ST. LOUIS, MO - JULY 25: Jose Altuve #27 of the Houston Astros runs against the St. Louis Cardinals at Busch Stadium on July 25, 2011 in St. Louis, Missouri. (Photo by Jeff Curry/Getty Images)
The Houston Astros best shot at acquiring a big return this summer will be to trade a younger player such as second baseman Jose Altuve, reports Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. While they have several veteran options to trade by this deadline in Wandy Rodriguez, Carlos Lee and Brett Myers, Rosenthal believes all of them come with question marks that will make them harder to deal.
While Rodriguez has continued to be a solid starter for the Astros, posting an ERA and WHIP of 3.14 and 1.228 so far this season, the 33-year-old is fairly expensive. Rodriguez is owed $10 million this season, $13 million in 2013, and his team option for another $13 million in 2014 becomes a player option if the left-hander is traded.
Carlos Lee is in the final year of his deal, but he’s owed a total of $18.5 million this season. This salary doesn’t match Lee’s production (.759 OPS), and the 35-year-old can block trades to 14 teams, according to Rosenthal.
Myers has been solid as Houston’s closer this season, but he has a $10 million vesting option for 2013 for the amount of games he finishes this year. Myers will also get $500,000 if he is traded this summer.
Altuve looks like he could be a budding star for the Astros, having hit at a clip of .322/.366/.466 with 20 extra-base hits, 33 runs scored and nine stolen bases this season. At the age of 22, Altuve could be someone Houston can build around as they look to the future.
Still, Rosenthal believes Altuve could become available due to the presence of Jimmy Paredes, a second base prospect playing for the Astros Triple-A affiliate. Paredes, 23, maintained an OPS of .713 over his 168 at-bats with the Astros last season and is hitting .310/.327/.440 this season in Triple-A.