Analyzing the Astros' Trade Deadline moves and what comes next

August 3rd, 2022

HOUSTON -- The Astros couldn’t address an immediate need for an upgrade in center field prior to Tuesday’s Trade Deadline, but the three moves they made on Monday should bolster Houston’s chances for making another long playoff run.

The Astros acquired three veteran players -- 1B/OF Trey Mancini (Orioles), catcher Christian Vázquez (Red Sox) and LHP Will Smith (Braves) -- in three separate deals, with the Smith deal finalized early Tuesday. The only player on the Major League roster the Astros lost was right-hander Jake Odorizzi, who went to Atlanta.

Here’s the recap:


Astros get: 1B/DH Trey Mancini (from Orioles) and Minor League RHP Jayden Murray (from Rays), now ranked No. 30 in Houston's system
Orioles get: RHP Seth Johnson (Rays' No. 6 prospect) and RHP Chayce McDermott (Astros' No. 12 prospect)
Rays get: OF Jose Siri (from Astros)


Astros get: C Christian Vázquez
Red Sox get: INF Enmanuel Valdez (the Astros’ No. 28 prospect) and outfielder Wilyer Abreu (No. 29 prospect)


Astros get: LHP Will Smith
Braves get: RHP Jake Odorizzi

“We wanted to get more depth on the Major League roster,” general manager James Click said. “And so Vázquez, Smith and Mancini all fit the bill in those areas. We are trying to win this year and obviously we bring in three guys -- one who’s a free agent at the end of the year, Mancini has a mutual option and Smith has a club option -- who have limited term of control and we had to give up some significant future value for that.”

Did the Astros come close on any other deals?

Click: “It’s always tough to know on trades. You’re never sure how close you are. It only takes one phone call, so you try to make a lot of phone calls, feel things out. We were active, we were having a lot of conversations. It’s hard to say how close any of those came to actually leading somewhere. In my experience, you end up talking about probably 100 trades for every one that gets done.”

Mancini fills a vital need for the Astros

Click: “Trey is a guy that we had had our eye on for a while, just one of the better hitters that we felt like we would have a chance to acquire at the Deadline, somebody who can hit lefties and righties. Gives you a very professional at-bat, can play first base, can play DH, can play corner outfield. We were looking for versatility and we were looking for quality bats and having him in whatever role we end up finding for him we felt lengthened our bench.”

Jake Meyers will now get a chance to show what he can do in center

Click: “We continue to have faith in Jake Meyers. Jake was a big part of this team last year. We know how valuable he is to the lineup and certainly to the defense, and we are going to continue to work with him on moving him back into that form that we saw last year when he was just an elite defender in center field and brought a lot to the game. We were looking at upgrading any part of the roster we could. That certainly falls under that. There were lots of different options on the table because of the different personal fits we had on the roster.”

Kyle Tucker has played center before. Could he be an option there?

Click: “If we are going to explore that possibility, it is something we’re not going to take lightly. That said, Kyle is one of the best defensive right fielders in baseball and he has all the ingredients I think could lead to a very successful defensive center fielder, but we can’t let that take away from the other parts of this team and what makes him successful.”

How does top prospect RHP Hunter Brown figure in all this?

Click: “Hunter is somebody I think about a lot making these decisions on the Major League level. He is having a tremendous amount of success in [Triple-A] Sugar Land and I think he has a very bright future with the Astros. We make decisions up here with that in mind. Some of the willingness to trade away starting pitching is a reflection of Lance McCullers Jr. [nearing the end of his rehab] and some of it our starting pitching depth we do have in the Minors. It is a factor in the decision and we’ll continue to have those conversations going forward.”