Monday, February 25, 2013

Looking at the Astros/Blue Jays July 2012 Trade

Going into July 20, 2012, the Toronto Blue Jays were 45-47. They were in 5th place in their division, 12 and a half games out. And then Astros GM Jeff Luhnow came in and robbed them blind. That day a 10-player trade went through sending RHP Brandon Lyon, RHP David Carpenter and LHP J.A. Happ to the Blue Jays in exchange for MLB OF Ben Francisco and RHP Francisco Cordero, and minor-leaguers RHP Asher Wojciechowski, C Carlos Perez, LHP David Rollins, RHP Joe Musgrove and RHP Kevin Comer as the player to be named later.

Toronto went 28-42 the rest of the season and ended in 4th place, 22 games behind in their division. Here's what they got:

Brandon Lyon (currently 33)
Lyon pitched 25 innings in 30 appearances for Toronto. He was 4-0 with a 2.88 ERA and a 1.120 WHIP. He became a free agent after the season and signed with the Mets on February 8th.

David Carpenter (currently 27)
Carpenter only pitched in three games at the MLB level for Toronto. In two and two-thirds innings, he had a 30.38 ERA and a 3.750 WHIP. In 16 minor-league appearances, he was 0-1 with a 3.57 ERA and a 1.245 WHIP. He was part of an October trade that brought 31-year old infielder Mike Aviles to Toronto from Boston. A month later, Carpenter was selected off waivers by Atlanta.

J.A. Happ (currently 30)
In ten starts for Toronto, Happ was 3-2 with a 4.69 ERA and a 1.289 WHIP. For his MLB career, he is now 35-35 with a 4.19 ERA and a 1.388 WHIP. He is still with the Blue Jays.

Net for the Blue Jays: A 30-year old LHP (Happ) and a 31-year old infielder (Aviles)

Here is what the Astros got in the trade:

Francisco Cordero (currently 37)
Cordero was released by the Astros on September 10th after going 0-3 with a 19.80 ERA and a 3.400 WHIP in six games (five innings).

Ben Francisco (currently 31)
Francisco played in 31 games for the Astros, hitting .247/.289/.365 before being traded to Tampa Bay on August 31st for a player to be named later. The player turned out to be Theron Geith, a 23-year old lefty relief pitcher who had a 2.98 ERA and a 1.086 WHIP in 31 appearances in High A.

Asher Wojciechowski (currently 24)
A first round draft pick in 2010, Wojciechowski was ranked #14 in the organization in the recent Baseball America Prospect Handbook and #15 by Jonathan Mayo of In eight starts for AA Corpus Christi after the trade, he was 2-2 with a 2.06 ERA and a 1.008 WHIP.

Carlos Perez (currently 22)
Perez's rankings are a mixed bag. Baseball America has him at #27, Mayo at #20, but Fan Graphs liked him enough to rank him #9. In 26 games after the trade, Perez hit .318/.368/.409 at High A Lancaster and boasted a 47% caught stealing percentage.

David Rollins (currently 23)
Rollins was 1-3 with a 3.48 ERA and a 1.161 WHIP in six starts at Low A Lexington after the trade. For the season, he was 7-4 with a 2.98 ERA and a 1.252 WHIP in 24 starts.

Joe Musgrove (currently 20)
A 2011 first round pick, Musgrove is currently ranked by Jonathan Mayo at #19 in the Astros system. Musgrove was coming off an arm injury in 2012 and only pitched 17 innings with a 4.24 ERA and a 1.353 WHIP for the season in the Rookie Appalachian League.

Kevin Comer (currently 20)
Comer was also a first round pick by the Blue Jays in 2011, but signed late and did not play until 2012. Comer was 3-4 with a 4.56 ERA and a 1.277 WHIP in 12 appearances (eight starts) for the season, playing in the Rookie Appalachian League. He is currently ranked by Jonathan Mayo at #17 in the Astros system.

Net for the Astros: A 24-year old AA RHP (Wojciechowski), a 23-year old High A lefty reliever (Geith), a 23-year old Low A lefty starter (Rollins), a 22-year old High A catcher (Perez), and two 20-year old rookie league first round RHP's (Musgrove and Comer). Four of the six are ranked in the Astros top 20 by Jonathan Mayo. In Luhnow we trust.

Tomorrow I'll be posting more on this topic over at The Futurists blog, including thoughts from Jonathan Mayo. [UPDATED with the link to the second post.]

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