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Astros acquiring Gerrit Cole?

Discussion in 'Houston Astros' started by tellitlikeitis, Jan 8, 2018.

  1. Hey Now!

    Hey Now! Contributing Member

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    I'm struggling to understand why 2014 (or 2015, for that matter) has any relevancy in 2018....

    But even if your conclusion is ultimately right (McHugh = Cole, or thereabouts), it leaves out a vitally important factor: age. Now, maybe the prospect/financial cost of acquiring Cole cancels that out, I don't know. But leaving that aside, there isn't a general manager on this planet who wouldn't favor Cole over McHugh, given their ages.

    McHugh had terrific season. Four years ago.. He has not been near as good since, and while he had a nice 2017, it was cut down significantly by a serious injury. IOW, I think we all know McHugh's ceiling, which is roughly league-average. There's value in that - but Cole, I think, has a much higher ceiling, especially if we assume the advantages of playing for this organization would make him a better pitcher.
     
  2. Nick

    Nick Contributing Member

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    Wasn't he drafter after Mauer?

    I don't see what you're describing. He was very good till his arm fell apart... and it wasn't necessarily "rushing" through rehab, it was the fact that while he was previously thought to have sound mechanics (especially compared to Kerry Wood), on further analysis, he had some of the worst mechanics in baseball.

    It was inevitable that his arm/elbow/shoulder was going to collapse.
     
  3. lnchan

    lnchan Member
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    Yep, my bad.

    On an unrelated note, are we just assuming that Keuchel is gone after next year?
     
  4. Snake Diggit

    Snake Diggit Member

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    Obviously 2014 has less relevancy to next season than 2017, but a player’s body of work is all relevant to some degree. But McHugh was more valuable than Cole as recently as 2016. So my point stands even if you limit the analysis to the last 2 seasons.

    I’ve never argued that anyone would prefer McHugh over Cole straight up; that’s a total straw man you guys are putting up. My point is that the difference between McHugh and Cole isn’t worth what it would cost (likely Fisher, Martes, and another good prospect) to make the switch.

    From 2014-2016, McHugh was 22nd in fWAR among all pitchers. He’s not a scrub.

    But like I said in a previous comment, if Houston does trade for Cole, I will be excited, because I will take it to mean that the FO believes they can get him to consistently be the ace he was in 2015 or better.
     
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  5. Joe Joe

    Joe Joe Contributing Member
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    McHugh doesn't disappear if Astros trade for Cole. If there isn't a "meaningful difference" between McHugh and Cole, Astros can just trade McHugh to someone else for prospects that aren't meaningfully different in value to Fisher, Martes, and another good prospect assuming that some team has your view of McHugh.
     
  6. Hey Now!

    Hey Now! Contributing Member

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    Cole '16 bWAR (12 starts): 1.6
    McHugh '16 bWAR (33 starts): 1.2

    That may be true, re: cost - but I think you're underrating the difference between the two. Cole 4.4 bWAR in his last 54 starts (.08 bWAR/start) vs. 2.4 bWAR in McHugh's last 45 starts (.05 bWAR/start). The difference over a normal, healthy season (33 starts) is at least ~ 1 bWAR.

    Speaking of straw man........ McHugh is not a scrub; he has value - it's just less than Cole's and he has a much lower ceiling.

    But I don't see this as Cole v McHugh, as McHugh is slotted as the #5 starter right now. It's more about (potentially) stabilizing the uncertainty around Keuchel, McCullers & Morton, as well as potentially finding a TOR replacement for Keuchel for '19, and beyond (if you can lock Cole down to a reasonable extension by buying out his two arbitration years).
     
  7. PhiSlammaJamma

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    I'd be in for Cole, he feels like an upgrade, and on a team like ours with pitching coaches and staff like our, I'd like to think he will be transformative.
     
  8. awc713

    awc713 Member
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    We're not getting Cole. Crane is just using the media to up the price for our contenders.
     
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  9. Jeremy Williams

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    Crane didn't mention Cole.
     
  10. lnchan

    lnchan Member
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    When Collin McHugh is your #5 starter... we are in a really good place (for now). There was a time when Randy Wolf was essentially our ace. I notice that Mike Fiers is not mentioned much since September... I wonder if we could flip him for a couple of lottery tickets at this juncture...
     
  11. Snake Diggit

    Snake Diggit Member

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    If Cole is as good as y’all hope, no way in hell will he be cheaper than Keuchel in 2020 forward. So Cole represents a single year solution to the problem of extending Keuchel.
     
  12. RockFanFirst

    RockFanFirst Member

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    That'd be great if we could get some lotto tickets for Fiers, except he plays for the Tigers now. :)
     
  13. Spacemoth

    Spacemoth Contributing Member

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    You really get the sense that the Astros are disappointed at this ice cold hot stove season. We just won the championship--we have the least need to upgrade in free agency, yet the teams that have the most need to do so (our closest rivals) are finding a fantastic buyers market out there for their deficiencies.

    So the net result is the Astros doing everything they can to stir up the waters, see if any teams get scared and up their offers.
     
  14. Spacemoth

    Spacemoth Contributing Member

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  15. lnchan

    lnchan Member
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    How in the world did I miss that...?
     
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  16. tellitlikeitis

    tellitlikeitis Still Believes in Jonathan Villar
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    Progress apparently being made on this front:

     
  17. Hey Now!

    Hey Now! Contributing Member

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    Except.... Cole has two years of arbitration left, which gives the Astros a degree of leverage depending on Cole's urgency to buy those years out. Also, Keuchel will be (almost) 31 when he hits free agency (his birthday is 1/1) - age ( I would wager) is one of the primary reasons they'll likely let Keuchel walk. But Cole is 2.5 years younger; he'll have just turned 29 when his control years end.

    My suggestion: buy out his final two arbitration years and offer him two more after that - so a four year deal worth... $80MM? (He's made > $5.5MM over his career to date so that's a sizeable jump.) That buys you 3 years of post-Keuchel Cole *and* ends the deal after his age-30 season (I would certainly think about five years instead of four, especially if the idea of hitting $100MM appeals to him - 5/$100MM).

    ETA: the other component of this... IF the Astros can secure a Dallas Keuchel replacement, it also gives them the flexibility to possibly deal Keuchel, now or at the deadline.
     
    #77 Hey Now!, Jan 10, 2018
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2018
  18. Hey Now!

    Hey Now! Contributing Member

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    I think the urgent concern is health (followed by the likely pending exit of Dallas Keuchel). Three of our top 4 pitchers have a history of multiple trips to the DL, and our fourth starter will turn 35 next month. I think it'd be irresponsible of the Astros to not address that, beyond keeping a stable of young kids around for starts here and there.
     
  19. H-Town Info

    H-Town Info Member

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  20. texans1095

    texans1095 Member

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    I get the idea of getting something in return for a player who might very well walk in Free Agency, but why would you trade Keuchel if you're in a pennant race at the deadline? I would have to think that something would go terribly wrong (being out of the playoff hunt by the trade deadline) for it to make any sense to trade him.
     
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