Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Colorado Rockies---Hot Stove Preview

  • Another note about the Roy Halladay/Cliff Lee trade:

Because not all of the dominoes have fallen after the trade of Roy Halladay to the Phillies, I'm still restraining myself from any and all reaction aside from the obvious one that the Phillies have made a colossal blunder.

I'm loading my weapons though. When the trades are official comes the reckoning.

  • Winter Preview----Colorado Rockies:

Dan O'Dowd won executive of the year for firing a guy.

Replacing manager Clint Hurdle with Jim Tracy was the one thing he did that turned the season around for the Rockies. Is that worth executive of the year? Apparently so.

What they need: A veteran starting pitcher; bullpen help; a veteran second baseman; a power bat off the bench.

Free agents: 3B Garrett Atkins; LHP Joe Beimel; RHP Jose Contreras; LHP Alan Embree; RHP Josh Fogg; 1B Jason Giambi; RHP Matt Herges; RHP Jason Marquis; RHP Juan Rincon; C Yorvit Torrealba

Atkins's time in Colorado is over after he was non-tendered. He'd already lost his job as an everyday player; was arbitration-eligible; and no one was going to trade for him with his mediocre performance away from Coors Field and the open secret that the Rockies were letting him go. He'll get a job elsewhere as a platoon player at least. Perhaps Atkins needs a change-of-scenery to wake up his bat.

Beimel is a useful lefty reliever, but the Rockies don't pay exorbitantly for journeyman relievers----they simply replace them smartly. That's one of O'Dowd's strengths.

I wasn't quite sure why the Rockies traded for Contreras in the first place. Gone.

Embree might continue trying to pitch, but it won't be in Colorado.

Fogg has some use as a long reliever/spot starter and has had most of his career success in a Rockies uniform. He could be back.

One would assume that Giambi will have at least nibbles to DH in the American League part-time. If not, I'd expect him to go the Dodgers, Giants or Phillies if he stays in the National League.

Herges is another scrapheap pickup who's had success with the Rockies. He might be back.

Marquis is in demand as an innings-eating starter and will make more money for more years elsewhere than what the Rockies will offer. He's won't be back.

Rincon got shelled for the Rockies and probably won't be back.

Torrealba and the Rockies belong together. He's a good handler of pitchers and accepts sharing the catching duties with Chris Iannetta. He's flirted with other clubs this winter, but it would be best for both sides to continue the relationship. Torrealba also has a tendency to come up big in important games.

Players available via trade: 1B Todd Helton; 2B/SS Clint Barmes; RHP Jason Hammel; RHP Huston Street

Helton still gets on base, plays good defense and is a leader in the clubhouse. But his power is gone and his contract is repulsive. He's due $40 million guaranteed through 2011 when he'll be 39. You want him?

Barmes is arbitration-eligible and is due a big raise He did hit 23 homers this year, but his on base percentage was a lowly .290, The Rockies could do with a veteran at second base if they don't keep Barmes or think Eric Young Jr is ready or able to handle the job full time.

I've always liked Hammel's stuff, but he's coming off his career year and is arbitration-eligible.

The Rockies have been negotiating with the arbitration-eligible Street on a long-term extension, but if they can't avoid arbitration, they might trade him. He's completely unreliable as a closer and I'd look for an upgrade.

Players to pursue:

Via free agency: LHP Doug Davis (Diamondbacks); RHP Danys Baez (Orioles); INF Jamey Carroll (Indians); RHP Fernando Rodney (Tigers); RHP Kiko Calero (Marlins); 2B Ronnie Belliard (Dodgers); 2B Orlando Hudson (Dodgers); RHP Justin Duchscherer (Athletics); RHP Brett Myers (Phillies); LHP Erik Bedard (Mariners); RHP Matt Capps (Pirates); RHP Chien-Ming Wang (Yankees); RHP Todd Wellemeyer (Cardinals)

The Rockies technically have five viable starting pitchers on their depth chart, but Jeff Francis is returning after missing the entire 2009 season with shoulder surgery, and I have no faith in Jorge De La Rosa continuing to pitch as well as he did down the stretch. They need a reliable veteran, especially with the likely loss of Marguis.

There are the usual suspects in reasonably priced Davis and the rolls of the dice like Bedard, Wang and Duchscherer.

Capps would be a replacement for Street and Myers would be a candidate to take over as closer as well.

If the market is as weak as it was last season, Hudson could be an option as a short-term second baseman; Belliard is a better candidate for that role and would be cheaper.

Via trade: 2B Alexei Casilla (Twins); 2B Dan Uggla (Marlins); RHP Derek Lowe (Braves); RHP Chris Young (Padres); RHP Heath Bell (Padres)

Although the Rockies aren't making any big money splashes in trades. There are still deals to be made to improve.

Casilla is on the outs with the Twins and could solve the Rockies second base problem if they move on from Barmes.

Would the Braves----who need a first baseman----do a Lowe for Helton swap? Would the Rockies? Who knows?

Young and Bell are available. Young has the stuff to win in Colorado and Bell could replace Street as closer.

  • Viewer Mail 12.16.2009:

Jeff (Acting Boss) at Red State Blue State writes RE the Halladay machinations in two comments:

The way I understood this "blockbuster" trade in the making is that Philly wouldn't give up any prospects. It'd be an ace for an ace plus signing Halladay long-term. The Mariners would provide the prospects to the Jays. Seemed like a good idea to me to get more right handed in the starting rotation, especially knowing they wouldn't be able to resign Lee after this season anyway. Did I miss something?

As yesterday progressed, I became more knowledgeable about this Halladay deal. Now things are making sense... sorta.

I'm loading up to blow this thing apart as soon as it's officially done. The Phillies have screwed up badly and are using out-of-context crap to cover for themselves. All in good time....

David writes RE the Dodgers:

Prince: Oddly enough, there has been murmuring around here about *what if* the Dodgers went after Jason Bay. Where would they put him? And do you think that's a good idea when our pitching should be a number one priority right now?

Unless they're trading Andre Ethier for an arm (and I would NOT move Manny Ramirez back to right field), they have no place for Bay. Nor does it appear as if the team's able to get into pursuing a free agent of Bay's magnitude with the ownership in such disarray.

I think it's a rotten idea. They need pitching, pitching, pitching.


She-Fan said...

Looking forward to your unloading on the Phillies. I agree with Jeff that on the face of it, the deal makes sense for them. I'm just pissed off that the Yankees didn't get a crack at Cliff Lee.

Gabriel said...

I think I'd have liked J.A. Happ and Donald Brown more than Drabek and D'Arnaud, but I don't complain for the prospects, except for the swap of Taylor for Wallace. Currently, there is no right fielder (José Bautista is an utility guy, not an everyday player) and the Jays have 1B and 3B covered. I do, however, complain about (read: abut) the money that the Jays sent to the Phillies. I cannot see it necessary in order to complete the deal.