added 03/31/2017 by Bob Hulsey
With all the excitement about the upcoming 2017 season, it's always instructive to me to look back on 'how we got here'. I enjoy reminding the kool-aid drinkers that most of the top performers during the Jeff Luhnow era were those he inherited from the much-maligned Ed Wade. Aside from Will Harris, the All-Stars the Astros have sent to the American League side for the Midsummer Classic were Jose Altuve, Jason Castro and Dallas Keuchel - all holdovers from Wade.
But there's a positive side Luhnow and his decision scientists haven't received credit for and that's the fire sale of 2012 that discarded pricey veterans for a bunch of prospects, many of whom had their cup of coffee in the bigs and then faded away.
Check off the list: Kevin Chapman, Matt Dominguez, Asher Wojciechowski, David Rollins, Carlos Perez, Paul Owens, Robbie Grossman, Marc Knauss, L.J. Hoes. Roster fodder.
But the best has finally arrived and they will impact the 2017 season. Joe Musgrove came to Houston in the July 20, 2012 mega-deal where the Astros sent pitchers David Carpenter, J.A. Happ and Brandon Lyon to Toronto in return for veterans Francisco Cordero and Ben Francisco with minor leaguers Wojciechowski, Rollins, Perez and Kevin Comer. Cordero (0-3, 19.80 ERA) was a salary dump much the same way Brock Osweiler was for Cleveland. Francisco (.247, 0, 5) was flipped to Tampa Bay a month later. What Luhnow wanted were the prospects.
Wojciechowski was expected to be the key asset in the deal but his big league mark is 0-1 with a 7.16 ERA before he was claimed on waivers by Miami and signed as a free agent by Arizona.
Rollins was claimed in the 2014 Rule V draft and the lefthander has compiled a 1-2 record and 7.60 ERA in 31 relief appearances with the Mariners. He's been property of the Cubs, Rangers and Phillies this winter.