In case you missed it yesterday, the Houston Astros suffered something of a security breach, as a bunch of logs from last season's trade deadline were leaked to the internet. Deadspin (who else?) posted them here, and I strongly suggest you read through them. There are some really juicy pieces in there, including a possible deal involving Giancarlo Stanton and another set of conversations involving Jason Castro.
The Astros have denied the authenticity of these reports, but multiple league sources have apparently vouched for them. Assuming they are real, there's a lot to learn from the logs:
The Marlins offered Giancarlo Stanton to the Astros for George Springer and Carlos Correa. Everyone initially freaked out upon hearing that the Astros declined the trade, but I'm not so sure I disagree with the Astros' decision.Stanton is a monster, a generational talent who could park 50+ homers a year in Minute Maid Park, but he's unlikely to sign an extension for what the Astros' could offer him.
And if that's the case, you're only getting 3 years of Stanton during a period where you don't look to be very competitive.I don't see how adding Stanton without also having Springer and (in a year or two) Correa on the roster turns that team into a contender.
The Marlins offered Giancarlo Stanton to the Astros for George Springer and Carlos Correa. Everyone initially freaked out upon hearing that the Astros declined the trade, but I'm not so sure I disagree with the Astros' decision.
Stanton is a monster, a generational talent who could park 50+ homers a year in Minute Maid Park, but he's unlikely to sign an extension for what the Astros' could offer him. And if that's the case, you're only getting 3 years of Stanton during a period where you don't look to be very competitive.
I don't see how adding Stanton without also having Springer and (in a year or two) Correa on the roster turns that team into a contender.
This is something to keep in mind when the Cubs start looking at trading for a big bat or arm this offseason. If the Cubs pursued Stanton, a deal equivalent to the proposed Astros deal looks a lot like Bryant+Baez+a few other good prospects.
If that makes you squirm, it should - it's a very steep price. Even for less-impressive bats, the Cubs will be looking at dealing some very good prospects, and you should always remember the opportunity cost of acquiring a really good, expensive player through trade.
It's really not as simple as "go get Carlos Gonzalez, Theo, I wish to watch him feast on baseballs."
In other respects, though, initiating MLB trade talks does seem easy. As you'll notice if you read the logs, Lunhow makes some hilarious requests in return for Bud Norris. With some teams, though, asking for such a high price did seem to initiate talks about players who were way too valuable for such a deal.
So when you hear things like "Theo/Hoyer request Stroman, Sanchez, and Norris from Blue Jays for Jeff Samardzija", remember that it now appears that that's how a lot of teams talk trade; no one seems to take these too seriously, and nothing could ever be more insane than asking for Lucas Giolito in return for Lucas Harrell.
Also notice the absurdity of requests and the stubbornness of all teams before mid-July or so. Every request from Lunhow is absurd, and he is rebuked constantly. But as July goes on, more names start coming up, more teams get in or get back in the mix, and the party really gets going.
Hell, at one point Marcus Stroman was seriously on the table in a discussion for perennial underachiever Bud Norris.
Remember those rumors that the Cubs and Blue Jays had stopped talking on Samardzija? In light of these emails, that seems like the standard waiting tactic all teams use. I wouldn't count them out at all.
I have to wonder how much the Garza market impacted the Astros' shopping of Bud Norris. The talks for Norris, the clear second option on the market, didn't pick up until Garza had been moved.
If David Price, Jon Lester, Justin Masterson, or any combination of the three is made available this July, I worry about how it affects the Samardzija market. Teams may wait until really late in July before committing to a Samardzija deal in hopes that Price might be moved, or Lester/Masterson gets moved at a much cheaper cost.
The risks of such a waiting period are threefold:
1) injury risk
2) unexpected trades could really throw off the market's valuation of players and cost the Cubs a good deal.
3) teams in talks with the Cubs could fall out of contention, leaving fewer trade partners.
Keep this in mind as trade season goes on: it's easy to get really frustrated with all the deals that seemingly fall apart, but these emails show that there are tons of discussions with a bunch of teams at any given time; plenty are bound to fall through.
Perhaps more importantly (and sorry Tom!), maybe don't get so invested in every rumor you hear. As the leaks show, plenty of these rumors might be born simply of one GM half-jokingly asking the other for some top prospects.
These stupid little text messages between each other might end up being a full day's conversation on Twitter.
That said, I have no intention to heed my own advice from that last bullet. Trade season kicks ass.
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