The Astros success has surprised even the greatest of baseball minds this season. Many felt they were two to four years from seriously contending and saw them as a lock to occupy the cellar this season. Today they took another step to solidify their place as a legit contender to not only make the Major League Baseball playoffs but to make a chase for a World Series ring.
Although most naysayers and users of the phrases “Last-tros” and ” Disastros” have long been silenced, many still believed that the Astros were one pitcher short of being able to truly contend for a title. Rumors have swirled about possible deals for pitchers such as Tyson Ross, Cole Hamels, and even David Price coming to Houston to fill this need. Today the Astros, who are currently second in the AL West division solidified their roster by adding left-hand Pitcher Scott Kazmir in a trade with the Oakland A’s. The A’s gain two minor leaguers from the Astros in the deal in Daniel Mengden and Jacob Nottingham while the Astros gain a proven starter that has great control, has been tough to hit and goes deep into games. While former Astros like Morgan Ensberg laments the A’s ability to recognize young talent and the loss of two great young man, many in Astros country are ecstatic believing Kazmir is the missing piece to the playoff puzzle.
The three time all-star Kazmir grew up in Houston rooting for the Astros and will join his home team in Kansas City on Friday as they take on the American league leading Royals. Scott played his high school baseball locally at Houston area Cypress Falls where he was drafted by the New York Mets in 2002. Kazmir has called it a dream come true to be able to come home and play for his hometown team.
Although it seems adding Kazmir to a premier rotation that already included All-Star lefty Dallas Keuchel, Collin McHugh, Scott Feldman and youngster Lance McCullers Jr. has fulfilled the need that GM Jeffrey Luhnow most wanted, he has not closed the door on making further trades.
“We’re going to continue to work hard to look at avenues to improve this team, whether that means bringing in another pitcher or position player,” Luhnow said. “We’re continuing to talk to other clubs, and our interest level remains high to explore anything that can help our club.”
It will be interesting to see what effect Kazmir will have on this season for the Astros and if they chose to re-sign him for the coming seasons. This is a better time than ever for the Astros to make an all-in run at a World Series ring because they have nothing to lose as no one thought they would be here. Has the puzzle been completed? Is this the year for the Astros to finally win their first World Series? I think there is good reason to believe.