There was a time when the Astros might have seriously looked at an offer to trade troubled closer Brad Lidge to the Red Sox for a prospect package with outfielder Wily Mo Pena as one of the centerpieces.
Those days are gone.
The Red Sox decision to sign veteran J.D. Drew and play the once highly regarded 24-year-old Pena only intermittently has reduced Pena's effectiveness to the point that he can barely keep his batting average above .200, and his trade value has plummeted respectively; a rather expensive move, considering that starter Bronson Arroyo was dealt to acquire him.
Lidge -- who has trouble pitching in pressure situations -- would have been an ideal fit in Boston, where he could have pitched with less pressure setting up Jonathan Papelbon.
Now it looks like the Astros will keep Lidge rather than endure a search for a replacement closer, while the Red Sox look to pedal Pena elsewhere.