Miami Marlins TD aftermath: 3 biggest winners
By Neil Raymond
2. HOUSTON ASTROS
The other top American League team didn’t disappoint either. The Houston Astros needed to keep pace with the New York Yankees and they did just that. Their biggest needs were the bullpen, catcher and first base and they focused on improving all of those areas. This type of proactive behavior is something that the Miami Marlins need to have when the time comes as well.
The Miami Marlins need to learn to fill all of their areas of need in the same way.
The one swap that stands out to me is Houston dealing from their starting pitching surplus. Houston did so by trading starting pitcher Jake Odorizzi to the Atlanta Braves for relief pitcher Will Smith. This was a swap based entirely on filling each other’s needs. Atlanta improved their starting pitching depth and Houston improved their bullpen.
The Houston Astros then looked to upgrade at catcher over Martín Maldonado, the veteran catcher is batting .173/.238/.337 in 79 games and 243 AB’s. He does have a 0.3 dWAR but the offense was simply not worth it. Houston acquired Christian Vázquez from the Boston Red Sox. Christian is batting .282/.327/.432 with a 0.9 dWAR. He was clearly an upgrade.
The Houston Astros then filled their hole at first base, or at least gave themselves an alternative. Incumbent starter Yuli Gurriel has been a disaster this season, batting .246/.295/.394 in 96 games and 350 AB’s. Houston needed an upgrade and got one in Trey Mancini from the Baltimore Orioles. Mancini is batting .268/.347/.404 in 92 games and 354 AB’s. He’s clearly an upgrade over Gurriel.
The Houston Astros upgraded their weak areas and are now right up there with the New York Yankees for a shot at the AL pennant. Why couldn’t the Miami MRlins do something like this in 2004 or 2005? Or even 2009?