In exchange, the Astros got relief pitcher Phil Maton.
This trade actually proved to be beneficial for each side, as the two players contributed in some way before the end of the season.
Cleveland Indians legend Myles Straw Home Run
— Ben Verlander (@BenVerlander) August 1, 2021
Now that it is the offseason and there is time to reflect on trades like this, it can become clear whether this was a mistake for the Astros.
Did they get too little for Straw and will they regret moving him?
Or, will they be happy with Maton in their bullpen and filling Straw’s spot from within?
Straw Plays Well With Cleveland
In 98 games with the Astros prior to being traded, Straw hit .262 with a .665 OPS.
He was a serviceable center fielder, not playing super well but not being terrible either.
When he joined the Indians, he flashed glimpses of being more than that.
His speed and defense are undeniable, but his bat surprised many in Cleveland.
Didn't get the out at 2nd, but this all-in-one-motion play off the wall by Myles Straw has us mesmerized. pic.twitter.com/BK7HtWPwtB
— Cleveland Indians (@Indians) September 5, 2021
He upped his batting average to .285, while increasing his OPS by over 70 points.
While it was a smaller sample size, Straw still hit the same amount of home runs and more doubles in far less games in Cleveland.
It was his first full season of Major League Baseball, and he posted a solid, above average 3.2 WAR.
This was all part of an Indians team that did better than expected, even after trading star shortstop Francisco Lindor last offseason.
Straw will likely be a big part of Cleveland’s retooling efforts as they look to make it back to playoff contention.
Astros Find Replacement For Straw
When Straw left, the Astros called up rookie Jake Myers who impressed in his first taste of MLB.
In 49 games, Myers hit .260 with a .761 OPS and six home runs.
Grand slam and 1st Home run For Jake Myers with the Astros pic.twitter.com/msMAKb1TWV
— ⚾️𝓙𝓮𝓼𝓼𝓮⚾️ (@macjay579) August 15, 2021
He is not a superstar prospect, but he worked his way through the minors and had an outstanding season in Triple-A.
Myers was also having a fantastic postseason before injuring his shoulder against the Chicago White Sox.
The Astros also called up another outfielder, Jose Siri, who impressed in his very brief stint in MLB.
In just 21 games late in the season, Siri hit .304 and slugged four home runs.
Between both of these young rookies, the Astros were able to find their replacements for Straw.
This makes the trade worth it in their eyes, especially considering the return they got from Cleveland.
Phil Maton Shines In Houston
Maton was a major reason the Astros made it as far as they did in the postseason.
After struggling in his time with Houston during the regular season, Maton became a different pitcher in the playoffs.
There were moments in both the ALCS and World Series that he was one of their only guaranteed and reliable arms.
Phil Maton, 81mph Slider & 92mph Fastball, Overlay with Tails.
Why you might go down looking at a Fastball…
— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) November 1, 2021
This was especially true in the World Series, as Maton appeared in five games and tossed 5.2 scoreless innings.
Even though the Astros lost, he was still a major bright spot in the pitching staff.
With questions surrounding the Astros this free agency, they know about a reliable arm in Matonn.
Because of this, the Astros shouldn’t regret trading Straw.
They have been able to replace him with young talent that stood out already, while also adding a critical bullpen piece.