Three Strikes: Arbitration, Lansford, Second Base

November 25, 2010 | 10:19 am | 70  

Strike One

The Rockies offered arbitration to free agent left-handed starter Jorge De La Rosa, and right-handed reliever Octavio Dotel. That means if the Rockies don’t re-sign either they will receieve three top draft choices in what will be a talented 2011 June draft.

De La Rosa is a Type A free agent. If he accepts arbitration, the Rockies will have him back for one year. The salary could be steep, but it’s only a one-year commitment so that isn’t as big a deal. If he signs with another team the Rockies will get the team’s first-round draft choice if that team had one of the top 15 records in the big leagues last year or it’s second-round choice if the team had one of the bottom 15 records. The Rockies also will receive a supplemental pick between the first and second round.

Dotel is a Type B free agent. To offer him arbitration, the Rockies had to have an agreement he won’t re-sign. That means they will get a supplemental pick between the first and second rounds when he signs with another team. The fact the signing team won’t lose one of its own draft choices won’t discourage a team from signing Dotel

Strike Two

Hitting coach Carney Lansford face a challenge he embraces. The reason he was hired and Don Baylor was let go is that the Rockies are concerned about the lack of progress for prospects Ian Stewart, Chris Iannetta and Seth Smith. Lansford had success with the three when he was hitting coach at Triple-A Colorado Springs. Let go in San Francisco two years ago for being “too intense,” Lansford is a known commodity to the Rockies and their prospects. The Rockies need to give Lansford a chance to work with the trio before doing anything drastic. That, after all, is the reason Lansford is with the team.

Strike Three

With Clint Barmes gone, the second base job is wide open. As much as the Rockies are enamored with the speed Eric Young, Jr., brings to the game, he will have to show marked defensive improvement and an ability to get on base consistently to claim the bulk of the playing time. Jonathan Herrera would seem to be the leader in the early talks about the bulk of the playing time at second. He proved last year he is a winning player, brings plus defense and provides switch-hitting offensive skills. The sleeper is Chris Nelson, who has run-producing potential. So far, however, it is only potential.

 

70 Comments »

  • Anonymous | November 25, 2010 | 10:43 am

    Tracy, how much do you think the one year commitment would be to DLR, and is it possible or a long shot that he accepts?

    The FISSH need to step up, and if Lansford can get something out of Iannetta and/or Smith and/or Stewart, plus Helton gets healthy and Fowler progresses then we may have a lineup. Key is Lansford getting something out of them.

    Make mine Nelson at 2B. I know it is just potential right now, but he needs to be given the chance to show what he has, just like the other two were given their chances.

  • Wayne | November 25, 2010 | 10:44 am

    The anonymous above was Wayne.

  • Mike Raysfan | November 25, 2010 | 11:24 am

    Agreed Mr. Ringolsby, whole heartedly.

    I guess I never thought signing Jorge through arbitration was even a possibility. I hope he gives it some consideration but the fact is, if he does and then has a less than stellar season, it would put a serious hurt on his worth which is probably at an all time high now. Who knows what will happen.

    I think your strike 2 might be even understated. I will re-use a phrase I used to describe my feeling about the starting rotation last season. Cautious optimism. I posted up SF team stats when Lansford was there. Not too good. Yes, there are reasons you can come up with why maybe it didn’t work out for him. Bottom line, for whatever reason, the team didn’t respond. I hope the “too intense” works for the Rockies. Obviously, many believe that the seemingly “laid back approach” that Don Baylor had just wasn’t working.

    Strike 3? Just my feeling, probably totally wrong, but it wouldn’t surprise me if at least one of the 3 you mentioned are not with the Rockies at the start of the season. I also believe, unless the Rockies go a different direction at 2nd, Herrera will be the starter.

    Happy Thanksgiving

  • EdtheUmp | November 25, 2010 | 11:45 am

    The article shows why Tracy is in the hall-of-fame. Clear, concise and correct.

    I’m not a fan of DLR, never have been. His constant “head games” he plays with himself is maddening. He comes off as having no self-confidence when even the slightest “problem” pops up.

    I’m a believer(old school, I admit) that Iannetta, Smith and especially Stewart need a “swift kick in the pants.” They are major league baseball players and appear, to me, to need that “kick” to find out if they are players or pretenders. If you can’t hit major league pitching in two years what makes you think you can hit in three(or more). Let’s see if a more “hands on” approach with these guys works. They have an upside that is phenominal. If not, cut bait.

    I too feel that Herrera will emerge at second. Nelson to follow. EYJ takes over IF he could just get on base with more frequency. Imagine EYJ’s speed at the top followed by Fowler. Wow!!

    I can dream, can’t I?

    Happy Thanksgiving to all. Come on spring.

  • Agbayani | November 25, 2010 | 12:25 pm

    Thanks for the update, Cowboy. That explains the Dotel situation. I couldn’t understand why they’d offer him arbitration since the sensible thing for Dotel to do would be “take it.” I was afraid we’d have him back here at a pretty hefty salary in 2011 …

    Are the Rockies looking at bringing in anyone else at 2B? I think the fantasy days of a major upgrade like Uggla are long behind us, but how about some lower-priced pickup?

    Happy Thanksgiving to Tracy, Steve, Jack, and thanks for running a great site. Thought I’d mention one thing. You guys know I’m a big fan of Jack’s writing. A while back I said something like, “there’s a bit of Joe Posnanski in Jack.” Then I did a little research after Tracy mentioned his all-time favorite baseball books. One of them was a book Jack did on the Negro Leagues. Of course, Posnanski took on the same subject with his book on Buck O’Neill. Still trying to get my hands on Jack’s book if you guys can remind me of the title.

    So let me clarify my statement: there’s a little bit of Jack Etkin in Joe Posnanski. And yes, that’s a very good thing.

    Happy Thanksgiving!

  • Murdock | November 25, 2010 | 12:53 pm

    Well, it’s looking more and more like JDLR will be gone. I, unlike Edtheup, happen to love JDLR as a second starter. He’s become a poor-man’s (more like upper-middle class’ mans) CC Sabathia. There are only a handful of left handers that can throw 95 mph and have his kind of secondary pitches. Plus, he’s been much more consistent over the past year and a half. Remember, it IS ESSENTIAL that we have three stud pitchers to remain competitive in the NL West. Look at the Giants, Padres, and Dodgers starting rotations! It will almost be impossible to match the Giants rotation of Lincecum, Cain, Zito, Sanchez, and Bumgarner. Then you have the Dodgers top four of Kershaw, Billingsley, Lilly, and Kuroda (if he’s back) and the Giants top three of Latos, Richards, and Young. And, as of right now, we have our ace (Jimenez), followed by a solid number three (Chacin) four (Hammel) and five (Cook), which leaves us badly in need of a solid number two (note, I think that Chacin has the stuff for the number two position, but would prefer to ease him into that position). So hopefully we’ll be able to bring back JDLR for three years, which would give us a great top three for the next three years.

    If we’re not able to sign JDLR, the Rockies MUST sign a solid veteran (see Jon Garland!) The reason I’m so high on Garland is that he could be had for a reasonable price tag (6-7 million) and has proven to be a solid workhorse who has 131 career wins with a 4.32 ERA over 11 seasons. Furthermore, he’s familiar with the NL West, which is a bonus. However, the Rocks have better get off their backsides and make this happen. Otherwise, we’ll have to move everyone up and hope that either Rodgers or Paulino steps up (yikes!)

    Anyway, happy Thanksgiving to everyone!

  • Rockpile | November 25, 2010 | 6:24 pm

    Quoting EdTheUmp
    “I’m a believer(old school, I admit) that Iannetta, Smith and especially Stewart need a ‘swift kick in the pants.’ They are major league baseball players and appear, to me, to need that “kick” to find out if they are players or pretenders.”

    I totally agree. I want a guy like Lansford who was labed “too intense” in the dugout. We need someone to light a fire underneath some of these guys and bring out some intensity. Lansford was a great hire. He’ll be a nice foil to Jim Tracy’s more subdued, cerebral dugout approach.

    Happy Thanksgiving to Rockies Fans Everywhere!

  • Julian | November 25, 2010 | 9:50 pm

    Happy Thanksgiving everyone.

    As I’ve said before, I’m OK with Herrera winning the 2B job out of spring training.

    Is there an update on Hector Gomez? Is he healthy?

  • Travis | November 26, 2010 | 9:00 am

    If Jorge comes back some how, our rotation goes back to legitimate contender status once more. If not, a Gavin Floyd or Jon Garland would be required to reach passable status but still behind the Giants for sure and at least an even match with that of the Dodgers or Padres.

    As for 2b, please keep EYJr as far away from it as possible. The only asset he brings to the team so far is speed. Not offense, not defense, not arm; speed. Speed is great but if you don’t have anything else to couple it with what is the worth? Nothing. I would much rather see him packaged in a trade to let him be someone else’s liability, not ours. All the more reason to go after Upton and ship him there, Arizona is rebuilding and they will take on a fixer-upper special like him.

    Come on Dealin’ Dan, it’s Black Friday, let’s make some deals eh?

  • Eric G. | November 26, 2010 | 9:23 am

    I think we all need to get off this trade for Justin Upton idea. It’s not going to happen. I also think we need to realize that JDLR is NOT coming back and that Rockies pretty much lied when they said, “bringing Jorge back is our top priority.” Did they even try? At this point I see Francis signing with Pittsburgh so I think we can forget about him also. I don’t see the Rockies signing Garland. They already said they will only offer him a one-year contract and he’s looking for multiple years. Someone will give it to him. I’m starting to worry that all these rumors about us trading for starting pitching has already happened with the Barmes trade. A very dissapointing ending to the season has continued into the offseason so far. I LOVE the Rockies but they are very frustrating.

  • ProgMatinee | November 26, 2010 | 10:10 am

    The Twins, a midmarket team with a lot of money committed to players just won a $5m bid for a quality Japanese infielder that hit near .350 in his league. I don’t know if that success will translate to the MLB, but there you see one of the reasons the Twins are perennially in the playoff hunt. They go out and make the deals and they don’t sit on the sidelines waiting for the players to go off the boards.

  • Mike Raysfan | November 26, 2010 | 10:42 am

    Eric G,

    One thing to remember before you get too disappointed. What is happening with the Rockies is not unexpected. I’ve made reference to the conversation Thomas Harding had with Mr. O’Dowd some weeks back a few times. It was stated then that the biggest offseason move would probably be Jorge De La Rosa. If they could sign him. I happen to believe Mr. O’Dowd was being honest.

    I think the recent DP interview with Dick Monfort put an exclamation point on that conversation and everything that has (or not) happened to this point.

    It’s a little more than a week away from the big trip to Disney World. Maybe something will happen there. Then again, maybe not.

  • Wayne | November 26, 2010 | 11:11 am

    I said a week ago that we need to see what happens after the last day to accept arb (12-2) and the winter meetings (12-6 thru 12-8). December is the pivotal month imo. If they have done nothing in December but sit and watch others make moves, then I will be as frustrated as Eric G.

  • Andy | November 26, 2010 | 12:49 pm

    Do you mean they must have had an agreement with Dotel in the sense that there’s no way they offer arbitration if he doesn’t accept it? There’s no rule that says a Type B free agent must agree to the arbitration before it’s offered. Can you (or Foster) offer any clarity on this situation?

    I assumed they knew something we didn’t know, but Dotel might not turn down an arbitration offer in excess of $4 million.

  • ProgMatinee | November 26, 2010 | 1:54 pm

    Looks like Garland will go to LAD.

    Pretty awesome our ownership is content to sit back and watch. Maybe we’ll make a run at third place again this year.

  • Reader f/k/a Mike | November 26, 2010 | 2:09 pm

    Re. Dotel and the arb offer: as has been mentioned, late seasons deals for such players often include agreements that the player will turn down arb. So let’s hope that’s what happened here…that would save about $3.5M.

    Incidentally, the Rays offered Hawpe arb. That surely has to be the same sort of deal.

    Also, looks like the Dodgers are signing Garland for a year w/ a vesting option for 2012.

  • Wayne | November 26, 2010 | 3:27 pm

    I just read about the Garland deal on MLBTR and it said that renck tweeted Rox offer which was turned down. Since I am an old fart and don’t exactly know how to tweet, can any of you younger guys find out what the offer was and post it here. THANKS.

    Also, the Dodgers offer seemed like something we could have done, unless we are waiting to hear what DLR does which will hold us up big time in making any other moves. Almost like we are held hostage and are frozen in our decision making.

  • ProgMatinee | November 26, 2010 | 3:33 pm

    Wayne, I clicked through the link on MLBTR. It appears simply that the tweet said Garland turned down a 1 year deal with club option. Nothing about money.

    If it was a similar deal I guess I can’t blame ODowd and Co if Garland simply wanted to stay on the coast.

  • Wayne | November 26, 2010 | 3:38 pm

    Thanks Prog, will be interesting to see what the offer was. Hope we don’t get held up waiting for DLR.

  • Jon S | November 26, 2010 | 3:46 pm

    Garland going to LA is pretty disappointing. He seemed like the Rockies best option since DLR’s departure now seems to be inevitable. Westbrook and Garland now signed, Vazquez strongly leaning towards Florida (and reportedly doesn’t want to go to the Rockies anyways). Market’s starting to dry up. Maybe the Rockies are going to take a swing at Lee? :) I suppose they could always try to lure Pavano in, but there’s been no indication the Rockies are going in that direction (yet). Starting to worry a little bit more about that spot in the starting rotation.

    Also, I can’t imagine why Hawpe would take a deal to turn down arbitration with the Rays. Seems like he’s going to have a hard time suiting up with a new team given his performance over the past year and a half.

    Jon

  • Rick C | November 26, 2010 | 5:25 pm

    With Jon Garland now with the Dodgers and DLR not coming back I believe the Rockies will settle comfortably in last place in the NL West this coming year.

  • Ryan | November 26, 2010 | 5:52 pm

    Too bad the Monforts don’t seem to have any interest in building around their young core, they won’t ever have a better one.

  • Reader f/k/a Mike | November 26, 2010 | 5:53 pm

    “Also, I can’t imagine why Hawpe would take a deal to turn down arbitration with the Rays.”

    Rays to Hawpe:

    “Hey, Brad, we will sign you for the September stretch run, give you a chance to DH–we’ve had trouble all year with weak bats in that slot. If you do well, we make the playoffs, you’ll be on the playoff roster, get lots of exposure, improve your offers in the offseason. You have to decline an arb offer, though.”

  • Reader f/k/a Mike | November 26, 2010 | 6:12 pm

    Perhaps the Rockies offer was not a vesting option. Given Garland’s consistency, there’s a pretty good chance it vests, so the Dodgers offer could have looked better, I dunno.

    The dollar amount reported is so low for what he gives you–$5 milllion in 2011, $8 million if the 2012 option vests, for a pitcher who has had between 191 and 220 innings for 9 straight years, with one season being below avg for a starter, it does raise troubling questions.

    I don’t know what happened to Vazquez last year…it’s worrying that his K rates went down so far for NY, but they did the last time he was there, when he also stunk it up, esp. relative to his work elsewhere. at any rate, he’s still a fly ball pitcher, might not be the best fit for coors…

  • Mike Raysfan | November 26, 2010 | 6:43 pm

    The Rays offer of arbitration to Hawpe is the same as the Rockies offer of arbitration to Octavio Dotel. Nothing more. Nothing less. It is alleged a deal was most likely worked out with Hawpe, same as Dotel. It’s all about the compensatory pick.

    They (Rays) have offered abritration to 7 or 8 players in hopes of adding up the pics. I’m sure you have all seen at least 6 Rays players mentioned in the trade rumors. This might be a huge selloff year for them. Without big spending, their window of opportunity just closed. The Rockies should take note and make good use of their window of opportunity now.

  • Agbayani | November 26, 2010 | 6:45 pm

    Mike, Vazquez’s year was pretty troubling, and I don’t think we can blame this one on his aversion to playing in NY. His velocity was way down, into the below average for a righty range. He’s still a decent rebound candidate, but I’m guessing that his value is very low for a guy with his record of success, and there’s a reason for that.

  • Julian | November 27, 2010 | 1:03 am

    The Dodgers’ offer to Garland seems very reasonable, and one that could have been met or exceeded by the Rockies. Did the Rockies make an offer to Garland, or have any interest in him, or did they pass on him altogether?

    I’m not impressed by Pavano or Vasquez. Gavin Floyd seems to be our best next option, assuming that he is available.

  • Jon S | November 27, 2010 | 6:27 am

    The Rockies did make him an offer, also reportedly a 1-year deal with an option. No details are known outside of that, but Garland either found the deal lacking, or didn’t want to pitch in Denver.

    Jon

  • Doc | November 27, 2010 | 11:45 am

    Garland is happy to be back in LA where he enjoyed success and knows many in the clubhouse. I don’t think his decision had anything to do with a “poor” offer from the Rox.

    As far as DLR goes, he’s going to have added pressure on him no matter who he signs a big contract with, and that equates to big trouble and Jorge knows it. IMHO the fair contract and comfort zone he’ll get by resigning with the Rox can’t be underestimated. I still think the Rox have a good shot of getting him signed.

  • Reader f/k/a Mike | November 27, 2010 | 3:20 pm

    “The Rockies did make him an offer, also reportedly a 1-year deal with an option”

    Again, it might have been a team option rather than a vesting option. Or maybe the money was less, or as Doc says, perhaps Garland simply preferred LA.

  • Jon S | November 27, 2010 | 3:29 pm

    Seems like he could definitely have gotten a better deal than that, if only because of how consistent he’s been. That being the case, it’s hard to imagine him not having given LA a favorable deal so that he could pitch there.

    Jon

  • Reader f/k/a Mike | November 27, 2010 | 3:44 pm

    Were the infield box seats in the $55-85 range last season, or did ticket prices go up again?

    Agbayani: Thanks, a velocity drop by Vazquez pretty much seals it: stay away from him.

    If there are really teams interested in giving DLR a 4 yr deal, that would really be surprising. I don’t know if last year’s tendon injury is the recurring sort and thus especially worrying, but even so, 185 innings is his career high…2nd most in his career, 152 in 2008 (split between KC and Omaha).

  • Jon S | November 27, 2010 | 4:00 pm

    It’s very risky (and as such, probably a bad move), but DLR certainly has a lot of potential, is left-handed, still relatively young and hitting free agency with a pretty thin market for starting pitching. Look at it this way – signing him for 4 years and 45 million makes a lot more sense than A-Rod for 10 years, 275 million. :P

    Jon

  • Mike Raysfan | November 27, 2010 | 5:16 pm

    Jorge’s agent has confirmed 2 teams, who I believe have visited with Jorge, are willing to go 4yrs.

    I know the 1st part of the season I was paying $55 for infield club. It definitely got cheaper buying a package. I know when I spoke with my family on Thanksgiving, the Rays season tickets have gone up, a lot.

  • Rich M | November 27, 2010 | 9:21 pm

    Wow Jon S you finally nailed it! If LA’s offer and the Rockies offer were somewhat similar, then where would Garland rather pitch? As a starting pitcher I’ld take LA and the big park every day of the week. If for some reason it doesn’t work out, the 2011 stats will still look respectablt enough while negotiating the next contract.

    Now for DLR – no he is not coming back! Let’s see 4-5 years around $45m, 3 years with the Rockies maybe $27m, or a one year deal with the Rockies by accepting arbitration say about $10m. Any player agent or investment advisor is going to strongly recommend the $45m everytime. So yes there is no chance DLR comes back to Denver next year.

    If you are beginning to see a trend here, you are absolutely correct. Free agent pitchers have options for the most part, so why would they “choose” to come to Denver. I do not blame the Monforts for being unable to get free agent starting pitchers – however Uggla, VMart, Hudson, etc – well let’s just say that is another matter.

    Marquis when he came to Denver had very few options, so the basic rule is still correct in that the only way to get starting pitching is by trading for it or developing it through the farm system. The Coors Field stigma lives on, so free agent starting pitchers are not going to come here by choice!

    Jimenez – farm system
    DLR – trade, now free gaent but he is NOT coming back
    Chacin – farm system
    Cook – farm system
    Hammel – trade
    Francis – farm system, now free agent, but unlikely to come back
    Rogers – farm system

    The starting pitching down on the farm system is too far away, so DanO knows that he has to make a trade to acquire a #2/#3 starting pitcher!

  • Mike Raysfan | November 28, 2010 | 9:22 am

    Agreed Rich M. It doesn’t get much press but there are pitchers that just don’t want to come here. I happen to believe Hampton’s time as a Rockie has hurt the Rockies more than just monetarily.

    While it would shock me if this plays out, if you see the Rockies sign Kevin Kouzmanoff then you may see a trade happen for a pitcher. Think White Sox

  • Julian | November 28, 2010 | 11:24 am

    Mike Raysfan, what’s the relationship between getting Kouzmanoff and trading for a pitcher?

  • Reader f/k/a Mike | November 28, 2010 | 12:53 pm

    I don’t see the grounds for such speculation, guys. We don’t know what was offered to Garland. Less money could just as easily provide the explanation. We know the team is averse to large FA contracts, so they haven’t really been in the market in the “GenR” years. Hard to spot a trend there.

    4/45 for DLR would be crazy. I still can’t believe that amount of money or 4 yrs are on the table. He has had one season in his career when he has been both healthy and good. So if some team goes for that, good luck, I guess.

  • Jon S | November 28, 2010 | 1:01 pm

    Julian: I’m pretty sure Mike is implying that if the Rockies sign Kouzmanoff, they could then trade Stewart (et al) to the White Sox for Gavin Floyd.

    Jon

  • Julian | November 28, 2010 | 7:30 pm

    I actually thought that was what Mike Raysfan was getting at. At this point I’m not ready to trade Stewart. I still hope that he can reach his potential and become a very good player. In a year I might feel differently (at which point I realize that he won’t be worth much in a trade), but at this point I’m willing to let it play it out and see if Carney Landsford can straighten him out at the plate.

    Having said that, I hope that we have another group of guys that the White Sox might want in trade for Gavin Floyd. EY, Betancourt, Seth Smith, and one or two AA or AAA pitchers other than Friedrich and Brothers are all available if I’m DOD (I had read that the White Sox might need relievers).

  • Steve Foster | November 28, 2010 | 9:49 pm

    Been pretty quiet on the rumor front. Rockies seem to have interest in more players than have interest in the Rockies, but they’re mostly focused on pitching so that shouldn’t be a big surprise. A couple thoughts: Garland not only turned down what was probably more money from the Rockies, but from other teams as well. He declined an option with the Padres that would have paid him more than he’s guaranteed with the Dodgers so he obviously wasn’t looking for money as much as a way to pitch in L.A. Denver is a still a tough sell for pitchers. Looking more and more like if the Rockies are going to add pitcher it’s going to come through a trade rather free agency. On Stewart, not sure what’s going to happen. Rockies will be looking for a very significant upgrade elsewhere if they trade him. He still has a lot of upside whereas someone like Kouzmanoff is pretty much what-you-see-is-what-you-get at this point.

  • Eric G. | November 29, 2010 | 9:04 am

    Well, once again I’ve been reading another, “Rockies interested in…”, article. This time it is Brandon Webb. I mentioned Webb’s name back in October as an interesting name to bring in. I would love to give this a guy a chance in our rotation! He has that great sinker and even though he hasn’t pitched since 2009 I bet he is still better than Cook. Let’s see if we actually do something with this or if we just back and let another team once again grab one of our “interested in” pitchers.

  • Anonymous | November 29, 2010 | 9:14 am

    Eric G, I agree. It may be a wise move to take a flier on Webb depending on where the bidding is. I have seen rumors that it will be anywhere from $5 to $7 million for one year. Seems like alot of money for someone with that shoulder injury. But I agree, it may be worth a look.

  • Jon S | November 29, 2010 | 9:34 am

    Webb seems like a really iffy pickup to me. His fastball wasn’t anywhere near major league-level at any point last year. Shoulder injuries can be really hard to come back from. He’s a high-risk, high-reward opportunity but if the Rockies sign him to a one year deal and he plays really well, it just means he’s going to leave town for a big contract in 2011 – leaving the Rockies stuck in the same boat next winter. You can’t fill all your holes and future-proof your team at the same time, but Webb is pretty much the exact opposite of a Garland. All the Rockies really need to do to make the postseason is be consistent and play anywhere near their level of talent. If they whiff on a guy like Webb, that leaves a big hole in their rotation, and really diminishes their chances.

    Jon

  • ProgMatinee | November 29, 2010 | 9:48 am

    If we fail to bring in a warm body for the rotation, I am in full support of moving Franklin Morales back in. As much as watching him pitch makes my stomach turn, I can handle him once every 5 days. Its seeing him come in and blow someone elses hard work I cannot stand.

    Another pitcher I’d like to see but doubt he has the stones to pitch in Coors would be Pedro Martinez.

  • Wayne | November 29, 2010 | 10:04 am

    Just throwing out some names. How about Eric Bedard, once promising lefty with Balt now Seattle, or Aaron Harang, or Jeremy Bonderman (once promising with Tigers). They all are in Webb type area (injured, dimnished) but would probably cost a lot less, maybe even only a minor league contract.

  • Wayne | November 29, 2010 | 10:19 am

    Couple of more names to bany about. Kevin Correia from Pads, Kevin Millwood, or wait and see what the Rays do with Garza and Shields. Also Kyle Davies from KC may be non-tendered. The more I look at what is available (also trade for Floyd) there is alot there.

  • Jasper | November 29, 2010 | 11:26 am

    I agree Prog that Morales might work if no one else is brought in – and if someone is brought in, I hope that he is more than just a “warm body.” I regard Webb, Bedard, etc as warm bodies because of their injuries, so only a minor league deal for them would work for me. I suppose that Webb will get a major league deal from someone. Millwood and Corriea are a tad better for a #5 role. Francis may sign up if no one else is brought in.

    As it stands now, the team must hope that Cook comes back and fills a #2 spot in the rotation well enough to get the team to the trading deadline – at that point, we can start thinking about someone to take us deep in the playoffs.

    I agree with Rich M that the offense needs more scrutiny than pitching. It would be nice if Stewart hit better, but how much better will he actually do – same for Iannetta and Smith. These guys may be tantalizing but does Lansford wave wands and pixie dust? I do think that there is a good chance that those three will improve somewhat, but I see an improved offense coming primarily from an improved Fowler and a line up with Herrera (or whomever beats him out), plus someone else to take over at first if Helton continues his decline – Helton is my single greatest worry for the team’s success in 2011.

  • Mike Rays | November 29, 2010 | 11:38 am

    Wayne,

    The Rays are tough to understand right now. As I previously pointed out there are 6 players mentioned by just about every media outlet. Both Shields and Garza are 2 of the names. Shields will probably be gone. Garza is still unknown. He may end up staying with the Rays. Shields as a Rockie? I’m not sure he would survive Coors but you never know. He is basically another Jason Hammel.

    Julian,

    Jon and your assumption is correct. Chicago media has “alleged” a White Sox interest in Ian Stewart. The level of “interest” was not defined. I happen to agree with you. Keep Ian Stewart.

    I think the Rockies should try for Zach Greinke and call it a day. Yes I know he is another RH but 98% of the guys the DP alleges the Rockies are now interested in are RH. (and the DP list of alleged interest seemingly grows by the hour) Yes I relaize the Royals will probably ask for some very talented prospects.

    I think Eric is right. I think that we will see Morales start in spring training.

  • Mike Rays | November 29, 2010 | 11:46 am

    Oh and what’s up with the Dodgers? I didn’t think they had any money to spend. 3 yrs/20M+ for Uribe.

  • ProgMatinee | November 29, 2010 | 11:47 am

    Helton doesn’t worry me for 3 reasons.

    1)His pay is a sunk cost, its spent. There is nothing we can do about it. There is nothing O’Dowd can do about it. Helton will be a Rockie until he decides its time to retire, there is really no sense in worrying about it.

    2)He may never hit 15 or 20 HRS again, but he doesn’t need to. As long as he is not slotted at 3, 4 or 5, we don’t need HRs. He should, however, hit near .300 and make the pitchers earn the out. I think he can continue to do that, which is great from a 6, 7, or 8 hitter.

    3)He’ll always provide great defense. And though Tulo and Stewart are great in the field, we all see it, they love to make the 1B work. Helton is still the best at picking low throws.

  • Jon S | November 29, 2010 | 11:50 am

    Based on the things O’Dowd has said, it seems almost guaranteed that the Rockies will bring someone from the outside to be their 5th starter. So I don’t anticipate Morales getting a chance to start, no matter how the market plays out.

    Jon

  • Miketober | November 29, 2010 | 12:37 pm

    I agree with many on the “Rockies need a kick in the pants” philosophy, especially Stewart and Iannetta. Smith has shown brilliance in the past and is in a different category from the other two. I hope they all respond.

    All this talk about draft choices makes me nervous. Are the Rox building a team that will be good in 5 years? Shouldn’t they be putting that team together NOW that Tulo, Cargo, and Jimenez are in their prime???

    Personally I don’t think the Rockies were physically or mentally prepared for 2010. The whole team needs to train harder in the off season to be in better shape. What other theory fits their inability to score past the 6th inning until the season was 1/3 over or their collapse at the end? I think Jim Tracy was so paranoid that they were going to be tired in October, that he allowed them to coast into the season without adequate training. Hopefully the intense attitude from Lansford will change that in 2011.

  • Julian | November 29, 2010 | 12:46 pm

    I don’t see Morales going back to being a starter. If he’s a Rockie at all next year, I think that he’ll be the second lefty in the bullpen after Matt Reynolds.

  • Steve Foster | November 29, 2010 | 3:38 pm

    For those wondering about Torrealba, he’s going to the Rangers. Two years, $6.25 million. Looks like he got the deal he wanted from the Rockies before last season.

  • ProgMatinee | November 29, 2010 | 3:59 pm

    Thats a great fit for Texas, IMO.

  • Wayne | November 29, 2010 | 4:02 pm

    I think he’ll do great there, and the Rangers staff will benefit greatly. He always could handle a staff, and that is something we missed in 2010. Rox will make do with Chris and ?, now he needs to step up.
    Good luck to Yorvit, he can’t do us any harm in the AL.

  • ProgMatinee | November 29, 2010 | 4:03 pm

    What do you guys think of Andy LaRoche to take the place of Melvin Mora?

  • Wayne | November 29, 2010 | 4:04 pm

    Not real excited about that Prog.

  • Miketober | November 29, 2010 | 4:37 pm

    Any thoughts on why the Rox have not signed any big bats? Is it just a show me the money thing? You would think hitters would salivate at the prospect of playing in Denver. Great fans, hitter friendly park, nice weather, a legitimate contender, great young talent to play with. If I’m a multi-million dollar superstar, and I had the choice between making a little more $$ with a bottom team or playing for a team like Colorado, it would be an easy choice for me. But maybe I’m just being naive….

  • Jon S | November 29, 2010 | 5:05 pm

    Miketober:

    I think there’s a couple things to keep in mind. One is that the Rockies payroll is pretty much going to be what it was in 2009. They have some room to work with, but they’re just not going to be able to sign anyone who would cost 15+ million per year, since then they’d be unable to fill any other holes. So that immediately knocks out guys like Crawford and Werth, and probably Beltre.

    On another front, most top-flight free agents want a guaranteed, full-time starting job. With Helton at first, guys like Dunn and Konerko are going to look elsewhere for consistent playtime. Beneath the group of guys mentioned so far, you’re not talking the cream of the crop any more, and if the Rockies are only going to bring in average-to-slightly-above average talent, there’s no guarantee they’ll play any better than what the Rockies have already.

    Really the only time you’re going to see a free agent give a team a discount is if he’s played there before and really enjoys it (ala Tulowitzki), or they’re a very strong team with a history of making the playoffs (think: Phillies). Even then, consistent work and a big paycheck seem to win out more often than not.

    Jon

  • Bob | November 29, 2010 | 5:46 pm

    Does DLR have to say yes or no to arbitration tomorrow?

  • Bob | November 29, 2010 | 6:11 pm

    I just answered my own question. Per Ken Rosenthal “the 35 free agents who were offered salary arbitration must accept or reject by midnight Tuesday.”
    Sounds to me the Rockies are waiting on this from DLR.

  • Mike Raysfan | November 29, 2010 | 7:02 pm

    All of baseball is waiting on Lee then De La Rosa.

  • Swam | November 29, 2010 | 7:15 pm

    If the Rox don’t trade Stewart for Floyd they are nuts. Floyd is a legit number 2 and Stew is easily replaceable (Kouzmanoff sounds about right – a Colorado guy to boot). A question I have is whether Berkman is a true target. I think he would be a perfect fit for the 3rd OF spot and could give Todd a breath at 1B. What are the chances?

  • Reader f/k/a Mike | November 29, 2010 | 8:21 pm

    Holy crap, have you guys been over to MLBTraderumors lately??

    Good chance on DLR for 3 yrs, don’t know the amount.

    Big extension for Tulo, to sign him through 2020 or 2021 (his age 35-36 seasons). I guess that’s nice…always nice to hold on to a true star, but how well did that work out the last time? 10 years is a long time, anything could happen.

  • Reader f/k/a Mike | November 29, 2010 | 8:22 pm

    and of course, that still doesn’t speak much about next season, but I figure that’s another issue.

  • Reader f/k/a Mike | November 29, 2010 | 8:38 pm

    “I agree with many on the “Rockies need a kick in the pants” philosophy, especially Stewart and Iannetta. Smith has shown brilliance in the past and is in a different category from the other two.”

    If one thing is true of all three, it is that they have shown brilliance in the past. Stewart and Iannetta even more so than Smith. (Don’t forget Iannetta’s 2008 season: .390 OBP and .505 SLG out of a catcher is damn serious.)

  • Miketober | November 29, 2010 | 9:11 pm

    Jon S, thanks for your reply.

    f/k/a Mike, maybe it’s personal opinion, but despite Smith’s poor second half, he still excites me way more than Stewart. I’ll give Iannetta some slack because he’s come up clutch several times in the past.

  • ariel | November 30, 2010 | 9:06 am

    Stewart’s laid back personality probably will not change. However, if Carney can (i) shorten his swing, (ii) eliminate the noise, and (iii) bring the bat closer to shoulder level, Ian may well realize his enormous potential. As I observe what Kevin Long did for certain Yankees (e.g., Swisher, Granderson) this past season, that same approach could well work exceptionally well for Ian. He’s got to get a kick in the pants also.