Tradeless

Aside from the Wigginton-Wheeler deal and dumping Ensberg’s salary, the Astros did nothing at the trade deadline (non-waiver). They held onto Mark Loretta, Mike Lamb, Jason Jennings, Chad Qualls and Brad Lidge. The first three mentioned will be free agents at the end of the season, so the most the Astros will receive for them (assuming they don’t re-sign them) are possibly draft picks, depending on how they are classified as free agents and if the Astros offer them arbitration. Tim Purpura says that there were no deals that offered future major-league talent.

“We were really underwhelmed with the kind of players that we were offered,” Purpura said. “Basically, they were organizational-type players that weren’t going to help us in the future.

“You have a line that you draw as an organization, as far as what’s acceptable compensation for a player. Why take on players that you don’t project as Major League players? You’re just cluttering your organization. We made proposals for better players. We couldn’t get anybody to accept those kinds of proposals.”

I’m happy that we didn’t trade for more organizational type players. We have a ton of those already, including several on the major-league roster. And as a whole, the Rangers were probably the only team that really made big moves at the break this year. Still, considering the Astros’ position, their threadbare farm system and the bleak immediate future, I’m disappointed that we didn’t do something. If there weren’t any players offered that would be ready in two years, we should have gone after guys who would be ready in four. As it stands now, it is hard to see what the plan is for the team to improve next year, unless we get really lucky and two or three of our group of young pitchers (Matt Albers, Troy Patton, Fernando Nieve, Juan Gutierrez, Jimmy Barthmaier, Brian Bogusevic) step up. That means at least two of them become slightly above-average starting pitchers and one of them becomes a reliever that can handle the 6th/7th inning. If that miracle occurs and we maintain roughly our current level of offensive production, we have a chance to compete in the weakened NL Central, but we’re on the razor’s edge. It’s pretty depressing.

Larry Dierker’s Spin column today mentions the next major deadline, Aug. 31 which is when playoff rosters have to be set. It’s still possible that a trade could happen before then if one of our trading chips can clear waivers. That’s a big if, but the window isn’t totally shut.

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