By Matt Hammond

Count ESPN’s Keith Law as a fan of what the Houston Astros did at yesterday’s trade deadline.

On its six-player deal that shipped Jarred Cosart and Kike Hernandez to the Miami Marlins for Jake Marisnick, Colin Moran and a competitive balance draft pick, Law said Houston did a great job with the trade:

The Astros absolutely cleaned up here, especially if, as I suspect, they wanted to rid themselves of Cosart for character reasons in addition to the gap between his talent and his performance. Jake Marisnick made my top 100 prospects twice before his rookie year; he’s a centerfielder with five-tool talent who lacks polish in his offensive game, particularly recognition of offspeed stuff, which has left him vulnerable to velocity because he’s often guessing at a pitch’s type.

Law also gushes over Moran, the sixth overall pick in 2013 who the Astros considered taking over Mark Appel at No. 1 overall in 2013 and was Law’s 55th ranked prospect entering 2014. Law said he would have dealt Cosart for Moran straight up, making landing Marisnick, a player with Jonathan Singleton-type tools, an absolute coup.

Maybe the most important takeaway: Law doesn’t suggest that dealing away Cosart, the centerpiece of the Hunter Pence trade with the Philadelphia Phillies in 2011, pushes back the Astros timeline for becoming competitive. Which after failing to sign 2014 No. 1 overall pick Brady Aiken, and Jacob Nix and Mac Marshall, and with the possibility of losing their next two first-round picks looming was a real concern.



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