The Astros on Thursday traded veteran outfielder Jake Marisnick to the Mets for a pair of prospects. The move was made to clear room in an already crowded outfield for youngsters Kyle Tucker and Myles Straw, who should make the big league roster in 2020. Ideally, the Astros would like to move Josh Reddick, but his $14 million contract makes that difficult without the Astros agreeing to absorb some of that salary, so Marisnick was dealt.
While the speedy right-handed outfielder has never been consistent at the plate, he did occasionally show power and, more importantly, he was one of the best defenders in baseball, often brought in as a late inning defensive replacement. Some of his highlight-reel catches are still favorites of Astros fans.
That will no doubt increase the pressure on Tucker and, to a lesser extent, Straw. Tucker became a fairly regular rotation player, particularly against right handers. In 2018, he clearly wasn't ready for the big leagues, but after smoking Triple A pitching for half a season, he was serviceable for the 'Stros with a slash line of .269/.319/.537/.857 in 67 at bats.
Straw should see more spot duty, particularly as a situational pinch runner. One of the fastest guys in the game, he can be valuable. And he does have the ability to get on base with a .378 OBP and a .269 average in his 108 at bats.
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The Mets are hoping Marisnick will perform better at the plate if he is given more opportunities. He will definitely help shore up their defense. For the Astros, it reduces their glut of outfielders and adds a couple of prospects to their already deep minor league roster. Blake Taylor, a lefty reliever, pitched well enough to move all the way up to Triple A last year in the Mets organization. Outfielder Kenedy Corona, a 19-year-old outfielder in single A ball, rounds out the deal.