TRADE ALERT

Astros make huge splash trading for Zack Greinke

Composite photo by Brandon Strange

The Astros have made a trade for Zack Greinke of the Arizona Diamondbacks. The Astros get Greinke while sending prospects Seth Beer, Josh Rojas, Corbin Martin, and J.B. Bukauskas to the Diamondbacks in return. The Astros get a third ace to their rotation and do so without giving up the coveted prospects of Kyle Tucker and Forrest Whitley.


Greinke is 10-4 in 2019 with a 2.87 ERA and 128 strikeouts. While his strikeout numbers don't come close to those of Justin Verlander and Gerrit Cole, he is still a reliable arm that can go deep into games and get outs. He also sits second in the league in WHIP, currently at 0.94 which is second to only Houston's own Verlander.

Greinke has a great resume; he is a seven-time All-Star, five-time Gold Glove winner, and 2009 Cy Young winner in the National League. He currently sits 31st on the all-time strikeout leaderboard with 2,563 in his career. Zack also has plenty of experience in the postseason, starting in eleven games over five playoffs dating back to 2011. He has not, however, had great success in those starts, posting a 3-4 record and 4.03 ERA accumulatively.

His best start in the postseason came in 2014 with the Dodgers when he went seven shutout innings against the Cardinals in an NLDS win. This season, his best start was arguably the July 5th game at home against the Rockies where he went seven innings without allowing a run while striking out nine.

Greinke is far from a rental, he will be under team control through the end of the 2021 season, marrying him with the Astros for the same amount of time as Justin Verlander, should they keep him through his current contract.

The acquisition of Greinke is a strong move for Houston, who is vying to not only improve their chances to win in 2019 but in the coming years.

*Update:

The Astros also acquired Blue Jays pitchers Joe Biagini and Aaron Sanchez in exchange for Derek Fisher. Earlier Wednesday, Houston traded OF Tony Kemp to the Cubs for catcher Martin Maldonado.

Houston Astros/Facebook

The Astros had a bad 4-6 road trip and looked forward to getting home to Minute Maid Park where they have been dominant this season. The pitiful Detroit Tigers arrived in Houston with a record since the All Star Break of nine wins and 27 losses. They literally do not have one non-pitcher who would make a healthy Astros' roster. That includes the way over the hill sure fire Hall of Famer Miguel Cabrera. Splitting four games at home with the Tigers would have been a fail. The Astros did not fail, though "only" taking three out of four seems a little disappointing. The S.S. Astros Good Ship Lollipop has sprung a couple of leaks. Neither that can't be plugged with good health, but the Astros have two notable health issues.

Carlos Correa's next endorsement deal should be for peanut brittle, emphasis not on the peanut. Some guys just have a propensity toward getting injured. Unfortunately the Correa resume grows that he is one of those guys. That back problems have resurfaced is troubling, to no one more so than Correa himself. It's clear the guy loves the game and is spectacularly talented, but durability is one component of greatness and to this point Correa simply has not demonstrated durability. If he can't produce a fully healthy bigtime season or two in the next year or two, any visions of a Manny Machado-like 10 year 300 million dollar contract will be up in smoke. Still, Correa turns only 25 years old next month so there's time to prove sturdiness, but more sand has seeped through the hourglass. For the 2019 Astros the dropdown is huge from Correa at shortstop to either Miles Straw or Aledmys Diaz being in the lineup. As for 2020, please tell anyone saying the Astros should trade Correa to be quiet.

The loss of Ryan Pressly for most if not all of the rest of the regular season is a big blow to the bullpen. Of even bigger concern is whether he can get back and get sharp to start the postseason.

This doesn't mean the ship is sinking. The Astros enter the weekend just one game behind the Yankees for the best record in the American League, and the Astros own the tiebreaker (having won the season series 4-3). They are three back of the Dodgers for best in MLB, the Astros have a three game lead in the tiebreaker with LA (intradivision record). The Yankees play at the Dodgers this weekend so if you're a glass half full person: a Dodger or Yankee loss is guaranteed three days in a row! If you're glass half empty: a Dodger or Yankee win is guaranteed three days in a row!

NFL on the horizon

A little over 2 weeks until the Texans begin their 18th season of play in the National Football League. We've all heard the saying, the 18th time is the charm. So is this the season the Texans are finally a legitimate Super Bowl contender? Probably not. The Texans do not look like a notably improved football team. On paper their schedule is clearly more difficult than last season's. Within the AFC the Chiefs clearly have more overall talent and are better coached. The Patriots still exist. One of these years Tom Brady really will slip. Maybe at age 42 this is the season.

If Jadeveon Clowney opts to sit out, or is traded, anyone thinking he won't be missed, is wrong. Clowney is not a superstar but he's really good. The Texans will be easier to run on without him. And while not an elite pass rusher, Clowney has to be accounted for. Anyone thinking, ah, he's hurt all the time anyway…wrong again. Clowney missed one game last season, and the season before that he played in every game.

If you want a couple of reasons for plausible optimism, here you go. Coming off of last season Deshaun Watson does not rate as one of the top 10 quarterbacks in the NFL. He could well vault into that echelon this season. The Texans' offensive line remains something between a question mark and a glaring weakness, but really, can it be worse than it was the last couple of seasons? DeAndre Hopkins is about as good as it gets today at wide receiver, the same for J.J. Watt at defensive end though the clock is ticking down on his prime.

The Texans probably begin their season by losing at New Orleans. On the other hand the Buccaneers started their 5-11 2018 season by beating the 13-3 to be Saints in New Orleans.

Buzzer Beaters

1. Connor McGregor pitches some "number 12" brand of whisky. As a human being he seems much more a piece of number two. 2. Two peas in a pitching pod: Justin Verlander 15-5, 2.77 ERA, 239 strikeouts. Gerrit Cole 15-5, 2.75 ERA, 238 strikeouts. 3. Worst tasting vegetables: Bronze-kale Silver-peas Gold-lima beans


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