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Astros acquire Aubrey Huff from the D-Rays

As noted in the diary to the right, the Astros have acquired Aubrey Huff from the Tampa Bay Devil Rays.

The cost was, on the surface, surprisingly mild...AA shortstop Ben Zobrist and AA RHP Mitch Talbot. Zobrist was ranked #8 in the Astros system by John Sickels coming into the season, while Talbot didn't make the top 20. Neither player cracked BA's top 10 (I don't have my Prospect Handbook with me, so I don't know where they came in in the 11-30 range).

Zobrist has a .327/.434/.473 line for Corpus Christi this year, but he's already 25 years old, and there seem to be some questions about whether he can stick at shortstop. Talbot was a 2002 2nd rounder out of high school who seems to have put it together this year, posting a 3.39 ERA for Corpus Christi while striking out over a batter an inning.

Given how high the D-Rays demands have been historically for Huff, this doesn't seem like a real strong return, although both prospects are interesting. Corpus has played as one of the most pitcher friendly parks in the minors, which makes Zobrist's numbers better than would first appear, and Talbot's not quite as exciting, although that would seem to be balanced out by the fact that Zobrist is too old to be in AA, and Talbot, at age 22, is the right age or maybe a little young.

Either way, though, I expect that the reaction to this is that the D-Rays sold cheap, getting a couple of guys who aren't regarded as blue chips (or even red chips, really), by the baseball world at large.