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Is Jeff Luhnow Preparing To Make Trades?

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Tuesday April.09,  2013

General Manager Jeff Luhnow has stockpiled a lot of talent in the Minor Leagues in the last few months - and is looking to acquire a helluva lot more.  With the club having lost 6 games in a row since the opener, this couild get ugly real quick - with every meaningful player being traded away.  This is Jim Crane's mandate.  The Astros full game plan is to be as bad as they can be in the next few years - in order to Draft as high as they can

General Manager Jeff Luhnow has stockpiled a lot of talent in the Minor Leagues in the last few months – and is looking to acquire a helluva lot more. With the club having lost 6 games in a row since the opener, this could get ugly real quick – with every meaningful player being traded away. This is Jim Crane’s mandate. The Astros full game plan is to be as bad as they can be in the next few years – in order to Draft as high as possible.  We have had great chats at the strosbros.mlblogs.com Podcasts, plus Sully’s Daily Baseball Podcasts here at the Reports has also covered the topic.

By Lee White (Astros Correspondent)  

Is Jeff Luhnow back at it with his magical trades? Is Paul Clemens coming up to the Major League level? No one knows anything at this point. Okay, before we at the ‘Stros Bros begin any speculation, lets give a little back story.

Other than the Opening Night victory, plus last nights 3 – 0 loss to the Mariners, in which they had 2 perfect Innings, the Houston Astros have been atrocious. Especially the bullpen.

Okay, on Sunday the bullpen was also alright, having given  up 1 run in 4.2 Innings, but even the sun shines on a dog’s hind end every now and again. But, of course the Astros bullpen is bad. That was a given headed into the season, but with this bad bullpen, it seems as if some moves are on the horizon.

WEBN Interview with Luhnow:

Early Sunday, Astros prospect Paul Clemens packed his bags at AAA, shook hands with coaches and teammates, and told some fans he was headed to the “show”. Now, at that point we were  not sure whose “show” he was headed too. No move had been made. No one was announcing this move.

Early Sunday, Astros prospect Paul Clemens packed his bags at AAA, shook hands with coaches and teammates, and told some fans he was headed to the “show”. Now, at that point we were not sure whose “show” he was headed too. No move had been made. No one was announcing this move.

In fact, the Astros beat writers had been pretty silent about this, and they haven’t answered questions regarding this move. Could he have been traded? Maybe he is replacing someone on the roster who is going to be traded. No one truly knew, but Clemens is headed some where.

MLB Trade Rumors had mentioned a few interesting points Sunday too. The Colorado Rockies acquired Aaron Harang and they have designated him for assignment shortly after.

They, MLB Trade Rumors, also mentioned that the Astros have interest in acquiring him. If they do end up acquiring Harang, is Paul Clemens being showcased with the Astros this week so he could be on his way to Colorado afterwards? I hope not.

I am not very high on Clemens, but that certainly be a deal that the Rockies would win unless the Astros can flip Harang to a contender. If the Astros do in fact trade for Harang, who wouldn’t cost much, he would a veteran pitcher who eats Innings, and could end up taking the place of Bud Norris who is also on the trading block. 

A Norris trade would definitely fetch a better catch for prospects.  The 5 year veteran is eligible for Arbitration next year – and is sure to see a raise from the $3 Million he will make this year.  Harang has a ceiling of $4.5 MIL to earn this year, so he would likely be held just until the Trade Deadline before being traded himself, even if the franchise flips Norris beforehand.

The Astros also have interest in Julio Borbon, Texas Rangers Outfielder, who is likely to get Designated For Assignment today. I, for one, am not a fan of the Astros picking up Borbon. Yes, he has speed, but he can’t hit, and he can’t throw.

He has developed a reputation of having a noodle for an arm in Right Field. Yes, he has the tools (speed) to make up for his lack of an arm, but I’m not really behind this move.

Where the Astros are at right now, it certainly looks like a deal is fixing to go down. Jeff Luhnow has always been good about keeping his trades quiet, but I believe the Paul Clemens situation could just be a call up. If so, I think Xavier Cedeno is on his way back to AAA.

Trading  a prospect for Harang would not be in the clubs best interest long term.  Even with the Dodgers eating $4.5 Million of the big guys salary this season - he is still due to collect $2.5 MIL this year and has a Mutual Option for next year, which carries a Team Buyout for $2 MIL.  The only reason to snag the guy would be to trade him later in the year.  Harang was 10 - 10 , with a 3.61 ERA last year with the LA Dodgers.  He was amongst 7 other Starting Pitchers in LA and lost out in a numbers game

Trading a prospect for Harang would not be in the clubs best interest long-term. Even with the Dodgers eating $4.5 Million of the big guys salary this season – he is still due to collect $2.5 MIL and has a Mutual Option for next year at $7 MIL, which carries a Team Buyout for $2 MIL. The only reason to snag the guy – would be to trade him later in the year for more prospects. Harang was 10 – 10, with a 3.61 ERA last year with the LA Dodgers. He was amongst 7 other Starting Pitchers in LA and lost out in a numbers game.  Would the Astros really like to acquire him?

***The views and opinions expressed in this report are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of mlbreports.com or their partners.***

A big thank-you goes out to Our ‘Astros Correspondent’ Lee White for preparing today’s featured article. Lee is currently a writer at strosbros.wordpress.com. He has been an Astros fan his whole life and has a deep knowledge about the team as a whole. Lee currently goes to college about an hour away from Houston. 

Lee has attended countless games at Minute Maid Park.  Feel Free to follow Lee on Twitter and chat about the game of baseball.  

a   a lee white

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About Lee White

Just a small town kid with a dream. I love all sports, but mostly Astros baseball. My blogs are obviously all about the Houston Astros. I've been a fan of them since birth. I also love the Dallas Cowboys, and Dallas Mavericks. I don't blog about them, but tweet about them. If you want to see what I think about those teams, com follow me on Twitter @Moguls73. Hope you guys follow along and enjoy my blog!

Posted on April 9, 2013, in MLB Player Profiles, The Rest: Everything Baseball and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Comments Off on Is Jeff Luhnow Preparing To Make Trades?.

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