Astros Trade Review: Great Trade that Technically Wasn’t a Trade

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Astros Trade Review: Great Trade that Technically Wasn’t a Trade

With various reports emerging that the Astros 2015 1st rounder, Alex Bregman, will be called up sooner than later, it has me reflecting on a great trade that technically wasn’t a trade.  In 2014, when we were unable to sign the number one overall pick, Brady Aiken, it had huge ramifications for other draftees that year but also allowed for a great pick the following.

If it were a formal trade, it would look like this:

Houston Astros lose: Brady Aiken, Jacob Nix, Mac Marshall

Houston Astros receive: Alex Bregman and extra draft slot money


What we gave up?

Brady Aiken (2016 AZL Indians): 0-2 Record, 6.00 ERA, 18 k’s vs. 9 bb, 1.75 WHIP

Brady Aiken still may be a star.  However, after the Astros selected him first overall in the 2014 draft, there were some concerns that surfaced during his physical that caught the Astros by surprise.  Fearing the worst, the Astros reduced their initial offer.  When it was all said and done, they reduced their offer from $6.5 million to $5 million.  Unfortunately, Jeff Luhnow and company were ripped by the media as heartless after reducing their initial offer and Aiken declined.  However, they were right.  Brady Aiken ended up needing Tommy John surgery, just as the Astros feared.  Aiken was taken by the Cleveland Indians the following year with the 17th overall pick and currently ranks 4th on MLB.com’s top 30 Indians prospects.

Jacob Nix (2016 Fort Wayne): 1-4 Record, 4.18 ERA, 56 k’s vs. 11 bb, 1.27 WHIP

By losing the savings that the Astros had on Brady Aiken’s bonus money, we were no longer able to afford the $1.5 million dollar bonus agreement with Jacob Nix, our 5th round pick in the 2014 draft, either.  Jacob Nix has since been drafted by the San Diego Padres and currently sits as their 8th best prospect according to MLB.com.

Mac Marshall (2016 Salem-Keizer): 0-2 Record, 5.82 ERA, 27 k’s vs. 36 bb, 1.88

Despite being drafted in the 21st round by the Astros, they also had a deal in place for him for seven figures that fell through when Aiken did not sign.  The left hander is currently in the Giants organization and ranks 26th in their top 30 prospects according to MLB.com.


What the Astros received

Alex Bregman (2016 minor leagues): .309 avg, .416 OBP, 19 HR, 60 RBI, 5 SB

When the Astros were unable to sign Aiken, it gave them the second overall pick in the 2015 draft as compensation (in addition to the picks they already would have had).  With that pick, the Astros chose shortstop Alex Bregman from LSU.  Bregman has absolutely been phenomenal this year in the minors, quickly moving up to the triple A affiliate in Fresno.  Since being promoted there, he has continued to absolutely rake.  He has played so well that it seems inevitable that he will be playing in Houston in the near future.  In fact, AJ Hinch recently alluded to the fact that Bregman may be up sooner than later.  While he was drafted as a shortstop, it is likely that he will shift over to third for the Houston Astros as incumbent Carlos Correa already holds that spot.  He is the number one ranked prospect in the Houston Astros organization and has moved into the top 10 overall prospects in most midseason prospect rankings.

Extra draft slot money: By adding the number 2 overall pick in the 2015 draft, we also added the $7.4 million worth of draft slot money that comes with that pick.  When you take into account that we agreed to a deal with Bregman for $5.9 million, that was $1.5 million that we could use in other places.  Basically, by saving the money from Bregman and a few of the other picks, the Astros were then able to go over slot to sign Daz Cameron, who they drafted with the 37th pick.  That allowed the Astros to basically draft 3 top-10 talents with their first three picks in Alex Bregman, Kyle Tucker and Daz Cameron.

Overall Grade for the Trade: A

The only reason that this “trade” is receiving a A instead of an A+ is because the three players that we lost as a result of this swap are all ranked in their respective club’s top thirty as prospects.  With that in mind, I would still make this “trade” again because the Astros basically swapped three good prospects for a great one and some additional money they could use in the 2015 draft.  Alex Bregman has absolutely torn up the minors and may very well be the first 2015 draftee to reach the majors.

Previous Trade Review Articles:

Cosart to Marlins
Kazmir to Astros
Myers to White Sox
Norris to Orioles

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**Photo Credit: Kiel Maddox/Fresno Grizzlies**

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