Update [2006-12-13 16:28:3 by Eric Hz]: From Jim Callis' ESPN Chat:
A pitcher going into his walk year in a market where innings-eaters get $10MM per year over four years is not worth an elite pitching prospect entering his first full-season as a major leaguer. Said innings-eater does not merit the inclusion of a good major league CF in market where similarly-skilled CFers just got paid $9-$10 MM per over five seasons. Throwing in another pitcher in just his 2nd year would be Boras-esqian if adjectivization of an agent can be done.
But that is exactly what the Astro paid for Colorado Rockies innings-eater Jason Jennings. Jason Hirsh should provide 200 innings annually at less than 5% of what it will cost the Astros to pay Jason Jennings - assuming they sign him to an extension! If they do not intend to do so, then GM Tim Purpura will attend next year's Winter meetings with resume in hand.
Willy Taveras straight-up should have been enough. The pitching premium is covered by the control the Rockies would have over WT through 2010. Adding Taylor Bucholz would be more gravy in a simpler Jennings-for-Taveras trade.
The inclusion of Jason Hirsh is like an entire Thanksgiving dinner being added!
From a fantasy perspective the key players are Jennings and Taveras with Taveras being the most valuable due to his 30+ steals speed. I'm sure fantasy owners will be more likely to bid a dollar or two on Jennings now that he is out of Colorado. That 3.78 ERA will seem more likely to be repeated in 2006. His WHIP and Ks will be discounted due to the unknown effects of getting out of Colorado - humidor notwithstanding.
A little deeper down, fantasy owners can cross off Rockies AAA OF Jeff Salazar as a darkhorse candidate to win the CF job, and even Cory Sullivan. This in spite of the fact that Salazar would likely best Taveras' OBP and Sullivan matches it.
Further south, OF Jason Lane just popped back on to the sleeper list. I recall him being considered the Astros best outfielder just a couple years before Taveras solidified his hold on the job. He is one to watch in very deep leagues as the beginning of the season will likely be a competition for full-time ABs in June/July/August/September.