The Astros have added another bat to their lineup as they make a push for the postseason, acquiring two-time All-Star outfielder Carlos Gómez from the Milwaukee Brewers.
Houston also received right-hander Mike Fiers in the deal and sent four prospects to the Brewers: left-hander Josh Hader, right-hander Adrian Houser and outfielders Brett Phillips and Domingo Santana.
"This was a move with an eye toward this year, next year and the year after that, more so than five or seven years from now," Houston general manager Jeff Luhnow said. "That's what our fans want. They want us to win."
Milwaukee general manager Doug Melvin said a trade fell through Wednesday that would have sent Gómez to the New York Mets for infielder Wilmer Flores and injured pitcher Zack Wheeler.
Luhnow said he had been talking with Melvin for a few weeks and that they resumed talks on Thursday morning. He raved about Gómez.
"He'll be plugged right in," Luhnow said. "He's an All Star-caliber player. This guy is exciting. Everybody here is going to love him once they get to know him. He's got a lot of energy. ... He has all the tools and abilities in the world."
When Gómez was called into the manager's office by the Brewers on Thursday, he thought they were going to explain to him what happened the day before.
"But they tell me: 'No, you've been traded,'" he said. "And I say: 'Is this going for like two or three hours or is this the real one?' So I was laughing a little bit. But they say, no, it's true that you get traded to the Houston Astros."
To add to the crazy week Gómez has had professionally, he's also a new dad. Already the father to a 6-year-old boy and a 15-month-old boy, Gómez and his wife welcomed a third child 10 days ago.
"Her mom is right here with her, but she has go back to the Dominican, and we are still waiting on the birth certificate and the passport so they can come with me to Houston," he said.
Houston's move came a week after the Astros obtained top starter Scott Kazmir from the Oakland Athletics. Seeking its first postseason appearance since 2005, Houston entered Thursday with a one-game lead in the AL West.
The 29-year-old Gómez is hitting .262 with eight homers and 43 RBIs in 74 games for the Brewers this season. He is making $8 million this season and $9 million in 2016, then can become a free agent.
Gómez, who won a Gold Glove in 2013, is a nine-year veteran coming off a career-best season last year, when he hit .284 with 34 doubles, 23 homers, 73 RBIs and 34 steals. Gómez and Mike Trout are the only players with at least 100 steals and 50 home runs over the last four seasons.
Gómez played for the Mets and the Twins before joining the Brewers in 2010.
Fiers is 5-9 with a 3.89 ERA in 21 starts for Milwaukee this season. He has 121 strikeouts in 118 innings this season. He won't be a free agent until after the 2019 season.
"He's got a good fast ball. His curveball is his out pitch," Luhnow said. "If you look at his numbers, he's been punching out more than a guy an inning for his entire career. He doesn't walk a lot of guys. Very effective."
Before the trade, Melvin bristled at the notion the Mets didn't make their proposed deal because they concluded Gómez has a bad hip.
"Like any typical trade, you have a box you have to check off to get deals approved. In the end, we did have a deal done. When all was said in done there, was a level of discomfort (on the part of the Mets) in making the deal complete," Melvin said.
Gómez's agent Scott Boras said there is nothing wrong with Gómez's hip.
"The Milwaukee medical records were clear," he said. "Carlos had an adductor issue in June, and the MRI revealed it was without issue, just some temporary inflammation. Carlos has never had a hip issue. In fact the medical records stated the hip was structurally clean."
Luhnow said they don't have any concerns about the health of Gómez.
"I know nothing about what happened with the Mets," he said. "We did our homework like we do on every trade, and we're very comfortable with the players we got and the condition that they are in."
Santana was playing in Triple-A Fresno and Hader, Houser and Phillips were all at Double-A Corpus Christi.
Melvin felt lucky to have snagged Phillips.
"Phillips was a young player that they just did not want to put in any deal," he said. "He was supposedly an untouchable."