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Is Trey Mancini the best investment to come out of the MLB trade deadline?

In the first days after the MLB trade deadline, the team who has the biggest ear to ear smile is the Houston Astros, with the biggest payoff in baseball.

Aug 5, 2022; Cleveland, Ohio, USA; Houston Astros designated hitter Trey Mancini (26) hits a grand slam during the third inning against the Cleveland Guardians at Progressive Field. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports
Ken BlazeUSA TODAY Sports

Just five days ago, Trey Mancini was an Oriole. While his move to Houston was not perhaps foreseen, it was also a sensible move by the Astros looking to fill a need at the hot corner.

With all of the media focus on Juan Soto, the Yankees, and the Red Sox, Houston’s trade for the All-Star first baseman made few ripples. Interesting, sure. Bound to pay dividends, certainly. But nobody expected those dividends to be so stark and so quickly repaid.

Trey Mancini has had three hits in an Astros uniform. All three have been home runs. The third was a grand slam.

Going into deadline day, Houston was one of the few teams who had no really pressing needs to address. There were small niggles, itches that could be scratched, but nothing that would fundamentally derail their season. An under-performing Gurriel and ten errors at first base was one of those slight itches to scratch.

Mancini’s first hit came the day after deadline day, when he blasted a two-run shot in Houston’s 6-1 rout of Boston. Then he hit a solo shot in Cleveland and followed that up with a grand slam the following inning.

Nobody thinks that this run of bombs will continue indefinitely. Surely, he must get a single at some point. But so far, the Astros have every reason to be ecstatic with their pick-up.

Soto, who eventually went to the Padres, will certainly repay their investment in the long run, as will Joey Gallo in Los Angeles, of that I have no doubt. But the player whose immediate impact can be measured and found to be most overwhelmingly positive across MLB is Trey Mancini.

The Astros really need him to plug the leaky defensive gaps at first more than anything, but with offensive production like this, Houston will be thinking that their chances of winning the World Series, already pretty good, just got a whole lot better.


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