In December of 2011, emboldened by a colorful, exciting rebranding and a colorful, exciting, publicly funded stadium, the Miami Marlins signed the jewel of the 2011-12 free-agent class, shortstop Jose Reyes. Miami made room for Reyes by moving franchise shortstop Hanley Ramirez over to third base.
Had Reyes not signed, the Marlins could have used strong-armed, sure-handed former first-round draft pick Matt Dominguez at third base in 2012. Dominguez was already one of the top defensive prospects at his position. But with Ramirez holding down the position, Dominguez spent most of 2012 in AAA. Then, on July 4, the Marlins, for some reason, traded him and pitcher Rob Rasmussen to Houston for Carlos Lee.
Even granting that Astros GM Jeff Luhnow is reputed to be one of the brighter guys in the game, and that the long-term rebuilding project he’s undertaken in Houston affords him the ability to take some risks, it looked like a good deal for Houston. After all, Dominguez, who twice appeared on the Baseball America Top 100, was about to turn 23, and the Astros got him for the last couple squirts from the ketchup bottle of Lee’s career.
We're five weeks away from MLB's trade deadline. Close enough to start making fantasy roster decisions with that in mind, far enough that your competition might not pick up on what you're doing.
You don't want to overreact to scenarios that may or may not happen, of course. But getting full value now for players who might be affected by pending trades (or other factors) surely beats getting next to nothing for them a month from now.
With that in mind, here are some strategies to consider as we near the season's halfway point, and the players who could be affected.
Baseball owners unanimously approved the sale of the Houston Astros from Drayton McLane to Jim Crane on Thursday, which will lead to the team moving from the NL Central to the AL West for the 2013 season.
The decision will give each league 15 teams, baseball's first realignment since the Milwaukee Brewers switched from the AL to the NL after the 1997 season.
As part of the Astros' agreement to switch leagues, the sale price was cut from $680 million to $615 million, a person at Thursday's meeting told The Associated Press. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because details weren't announced. - Associated Press, Thursday, November 17, 2011
So we’re just sitting here minding our own business in Astros Fan Park, where we’ve been hanging out contentedly (if not ecstatically) since 1962, and suddenly this armored brigade shows up, turns on a lot of bright lights, and starts screaming at us to get our crap off the plaza.