The Houston Astros traded starting pitcher Jarred Cosart and infielder Kike Hernandez to the Miami Marlins for the third-rated prospect in their farm system, third baseman Colin Moran, and outfielder Jake Marisnick. On the surface, it seems like a good trade for both teams. The Astros landed another top prospect and the Marlins received a young pitcher to bolster their rotation. However, after digging deeper, the Astros sacrificed, again, current season success in an attempt to be better later on.
The Astros transitioned into calling up their prospects this season in an attempt to show the fans that the rebuilding phase was nearly over. Unfortunately, judging by the trade that was just made with the Marlins, that is not entirely true. Both players the Astros traded away were under the age of 25. Cosart, 24, and Hernandez, 22, were both young, successful players for the Astros this season and looked to be a part of the team’s future. The Astros, on the other hand, felt differently.
Cosart has struggled a bit this season carrying a 4.41 ERA while not striking out many batters in the process. On top of his struggles, he has expressed his displeasure with the Astros’ front office, which made him expendable. He will give the Marlins a young, talented back-of-the-rotation starter that will be under club control until 2017. The club control is where most of his value lies.
Hernandez has done nothing since being called up, other than showing he has what it takes to be an everyday player at the major league level. He can play all over the field, best suited for shortstop and second base, and is hitting .284 in 89 plate-appearances. He has 23 hits, four doubles, two triples and a homerun, while scoring 10 runs and driving in eight runs for a struggling Astros’ offense. The Astros took a huge risk trading Hernandez, a player who has proven to be able to handle major league pitching, for Marisnick, a player who has performed well in the minors, but hasn’t shown it yet in his limited major league experience.
Marisnick, who is strong defensively, will be taking over the center field job for the Astros. Last season, Marisnick hit .187 in his 118 plate-appearances for the Marlins to go along with his .167 average in his 51 plate-appearances with the Marlins this season. He has had some decent success in the minors, however, hitting .277 with 10 home runs, 50 runs, 40 RBIs and 24 stolen bases for Class AAA New Orleans. It looks as if the Astros are willing to risk success this season, shockingly, for the future in using Hernandez to get Moran from the Marlins.
Moran is the gem of this trade for the Astros. Taken sixth overall in last year’s draft, the third baseman was hitting .294 with five home runs, 33 RBIs and one stolen base in 89 games for Class A Jupiter. If this trade is going to be a success, Moran is going to have to pan out to be a good major league player the Astros think he is going to be. If not, it could be a huge miss for the Astros’ front office who is coming off a lot of negative press as of late.
To me, his is another example of the Astros continuing to ship off current MLB talent in hopes of getting better for the “future”. But when does the future begin? The fans that aren’t already tired of finishing last to be better in the future may be on the cusp of turning on the team if success doesn’t start taking shape at the end of this season, leading into the next year. The Astros have plenty of talent in their system that is ready to contribute to the major league club and when the September call-ups are made, there had better be names in the dugout that the fans want to see or the fan base may become unruly.