Article by: Justin Imler
This was about as close to a buzzer beater that we'll ever see in baseball. The Houston Astros waited until the very last second of the 2019 Trade Deadline to make their statement that one World Series title wasn’t enough, and they are out for more in 2019.
Last Wednesday the Astros took the MLB world by surprise when news broke out that they had acquired starring pitcher Zack Greinke from the Arizona Diamondbacks. Rumors were circling around what ended up being a fairly boring deadline, that several teams were still in play to acquire starting pitching. The most common team and pitcher in those conversations were the New York Yankees, and Giants’ starting pitcher and postseason legend Madison Bumgardner. However, the Yankees, remained completely quiet, and Bumgardner is still in San Francisco. Greinke’s name was circled in the mix here and there, but I don’t think anyone can say confidently that they saw this move coming.
Instead, it is the other American League powerhouse that made a major move right as time expired, and now, the Astros seem to be the clear favorite to win the World Series. Here’s how the blockbuster trade looked for both sides:
- SP Zack Greinke
- $24 million towards Greinke’s contract
- Four minor league prospects
1. 1B Seth Beer
2. RHP J.B. Bukauskas
3. RHP Corbin Martin
4. INF/OF Josh Rojas
When you look at where both franchises currently stand, this deal really seems to benefit both sides tremendously. The Astros are clearly in win-now mode. Coming off a 2017 World Series championship and having one of the most talented overall rosters in all of baseball signed for the next several years, they’re ready to add another title to their name in 2019, and an established starting pitcher in Greinke will surely help them obtain that goal.
The Diamondbacks on the other hand are stuck. They’ve been finishing around the .500 mark for the last several seasons, and if they want to take that next step, it might be time to start a minor rebuild. This deal pretty much confirms that plan, in acquiring several talented prospects, and alleviating themselves from the remaining $53 million of Greinke’s hefty contract. Greinke is obviously a very talented pitcher, and a nice asset to have in your rotation (10-4, 2.90 ERA this season), but Greinke alone isn’t going to get Arizona where they want to go.
Now let’s look ahead at the remainder of the 2019 season. The Houston Astros now have the best 3-man rotation in the league in Justin Verlander, Gerrit Cole, and Zack Greinke. Also add Wade Miley into mix at the #4 spot, who the Astros like a lot, and has been pitching very well as of late (9-4 3.06 ERA). This rotation is set to carry this Astros team to a World Series birth in October and bring home their second title in three years. Not to toot my own horn too much, but the Astros were my World Series pick before the season began, and I’m confident in that pick now more than ever.
The Astros’ biggest competition this season will be the LA Dodgers, who have an equally balanced and talented lineup. As of right now, these two teams are tied for the best record in baseball, and if I had to guess, I’d say we are going to have a 2017 World Series rematch in just a couple months, and I can’t wait.