Astros Willing to Listen to Trade Offers on Jose Urquidy

“Controllable starters” is changing into one of the vital generally repeated phrases of the 2022 commerce deadline, as way more younger arms than anticipated are being made obtainable to groups in want of beginning pitching. ESPN’s Jeff Passan provides the Astros to the rising record of golf equipment that can not less than entertain presents for younger, cost-controlled members of their beginning rotation, citing a number of GMs who’ve had commerce conversations with the Houston entrance workplace. Righty Jose Urquidy would seem the most certainly of the bunch to change palms, per the report.

A commerce dealing from the Houston rotation is not a given, however the ‘Stros have loads of depth to stand up to such a transfer if it means serving to them deal with different areas of want. Justin Verlander, Framber Valdez, Luis Garcia, Cristian Javier, Jake Odorizzi and Urquidy give them six viable starters on the large league roster, and that is not even included Lance McCullers Jr.who’s on a rehab task and trending towards a return to the Major League mound.

Houston additionally has high prospects Hunter Brown tearing by means of Triple-A lineups, and righty Brandon Bielak (who has a little bit of MLB expertise already) is pitching nicely in Triple-A Sugar Land as nicely. Former high prospect Forrest Whitleyin the meantime, lately returned from an extended keep on the injured record and is increase in Sugar Land, too.

It’s unlikely that Houston would transfer any member of its present rotation for pure prospects — not when the crew has a agency grip on the American League West and seems poised for an additional doubtlessly deep playoff run. Flipping an arm they management for a number of seasons, nevertheless, may very well be a method of bringing in some assist at first base, within the outfield and/or behind the plate. The Astros do not know when or whether or not backup catcher Jason Castro and left fielder Michael Brantley will return — Castro from a knee harm and Brantley from a shoulder subject (neither of which the crew has elaborated upon to the general public). Manager Dusty Baker advised reporters a few half-hour in the past that Brantley, who’s been on the injured record since June 26, has but to even swing a bat (Twitter hyperlink by way of Chandler Rome of the Houston Chronicle).

Turning to the record of believable names for the Astros to think about, it is pretty logical that Urquidy may high the record. Garcia was the American League Rookie of the Year runner-up in 2021 and is managed 4 extra seasons — essentially the most of any present member of the rotation — making him harder to transfer. Each of Urquidy, Javier and Valdez are beneath crew management by means of the 2025 season, however Valdez has stepped up as Houston’s No. 2 starters behind Verlander. Javier, in the meantime, is hanging out practically twice as many hitters as Urquidy and permitting house runs at a a lot decrease fee (0.97 HR/9 to Urquidy’s 1.52).

None of that’s to say that Urquidy, 27, is expendable or ineffective. To the opposite, he is a former Top-100 prospect who’s appeared in components of 4 MLB seasons now and pitched to a sub-4.00 ERA in every. He’s at present sporting a strong 3.93 ERA by means of 100 2/3 innings (18 begins). Urquidy shouldn’t be and by no means has been an overwhelming pitcher, evidenced by this 12 months’s 18.2% strikeout fee and a profession 19.8% mark in that regard, however he has a few of the greatest command of any starter within the Majors. Urquidy is tied for the Twelfth-lowest stroll fee amongst certified huge league starters (5.2%), and he is tenth-best amongst 114 starters with not less than 250 innings, relationship again to his 2019 MLB debut.

Urquidy might be arbitration-eligible for the primary time this winter, as will Javier. (Valdez is in the identical service class however already hit arbitration as a Super Two participant.) His wage ought to solely soar into the $2-3MM vary for the 2023 marketing campaign, and he ought to stay comparatively reasonably priced by means of 2025, his closing 12 months of crew management

It bears emphasizing {that a} commerce should not essentially be seen as seemingly. Houston is unquestionably taking an opportunistic strategy to the depth they’ve cultivated within the rotation, however the Astros additionally will certainly have a excessive asking worth on Urquidy or any of their different younger starters — and understandably so. For as deep because the group seems to be proper now, pitching depth is usually fleeting, and the Astros cannot know for sure what the longer term holds for both Verlander or Odorizzi, each of whom have participant choices for the 2023 season (assuming Verlander throws one other 13 2/3 innings to attain 130 frames on the 12 months, that’s).

For now, Urquidy might be lumped in with a mounting variety of high quality arms who may doubtlessly be acquired for a good return and managed by his new membership for a number of seasons. The Marlins are reportedly open to presents Paul Lopezwhereas the Guardians are prepared to hear on Zach Plesac. They be part of long-obvious commerce candidates just like the Reds’ Luis Castillo and Tyler Mahleand the Athletics’ Frankie Montasas names to watch prematurely of subsequent Tuesday’s 6 pm ET commerce deadline.

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