Are you happy about Happ? (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
We've had a day to let it sink in, what do we think of the trade?
I'll admit, I'm not thrilled. I don't see how this gets us closer to where we want to be. I think that trades should push us in the right direction. This one?
I'm all all that worried about the guys we sent away. As much as we overvalue our own prospects, Musgrove, Perez and Wojciechowski are numbers 14, 15 and 18 on our prospects list. You could argue that we had them too low, but they aren't the cream of the crop of our system, by any means. I do have worries about who the PTBN is, but really, beyond over rating them because they were ours, I don't think they are going to be great players.
Of course, putting them in the Astros' system will make their ascent to the majors that much quicker. I think Perez could be a catcher for them in a couple of years. For us he would have to beat out a lot of other young catchers. Same with the pitchers.
It is nice to have someone take the contracts of the Franciscos. We could have just released them. I'm glad they made room for Travis Snider, but they didn't have to make this trade to do it.
The problem for me is what we got:
Brandon Lyon, to me, is just a way of balancing out the contracts. Brandon has what's left of te $5.25 million contract this year and another $5.5 million next year. He's an ok reliever, just being paid too much. I think I'd rather have those innings go to Chad Beck, but Lyon is ok.
David Carpenter is kind of interesting, strikes out a guy an inning. Didn't have a good time of it in Houston this year, 6.07 ERA in 29 innings. You never know, he could be Josh Roenicke, but then he could become a good reliever. He is 27 already.
J.A. Happ is the important piece. Alex apparently wanted him from Philadelphia, back when we were trading Doc. I didn't. I still don't. He's has a 4.83 ERA, but he is getting 8.4 strikeouts per 9, which is pretty good. I'm not against having someone that can miss bats. We can hope he does better for us, we have a much better defense and he had a .315 BABIP with Houston, it should be better with the Jays. They have a strange park in Houston, very short down the left field line, so as much as it is tougher in the AL East, he might do better away from that part. He does have a 3.95 xFIP, so he's been a bit unlucky.
Alex sees something in him and I guess I should give Alex the benefit of the doubt by now. I see Happ as another number 4 starter. I don't see him being helpful in our quest to make the playoffs. He make our team better now (though I don't understand why they want to use him out of the bullpen, put him in the rotation), but I don't know that he makes out team better in the future.
The trade makes the team better now, mostly by making room for Snider. He is a lot more fun to watch on defense than Davis and he'll be at least as good offensively, which isn't saying a lot. Lyons is much better than Cordero. Happ gives us another starter, something we could use, when they decide to put him in the rotation. He'll be better then Cecil. It isn't enough to get us into the playoffs this year. We'd have to get on a heck of a run to get into the race, I don't see it happening.
Does it do much for us next year? Well, we have a little more starting depth. Not a bad thing, as we've seen this year, but I don't think it will make us that much better.
I guess the trouble is that I expect more out of Alex's trades. Normally I'm excited about the players he trades for, this time, I can't get excited about J.A. Happ. Maybe I'll get fooled and Happ will be a really good starting pitcher for us. But, that he isn't going straight into our rotation now says a lot to me. If he really was going to be an upgrade in the future, you would think he'd be put into this rotation right away.
Anyway, now that you've had some time to think about it, what do you think of yesterday's trade?