Houston Astros: A.J. Reed on the trading block for an ace?
Is A.J. Reed being shopped by the Houston Astros for an ace?
Before the offseason got started, Houston Astros GM Jeff Luhnow promised that he would be aggressive this offseason. He has kept his word so far as he has added Charlie Morton, Brian McCann, and Josh Reddick. Even after these additions, Luhnow said that he is still trying to add a bat or two. He is reportedly after Edwin Encarnacion and Mike Napoli to play first base, which could make A.J. Reed expendable.
This morning Peter Gammons said that he's hearing that the Astros are planning on a Yuli/Moran 1B platoon and will use Reed as a trade piece
— Bill Hooser (@bill_hooser) November 22, 2016
Should the Astros add another big bat, this would show that the team is all-in for 2017. The front office might be comfortable with the current rotation, but they may feel the pressure to add an ace. Luhnow has given the impression that they feel that Dallas Keuchel and Lance McCullers will return to form in 2017. He also mentioned on High Heat that they are looking for a starter or reliever, but they are focused on hitting now.
At the moment, many people think the Astros need an ace to be successful in 2017 and beyond. My Talking Stros co-host believes that the Astros are willing to build an offensive juggernaut with the pitchers they have. Last year the offense was not consistent, and they wasted several good pitching performances.
Reed recently came on Talking Stros, listen below.
The price of an ace!
The only reason the Astros haven’t already acquired Chris Sale or Chris Archer could be because the other teams want Alex Bregman. The Stros see Bregman as a part of their core group of players making him untradable. Think of the backlash the front office would get if they trade their boy wonder! When he was drafted, many people believed that he would never wear a Stros uniform, now that he is here, they can’t see him wearing another.
Most fans are aware that you have to give up something to get something, but without Bregman, can they still trade for an ace? Yes, but they have to give up more talent in return. Yesterday on First Pitch on the MLB Network, Peter Gammons was talking about the Astros being an interesting team this offseason. He has been one of the Astros advocates over the years and probably has some good contacts in the front office.
Reed trade bait?
During the interview, Gammons he says the Astros are happy with Yulieski Gurriel and Colin Moran platoon at first base. They could then use top prospect Reed as part of a package to get an ace starting pitcher. What was weird about the interview is that the MLB Network cut him off when he was speaking. Could that mean that he said something that someone didn’t want to hear?
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I’m not going to go all Conspiracy Theory on you, but just thought it was odd that they would cut off such a legendary insider like Gammons. Let’s say the Houston Astros add one more bat via free agency, whether it’s Encarnacion, Carlos Beltran, or Napoli, Reed could become expendable. If paired up with Kyle Tucker and David Paulino as part of a package, the Astros could get one of the two aces mentioned above.
Reed didn’t make a great impression in 2016 batting .164 with three homers and eight runs batted in. He still has an excellent pedigree and the Astros still see big things in him. If you were to poll Houston Astros fans, they would probably prefer to keep Bregman. Not sure if Luhnow will trade some of his top prospects for Archer or Sale now.
The Stros front office seems to be comfortable with the rotation, but if they need help at the trade deadline, look for them to make a deal. I’ll get excited when I hear more people besides Gammons talking about the team going after an ace. Thus far, the primary targets have been hitters.
***Stats from Baseball-Reference***