Deadspin acquired internal Houston Astros conversations over a 10-month period that included last summer as the July 31st trade deadline approached. According to the documents, Amaro and Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow were discussing a possible trade that would've landed starting pitcher Bud Norris in Philadelphia for minor league outfielder Aaron Altherr. The report reads, "[Luhnow] told [Phillies GM Ruben Amaro] that we would consider Aaron Altherr. RA said that seemed like a reasonable ask and he was still evaluating where he was. He would get back to us."
To give some perspective on the deal, the conversation took place on July 22nd of last season when the Phillies were 49-50 and, somehow, in second place in the National League East - seven games behind the Atlanta Braves. Norris is a marginal third starter on a contending team and was ultimately dealt to the Baltimore Orioles while Altherr went on to finish the 2013 season batting .275/.337/.455 with 12 home runs and 69 RBIs in 123 games for Single-A Clearwater.
This is a win for two reasons. First, the Phillies ended up not buying at the trade deadline last year. They didn't sell but at least they didn't buy. Second, Altherr seems like he could have the potential to be a marginal outfielder in the majors. Even if he doesn't, it still goes back to the first positive - the Phillies ultimately didn't buy at last year's trade deadline and that's a plus.
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