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Hank Conger Traded to Houston Astros

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In a surprise move, fan favorite and backup catcher Hank Conger has been traded for a young starting pitcher and another catching prospect. Details to come.

Ed Szczepanski-USA TODAY Sports

Coming back from Houston is a young righthanded starting pitcher in Nick Tropeano who fared well in the Astros organization, pitching to 3.26 ERA with very solid peripherals (9.2 SO/9 and 2.7 BB), and survived admirably in the PCL at age 23 last season with a 3.03 ERA over 23 appearances.

As a September call-up just after his 24th birthday, he pitched like a back-of-the-rotation prospect, with a 4.57 ERA over four outings. Scouting reports have him consistently profiling as an innings-eater with a low-90s average fastball and a dynamic changeup which stands out against other middling secondary offerings.

This looks like it would be a decent trade if it were for Tropeano alone, given the Angels' rotation needs. But they also netted a serviceable, if uninspiring, glove-first catcher in the deal in Carlos Perez, who likely comes to camp next spring with a decent shot for the backup role. He has solid CS% rates based on his recent upper-minors action, though not much power to speak of.

The Houston Astros are known for their analytics department, and likely coveted Conger for his documented elite pitch framing abilities, whatever his limitations on offense and in his throwing game. Early reports on the trade from the Houston side suggest they scouted him heavily all year.