player in the deal. Pence was traded by the Phillies to the Giants a year later.

Date: July 31, 2011.

General manager: Ed Wade.

Astros receive: OF Jordan Schafer, RHP Juan Abreu, RHP Paul Clemens, LHP Brett Oberholtzer.

Braves receive: CF Michael Bourn.

The skinny: Two days after trading Pence to the Phillies, the Astros traded another popular player by sending Houston native Bourn, a Gold Glove outfielder who had come into his own offensively, to the Braves. The haul wasn’t quite as impressive as what the Astros got in return for Pence, but the three Minor League arms have some promise. Schafer hasn’t lived up to potential.

Date: Dec. 14, 2011.

General manager: Jeff Luhnow.

Astros receive: SS Jed Lowrie, RHP Kyle Weiland.

Red Sox receive: RHP Mark Melancon.

The skinny: Luhnow’s first trade as GM appears to be a good one for the Astros, though both Lowrie and Weiland are on the disabled list (Weiland is out for the year). There were questions about Melancon’s ability to close, and he was a disaster in Boston. Lowrie was one of the most productive shortstops in the NL before he injured his leg in July.

Date: March 21, 2012.

General manager: Jeff Luhnow.

Astros receive: LHP Kevin Chapman, player to be name named later (OF D’Andre Toney).

Royals receive: C Humberto Quintero, OF Jason Bourgeois.

The skinny: Quintero and Bourgeois were back-ups who couldn’t crack the starting lineup of a last-place team, and Luhnow managed to trade them for two Minor Leaguers. Chapman has shown some early promise at Double-A, while Toney could be one to watch years down the road. Bourgeois wound up in the Minors with the Royals, who soon cut Quintero.

Date: July 4, 2012.

General manager: Jeff Luhnow.

Astros receive: IF Matt Dominguez, LHP Rob Rasmussen.

Marlins receive: 1B Carlos Lee, cash.

The skinny: The first of five major trades in July, the Marlins were desperate for first base help and gave the Astros two Minor League players for the aging slugger. The Astros were happy to get him off their roster, and were even willing to pay the bulk of his remaining contract. Dominguez was brought up to the Majors, but was sent back down a few days later.

Date: July 20, 2012.

General manager: Jeff Luhnow.

Astros receive: RHP Francisco Cordero, OF Ben Francisco, RHP Asher Wojciechowski, RHP Joe Musgrove, LHP David Rollins, C Carlos Perez, a player to be named later.

Blue Jays receive: LHP J.A. Happ, RHP Brandon Lyon, RHP David Carpenter.

The skinny: The Astros acquired seven players, including four Minor Leaguers and a player to be named later, in a 10-player deal with the Jays. Happ had been with the team two years and could never gain consistency, while Lyon was in the final year of his three-year deal. This trade was more about the Minor League arms the Astros received, while addressing a catching shortage in the system, more than it was about the two big league players they received – Cordero and Francisco.

Date: July 21, 2012.

General manager: Jeff Luhnow.

Astros receive: RHP Matthew Heidenreich, LHP Blair Walters, a player to be named later.

White Sox receive: RHP Brett Myers, cash.

The skinny: With Myers having a good shot at vesting his 2013 option that would have paid him $10 million, the Astros sent him to the White Sox and stockpiled a few more Minor League arms. Myers was having a solid season as closer after starting 66 games the previous two years in Houston.

Date: July 25, 2012.

General manager: Jeff Luhnow.

Astros receive: LHP Rudy Owens, OF Robbie Grossman, LHP Colton Cain.

Pirates receive: LHP Wandy Rodriguez, cash.

The skinny: The rebuilding effort continued as the Astros sent Rodriguez – the last remaining member from the 2005 World Series team – to the Pirates for three more prospects. The Astros had to pay a substantial part of Rodriguez’s remaining contract, but they felt getting more prospect was worth the price.

Date: July 29, 2012.

General manager: Jeff Luhnow.

Astros receive:  IF Bobby Borchering, OF Marc Krauss.

D-backs receive: 3B Chris Johnson.

The skinny: The Astros pulled off their fifth trade of the month. Houston wasn’t actively shopping Johnson, but he had recently gone on a tear and some teams were getting aggressive in their pursuit of the 27-year-old third baseman. Unlike the previous trades in July in which the Astros stockpiled the pitching, the Johnson trade brought a pair of bats, and in the case of Borchering, maybe some much-needed power to the system.

5 Comments

Where are the players we got in return now? That’s the most interesting part.

Wow, so much movement. I think the team has done well in the minor leaguer pickups. I’m really hoping some of the younger guys pay off and help turn this team around in the future. Looking forward to watching this team grow in the coming years.

This team is pathetic and those that defend it, baghdad bobs. We are in the business of fielding a major league team, not a minor league one. Wake up brian et al, you are losing your fan base for a generation. For the second year in a row all i can root for after the first month is the season to end and next year will be no different. Pence, Bourne and CJ would have been talent to build on, not these unproven minor leaguers.

My fan base is growing.

Still liking these trades three years on? Anything other than cellar, worst record in baseball on offer this year. Oh wait, we always have next year!

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