Never ending Houston Astros makeover continues as Dexter Fowler traded
The Houston Astros continue their 2015 club makeover by trading their most experienced outfielder in Dexter Fowler to the Chicago Cubs for two major leaguers. RHP Dan Straily and IF Luis Valbuena come in return to further provide the Astros pitching/bullpen and infield depth (via Carrie Muskat of MLB.com and other media outlets).
A week after bringing in Evan Gattis to presumably play some left field, the Astros will have a new opening day center fielder as well with Fowler’s departure. The frontrunner might be Jake Marisnick who was acquired from the Miami Marlins late in 2014 and played well down the stretch. Another candidate might be projected RF George Springer who has the athleticism to cover ground, but the Astros may want him to play the less demanding RF with his plus arm.
Luis Valbuena played mostly 3B in 2014 (a wide open position for the Astros going into 2015). Dan Straily adds to an overhauled bullpen (was a piece of the Jeff Samardzija deal coming to Chicago from Oakland) or could be a back end of the rotation starter.
Fowler was looking for over $10M in salary this year in arbitration (which would be near the top of the Astros disciplined payroll). He would also be a free agent in 2016, probably leaving without any draft compensation. So once again, the Houston Astros move to keep players under their control, a strategy that continues to play out under general manager Jeff Luhnow in his tenure with the club.
– David Whitlock
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