I like Astacio too - it's a low risk, high reward option. Sure, he might amount to nothing, but he's put up good numbers in the Dominican League. I think his past injuries might make him more suited to a relief role, though, which would still be fine. Either way, I'd like to get him.
Baseball Prospetus 2005 on Hammock:
It used to be that you'd see lots of teams use catchers at other positions instead of limiting them to catching. Usually, it was a right handed hitter who could mash lefties and do an acceptable job in the infield or outfield corners. Hammock is cut from that mold: He may not be an everday catcher, but he's versatile and has some pop.
You might recall I went as far as recommending the Astros sign Brian Jordan just to have a lefty masher and OF defensive replacement. Well, Hammock fits the lefty masher (805 careerOPS, 17 XBH in 157 AB's). I don't see any downside to trading for him, as long as we don't give up much. Like Astacio, it would be a low risk, high reward move at our weakest position.
I think it's often small moves at the margins like this that can really improve a team. Everyone knows about the superstar signings, but baseball (more than any other sport that I think of) is truly a team game. Otherwise the San Francisco Giants would never lose a game.