Days after losing Andy Pettitte to the Yankees, Houston acquired right-handers Jason Jennings and Miguel Ascencio from Colorado in exchange for CF Willy Tavares and pitchers Jason Hirsh and Taylor Buchholz. (Houston Chronicle)
Buchholz originally came to the Astros as part of the Billy Wagner trade with Philadelphia. Hirsh was absolutely terrific at Triple A Round Rock last season but struggled during most of his starts after being promoted.
I hate this deal mostly because it means Willy Taveras will play (probably a lot) for the Rockies next season. Buchholz is pretty much done as a prospect, although Hirsh is much-loved in some circles. The deal as originally discussed had Dan Wheeler instead of Buchholz. Wheeler is one of the best setup guys in the NL, Buchholz doesn’t have any of the original muscles remaining in his right arm. I still didn’t like that deal, because, once again, Willy T. He’s free-swinging, he’s powerless, he’s fast and yet somehow not that good of a basestealer, Clint Hurdle won’t be able to resist hitting him leadoff even though his OBP will hover around .320.
It seems like the Rockies were certain there was no chance of Jennings re-signing. That’s fine. If you can’t make the guy stay, you have to do what you can to get the most value out of him. I think given market conditions the Rockies could have done better than a good starting prospect, a long-term reclamation pitching project, and a sixth outfielder/pinch-runner. But hey, the payroll was in danger of creeping over $50 million for a second there, and we can’t have that.
The Boston Globe’s Gorden Edes reports that Red Sox OF Gabe Kapler has announced his retirement, and will become the manager of Boston’s South Atlantic League affiliate Greenville Drive. Denis Leary was unavailable for comment.