These two teams have had some recent discussions regarding trade scenarios. Last year at the trade deadline there were many rumors swirling about a Craig Kimbrel trade as the Astros needed bullpen help. They have since traded for Ken Giles from the Phillies and the Padres moved Kimbrel to the Red Sox. The Astros have many quality prospects like first baseman A.J. Reed and shortstop Alex Bregman. Neither is expected to be available nor is outfielder Dax Cameron or pitcher Francis Martes. That group is the nucleus of their farm system and each is untouchable at this point in their respected professional careers. Despite that, there are some other intriguing options for the Padres in the Houston farm system. The Astros could certainly use some of the veteran players on the Padres roster and with that these two teams seem to match up very well on paper.
Derek Norris (C)- The Astros were really looking for a catcher at the beginning year as Evan Gattis was injured and due to miss the start of the season. The team got by without Gattis as left-handed hitting catcher Jason Castro has proved to be serviceable behind the dish for the most part. Castro is however hitting .209 on the year and has 65 K’s in 158 at bats. Gattis provides power with his 11 homers but he is only hitting .212 and has struck out 53 times in 184 at bats. Not that Norris is a contact hitter, but he can easily out perform these two offensively. The Astros have interest, but Norris will probably not be dealt till Jonathan Lucroy is traded from the Brewers. The two seem to be linked together as trade talks progress.
Brett Wallace (1B/3B)- The former Astros infielder made his debut with the team in 2010. The Astros could use some help at both corner infield spots. Young phenom A.J. Reed is really close to coming up, so the team could use a veteran presence to platoon with Marwin Gonzalez in the mean time. The Astros have Luis Valbuena at third base currently and he is not exactly tearing it up. Wallace could be serviceable there too for the team from Houston. Wallace makes sense for the Astros at a lower trade cost, but the player who makes the most sense in the infield for the team is next on this list.
Yangervis Solarte (1B/2B/3B)- If the Padres decide to move Solarte, there will likely be many suitors for this versatile young man. He hasn’t done anything but hit since being obtained from the New York Yankees for Chase Headley. In fact Solarte has easily out hit Headley and is more inexpensive than the former Padres third baseman. Solarte owns a career batting line of .267/.328/.408 as a Padre in 857 at bats. The switch-hitting infielder is under team control through the 2019 season as well, so he should not be cheap by any means. The Astros could easily use him at third base and he even has experience playing first base as he played 25 games there last year. The charismatic Solarte would fit right in with the loose clubhouse of the Astros.
Andrew Cashner (RHP)- In the last year of his deal, Andrew Cashner could be traded if a team meets the Padres asking price. Right now it is possible the team keeps Cashner and offers him a qualifying offer. He will surely not accept it and could easily get a multi-year deal during the off season. The free agent market is extremely weak next season and Cashner and his representatives could easily take advantage of the situation. The native Texan could really enjoy pitching close to home and that alone could provide a huge resurgence in his game. Still though the Padres are valuing Cashner highly since he has qualifying offer value. The team would have to be really impressed with a package and view a potential player as someone better than they could get with the 30-40th pick next June.
Jandel Gustave (RHP)- If his name sounds familiar that’s because he spent some time late last year with the Padres in spring training. He was passed around between the Astros, Royals, Red Sox and Padres (in the spring 2015) as each was greatly intrigued by the upside of this young man. The Padres were the last to look at him, but decided he needed too much development. This season Gustave is in triple-A pitching for the Fresno Grizzlies. He has a 4.50 ERA in 27 games out of the bullpen. In those 32 innings pitched Gustave has struck out 34 and walked 13 while recording one save. His high 90’s fastball is flat-out impressive. He gets great movement on it too and has an excellent slider to boot. The Padres are familiar with him, the Astros bullpen is deep, this could work.
Colin Moran (3B)- No other position is of great weakness throughout the Padres farm system than that of third base. The team could use some decent prospects as they really do not have a long-term answer there. The Astros #8 prospect Colin Moran is an interesting choice for the team. The Astros already called him up once this season looking for some production out of the hot corner offensively. The 23-year-old Moran was a bit over-matched, but the young man has a decent left-handed stroke and could be a fine addition for the Padres. In 202 triple-A at bats this season he is hitting .282 with four home runs and 30 RBI. He is a pure hitter who may lack a little power for a traditional third baseman. His defense is a slight question mark as well and he is also a well below average runner. Not a great pick up for the Padres, but he would provide organizational depth for the team.
James Hoyt (RHP)- What an amazing story this young man is. He has gone through so much and his numbers this year are simply outstanding. First off, the 6′ 6″ right hander is 29 and went completely undrafted out of College when he recorded a 18.82 ERA in 2010 at Centenary. He worked as a deckhand in San Diego in 2011 and tried out for an Independent League and then played for two Mexican League teams. From there he was picked up by the Braves and shipped to the Astros with Evan Gattis in January of 2015. The second half of last season after battling control issues he posted a 1.29 ERA and struck out 40 batters while walking four in his last 29 innings pitched. This season he has a 3-3 record with 18 saves in triple-A. The right hander has struck out a dumbfounding 65 batters in 37 innings pitched while only walking 15. He needs to be in the major leagues. He could be a really nice find. A late bloomer with a connection to San Diego. The Padres would be wise to take a look at this man.
Reymin Guduan (LHP)- This hard throwing left-handed pitcher is 22nd on the Astros top 30 prospect list. He is 24 and another late bloomer of sorts. He has nasty stuff. His fastball can easily reach triple digits and he has a more than adequate slider to go with it. The problem with him has always been his control. He often gets hit hard because though he throws hard, he gets wild up in the strike zone. He is a project for sure, but is presently in triple-A where he has a 0-2 record with a 3.78 ERA in 16 innings. He has walked 13 batters in that time while striking out 16. The Padres seem to be collecting left-handed pitchers, so why not another one. The Astros need a left hander in the bullpen now. Guduan is not one to rely on just yet. Maybe Brad Hand or Ryan Buchter could be of interest to the Astros as well. A.J. Preller surely has many options when it comes to trading. The Astros make a very decent option for the Padres.
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