Not Sure Why but the Astros Trade for Randy Wolf

July 23, 2008 at 4:47 am 3 comments

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(AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

Don’t let the title fool you. I’m not bashing Randy Wolf at all. I am bashing the Astros. What was the point of acquiring Randy Wolf? Do they really believe they are contenders right now?

The Houston Astros acquired lefty starter Randy Wolf today in exchange for minor league right hander Chad Reineke. The Astros gave up, well, nothing really. Reineke is a 12th man in the pen or a 6th starter. Here is what Paul DePodesta had to say about the trade from the Padres viewpoint:

As discussed a while back, given his contractual situation – free agent at the end of the year – Randy was a likely candidate to be traded before the deadline. The fact that the Astros had interest also wasn’t a great surprise considering the history Houston’s GM, Ed Wade, has with Randy going back to their days together in Philadelphia.

Though we didn’t want to be in this position when we signed Randy last December, we are excited to add Chad Reineke into our system. This winter Baseball America rated Chad as the Astros’ 7th best prospect, marking the second consecutive season that Chad has appeared on the Astros’ top ten list. A 6’6″ RHP, Chad is currently on the 40-man roster and a starting pitcher at AAA Round Rock. After being drafted in the 13th round in 2004, Chad went from short-season A through AA in 2 1/2 years with a combined 3.12 ERA in 283 ip. In 2007 in his first season in AAA, Chad split time between the rotation and the pen. This year he has pitched exclusively in the rotation (except for one 6-inning relief appearance) and has amassed 112 innings so far. His overall line is: 4.41 ERA, 112.1 ip, 112 hits, 35 walks, 100 strikeouts.

According to our reports, our scouts believe Chad has the potential for both a plus fastball and plus slider that could play in either the rotation or toward the back end of a bullpen. Houston certainly recognized this as well, as Reineke started seeing some time in the pen in 2007 similar to what Chad Qualls did when he was in AAA for the ‘Stros. As a rotation pitcher, Reineke normally pitches around 90 mph, but our scouts have clocked him as high as 94 mph out of the pen, so we understand the reasoning. At 6’6″ his angle to the plate has given hitters trouble, which could serve him well in both roles.

In each of the past two seasons Chad has gotten off to slow starts, posting a combined 8.66 ERA in April. In the months after April, however, his ERA has dropped to 3.71. In fact, over his last seven appearances, Chad has posted a 1.84 ERA over 44 innings with 30 hits, 11 walks, and 44 strikeouts. All in all, Chad is an interesting prospect whose arm, performance, and experience puts him pretty close to Petco. Hopefully, he’ll have a chance to help us relatively soon.

If he is right about Reineke then they got a good bullpen arm that will fare well in PETCO but might not fare well on the road. The Padres also save about $3.7M with this move.

The Astros on the other hand add $3.7M to their budget for no reason. They don’t have contender written on them at all. I know this is baseball and anything can happen but there is no way anyone can convince me that the Astros have a legit shot at the Central or the Wild Card because the Wild Card will probably come out of the Central.

Wolf has also been the beneficiary of PETCO with his road ERA being at 6.65. The only way this move makes any sense is if the Astros package him with Darin Erstad or Mark Loretta for a package of prospects but I honestly think Drayton McLane and Ed Wade have lost their minds and believe the Astros are contenders.

-Jonathan C. Mitchell

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Entry filed under: Uncategorized.

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3 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Erik  |  July 23, 2008 at 8:20 am

    Ed Wade is smoking some bad granola if he thinks:

    1. Astros have a chance against the Cubs or Brewers and for that matter Cardinals.

    2. If Randy Wolf who pitched infinitely better at Petco can pitch in Hitter’s Haven Minute Maid. I think NOT.

    3. Apparently, Ed Wade believes that by giving Randy Wolf a taste of Houston he will resign there when a free agent.

    Wolf needs to go to another team and will possibly do that in August. (Mets could use him, and so could the Cardinals, Yankees)

    Reply
  • 2. Jonathan C. Mitchell  |  July 23, 2008 at 8:32 am

    I think the Astros trade him in August if not July 31st. They gave up nothing so they can get a little back if they trade him to a desperate team. Wolf is good. He’s not as bad as his road ERA indicates but there is no answer for the Houston Astros right now.

    Reply
  • 3. MikeMcGinnis  |  July 23, 2008 at 9:58 am

    i saw this move and was completely baffled but then again ed wade is the GM of this team

    Reply

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