Rockies swap Street to Padres for minor-leaguer, cash

December 7, 2011 | 9:26 am | 52  

The Colorado Rockies traded reliever Huston Street to the San Diego Padres in exchange for a minor-leaguer and cash considerations. The Padres will reportedly pick up most of the $8 million Street is owed in 2012.

Street fell out of the Rockies plans for 2012 when Rafael Betancourt took over as the closer in mid-August last season. The move will clear salary space for the Rockies to pursue players at other positions, including second base and the starting rotation.

Ken Rosenthal at FoxSports.com reports that a trade of Street could lead to the Rockies stepping up their pursuit of former Philadelphia Phillies reliever and Cherry Creek product Brad Lidge. Also Wednesday came reports that the Rockies have contact the Atlanta Braves regarding right-handed starter Jair Jurrjens.

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52 Comments »

  • Jaredean | December 7, 2011 | 9:34 am

    I really like the direction this is going. Freeing up that money to bring in a big arm or bat.

  • Pooter | December 7, 2011 | 9:37 am

    WOW! No holes filled by this trade, more money dumping! I sure hope they have a trade in the works for someone that will make an impact on this team IN 2012!

  • progmatinee | December 7, 2011 | 9:41 am

    Street will look really good in San Diego’s big park.

    Personally, I need the Rockies to show they are interested in more than just rolling the dice on prospects and hoping they come up with winners once every few years.

    Is Street the best closer out there? No, but he was fairly solid. Now we are putting all the eggs in the Betancourt basket, who I really like, but has had varying degrees of success in that role. If that fails, do they put the burden all on Rex Brothers?

    Depending on how good the prospect is, this just looks like another salary dump. I really have to question whether the Rockies would even be interested in Street at $8m if he never lost the closers roll. I really doubt it. If they didn’t believe in spending this on a closer, why even get yourself in that contract to begin with?

    If we get some studd prospect, I will take it back, but this one just goes into the pile of “losing a good player for virtuall nothing” category that has PLAGUED this organization since 2008.

  • Pooter | December 7, 2011 | 9:42 am

    MLB Trade Rumors reports that the Rockies will not make a run a Jurjiens and Brad Lidge. Jurjiens would be great, I would also like Brad Lidge but why is there absolutely no talk of aquiring a power bat? Why is this team putting there poor hitting on the back burner?

  • Pooter | December 7, 2011 | 9:43 am

    BTW I don’t want the Rockies to add Hiroki Kuroda!! YUCK!

  • rox4brains | December 7, 2011 | 9:44 am

    I honestly think the Rox will move to get an established player or two after this. As Steve pointed out above (Brad Lidge, starter Jair Jurrjens), and others are saying, this renews hope the Rox will go after guys like Martin Prado, Michael Cuddyer.

  • Bill K | December 7, 2011 | 9:50 am

    I simply don’t get this. I mean, I get that they are freeing up money, but are there NO teams that would offer an actual usable player for an established closer at $8 mil? And the part where the Padres don’t even take on ALL of Street’s salary seems insane to me.

    I guess we’ll see where this all goes, but so far they’ve dropped a bunch of salaries for basically nothing, and added $2.7 in salary in the form of a fly-ball pitcher who the Twins’ media folks are thrilled to see go.

    Not exactly the exciting deals I was hoping to see. I guess I’ll hold out hope that something is in the works, but I’ve been around enough years to know that it probably won’t be much. I mean, even if they added Cuddyer, is he really that big an upgrade over Seth Smith?

    Sigh.

  • rox4brains | December 7, 2011 | 9:56 am

    Bill K said “And the part where the Padres don’t even take on ALL of Street’s salary seems insane to me.”

    Reports saying Pads pick up $7.5 million and throw in prospect for $500,000 sort of evens out?

  • John Anderson | December 7, 2011 | 9:58 am

    There is no good reason why the Rox ought not to get trade value for Street in addition to the other team taking his salary. Just look at the market for closers, and Street is a closer.

    Given that O’Dowd said only yesterday the Rox did not need to trade Street, either: 1. The Rox are going to acquire new FA’s with that $8M dumped; or 2. O’Dowd is a liar. Either way, unless the Rox are talking top end prospects in exchange for Street, this is not likely a good move for the Rox or their fans.

  • Jaredean | December 7, 2011 | 9:59 am

    It feels like this is just the beginning of things. When you want to buy something new and you don’t have the money you first sell your old stuff to get that spending cash. We basically sold street for close to 8 million (we got a minor league guy as well I guess), and I feel he wasn’t worth that to us. He will be to the padres, but I like the move. Now that he is gone we have salary to go buy and it feels like we will do just that. I’m hoping they get the right people for our park though, so I’m excited to see what will happen. I REALLY don’t want to see Seth go, but will also be upset if he isn’t played everyday as well. He deserves to be everyday.

  • Julian | December 7, 2011 | 10:00 am

    I hope that the minor leaguer is really good. One the one hand, I’m surprised that we couldn’t get a major leaguer back in return that would help plug one of our holes. But on the other hand maybe that speaks to baseball’s perception that Street is a pretty good, but not great, closer and overpaid. I’ll never forget how badly he did in the playoffs in 2009. I assume that everyone else in baseball remembers that as well.

    To Prog’s point, I think that all a mid-market team like the Rockies can do is hope that they can put together a playoff team once every few years. 2012 may be tough. I’m looking forward to 2013 and 2014 when the prospects show up on the major league roster.

  • Mike Raysfan | December 7, 2011 | 10:29 am

    I guess many on here must have missed Tracy Ringolsby live at the meeting yesterday. He clearly stated the Rockies agenda #1 was to move Street.

    At the time, Mr. Ringsolby mentioned Street straight up for Jeremy Guthrie. I guess that didn’t work out.

    This is the first I’ve heard Brad Lidge mentioned.

    As Pooter points out it has been alleged since Sun. that the Rockies are not in the running for Jurrjens.

    Michael Cuddyer? This would not surprise me. He seems to be the perfect fit with this new Rockies template for a player. He can play 3rd and the outfield corners. Last I heard the money required might be a little high. It was alleged that the Twins made a 3yr $25m offer to Cuddyer.

    A GM “lie” at the winter meetings? Seriously? Never happens :>) Anybody see Nolan Ryan when asked about the breaking news regarding the Ramgers offer to CJ Wilson??? LOL

  • progmatinee | December 7, 2011 | 10:33 am

    I’m sorry, I just can’t see the light at the end of this jaredean and rockymountainhigh.

    Seems like a whole lot of dumping players for the sake of lining their pockets. A big admission that 2009 was a fluke and that 2010 and 2011 are the real Rockies. 2 great players (Cargo and Tulo) and 2 decent players (Helton and Fowler) and the rest are interchangable so they prefer they have the least amount of payroll doing it.

    Going no where fast when the attitude is you’d rather have a marginal prospect than a $8m closer who actually is FAIRLY compensated compared to the league.

    The Rockies don’t want fairly compensated players on their roster. They want clearance priced players or guys like Tulo and Cargo who gave them a discount in exchange for premature long term contracts.

  • rox4brains | December 7, 2011 | 10:42 am

    Raysfan, yeah, multiple sources said moving Street was a priority as documented here and elsewhere, but he fact they actually did something about it is a little surprising! hehe

    Renck reports other Rockies player wish Street well and hope this means Rox will go after veteran player.

  • jaredean | December 7, 2011 | 10:49 am

    you could be right Prog, but i really hope you are wrong…i think the next few days will show which way they are leaning…pooter, i’m not sure what you are saying about them not interested in Jurrjens or Lidge…they are showing interest in both in the MLBTR site within the last hour…

  • Mike Raysfan | December 7, 2011 | 10:56 am

    I guess I should have been online this morning instead of waiting until 1:00 p.m. for tv coverage. The Rockies rumors are all over the place.

    So it is now alledged the Rockies have contacted the Braves regarding Jurrjens. Interesting especially considering MLBTV had him going to the Reds as a pretty much done deal.

    I see the Brad Lidge story is more “media specualtion” than anything at this point. Probably spawned by Ken Rosenthal/Troy Renck tweets.

    The Hiroki Kuroda rumor is still alive and well.

    Polanco??? Ken Rosenthal says the Rockies no longer have any interest!!! Why? “because they don’t feel he can play second base” No kidding? I mentioned that a couple of days ago in response to Pooter. He hasn’t played 2nd since his last stint with the Tigers. in 2009.

    Seth Smith? mixed signals depending on who you believe. If you BELIEVE Mr. O’Dowd then its questionable if the Rockies trade him. If you believe the media then it’s just a matter of time.

  • Pooter | December 7, 2011 | 11:42 am

    LOL! I’m not sure why I inserted a “not” in my last post. I meant to say they are making a run at them. My bad!

  • Wayne | December 7, 2011 | 11:50 am

    With the team getting once highly drafted players in other trades, they may be after Anthony Rizzo from the Padres who was once a highly drafted and regarded player in the Red Sox org and came to the Padres in the Gonzales trade. Don’t know, just speculating.

    Other than that I hope this doesn’t bite them. I have never been a fan of trading within ones own division.

    On the whole, I don’t like this. I, like others, would have thought he was worth an established major league player. What happened to Street for Volquez or Guthrie? Would like to know why those fell apart.

    They need a bat, and a big one. What is happening with Prado, surely one of Fowler/Wheeler/Blackmon should be expendable.

  • Steve C | December 7, 2011 | 12:23 pm

    Lots – and I mean LOTS – of rumors floating at the moment, including one that says Street is gone, but not necessarily to Padres. So we’ll see.

    Two names being kicked around that I love – Edinson Volquez and Martin Prado.

    A starting rotation of Chacin/Volquz/Pomeranz/Hammel/Slowey would not be bad……and blending De La Rosa in later in the year at the expense of Hammel or Slowey might make it significantly better than average. Also – for the record, I’m OK with Lidge as a setup man (which I think is the way the Rox would use him), but not as a closer. Again – the back end of a pen consisting of Belisle, Lidge, Brothers, and Speedy Betancourt is good – better than average. This scenario also allows Esmil Rogers to be a reliever, which is where he can thrive.

    When Prado plays 2nd base – he’s good. His offensive production seems to be better also. He’s probably just more comfortable at that position.

  • rockymountainhigh | December 7, 2011 | 12:29 pm

    To the doubters, the Street deal was the first domino that the Rox need to fall to start the ripple effect for further roster makeover. I’ve been following Troy Renck on Twitter and he says the Rox are still actively pursuing Edinson Volquez. Says easier to get pitchers in trades than via free agency.

    MLBN tv had a segment last night that talked about players that are still out there, but not talked about. There’s Kelly Johnson out there. If not Prado, maybe Kelly Johnson? Only negative is that it’s yet another lefty bat.

    I hear rumblings it’s possible Rox will be willing to move EY to Seattle and bring Chone Figgins over here.

    Unless the Rox think Jordan Pacheco is a future first baseman, why don’t they check out trading for Yonder Alonso who’s blocked by Joey Votto at 1B. When Helton hangs up his cleats, it will be a bigger sinkhole at 1B and I don’t see much in the pipeline. Is the Padres minor leaguer the Rox will get a firstbaseman? Just wondering.

  • Wayne | December 7, 2011 | 12:38 pm

    RMH, read my post about 2 above yours, I speculated just what you said about Pads 1B.

  • rockymountainhigh | December 7, 2011 | 12:48 pm

    Yes, Wayne I saw that. I was hoping it would be Anthony Rizzo but doubtful. I looked at Padres’ 40-man roster and their other first baseman is Jesus Guzman. The trade says “for a minor leaguer”. I’m not sure if these two are considered minor leaguers. Anyone know who they have down lower that plays first base? If we are getting a minor leaguer that’s not a pitcher, it better be a first baseman.

  • progmatinee | December 7, 2011 | 12:53 pm

    RMH, I cross my fingers.

    To me, nothing really good comes from doing the dumping BEFORE the acquiring.

    1)Your departing players like Wigginton and Street leave when the supply is biggest – minimizing your return.

    2)Your new acquisitions occur later when the supply is smaller – increasing your payment.

    The salary savings already occured by buying out Cook. The Rockies should have leveraged those savings, brought in the better players first, then once the roster is full move the players you want to move to the teams that are more desperately in need of the player you have.

    Instead, the Rockies always appear as the desperate team and tender bad contracts to the marginal players rather than tendering good contracts to the cream of the crop.

  • Wayne | December 7, 2011 | 12:53 pm

    I agree RMH. Since Rizo spent 95% of season in AAA I was hoping he would still be considered a minor leaguer. Don’t know of anyone else in their system that stands out.

  • rockymountainhigh | December 7, 2011 | 12:54 pm

    Troy Renck tweeted three minutes ago; trade now official. Says we are getting a minor league pitcher. Rox still trying to restock pitchers caused by whiffs on pitching draftees. I still think we need to keep looking for a first baseman.

  • Wayne | December 7, 2011 | 12:58 pm

    I hope it is someone who is close to stepping in sometime this season.

  • rockymountainhigh | December 7, 2011 | 1:03 pm

    Prog, that is an excellent way to go about mapping out the winter plans. Only if DOD can read Winter Planning 101.

  • Alex Colfax | December 7, 2011 | 1:15 pm

    Pretty doubtful the pitcher they get from Padres will be anywhere close to MLBB-ready. More likely someone very similar to what they gave up for Slowey yesterday. Both are probably players subject to today’s Rule 5 draft.

    It does seem like Street would have been worth than a salary dump; and even if not, he could have been moved out of the division.

    Will O’Dowd ever be held accountable? He’s been here since 1999 with only minimal success. The few GMs who log 12 years on the job usually achieve a lot more.

  • Curt in Florida | December 7, 2011 | 2:09 pm

    I wouldn’t expect a top minor leaguer for Street mostly because the more the Pads assumed in salary the worse the player who comes back. They took $7 million. Do the math.

  • Mike Raysfan | December 7, 2011 | 2:41 pm

    Exactly Curt. From San Diego SignOn Sports:

    “Earlier the Padres had talked to the Rockies about swapping second baseman Orlando Hudson for Street. Although the Rockies are interested in acquiring a second baseman, they balked at re-acquiring Hudson.

    The Padres are not expected to lose a top-echelon prospect to the Rockies in the Street trade.”

  • Miketober | December 7, 2011 | 3:01 pm

    Interesting discussion fellas. Street is a pretty efficient closer and will do even better at Petco. It was always a nail biter when he came in, and I still haven’t forgiven him for the 2009 NLDS or the walk-off HR’s he gave up in Arizona and Florida (2010?). But that’s the life of a closer. Nobody is perfect, even Mo Rivera.

    I will be very disappointed if the management doesn’t turn this money around on a big bat. If the Rox trade Smith for a light hitting infielder and then run Stewart and EYJ out there every day, next year is going to be a depressing season.

  • rockymountainhigh | December 7, 2011 | 3:39 pm

    Turn up the voltage on acquiring Volquez.

  • Robb | December 7, 2011 | 3:41 pm

    I think DOD is working it as best he can, but hopefully he doesn’t pucker up too much and refuse to trade a prospect he rates too high. With the money off the books this year from Cook, Street, and Ianetta, plus some tradeable assets like Seth Smith, EY2, Blackmon, minor league pitching, it would seem like he can do something pretty aggressive. If he doesn’t then the Monforts are telling him to cut payroll so they can have more money for their pockets.

  • Mike Raysfan | December 7, 2011 | 4:03 pm

    Well now I know why I watched on TV and didn’t follow the news online. The Rockies trade rumors are now all over the place.

    1)Troy Renck is still talking Prado. The national guys are saying the Rockies no longer have interest.

    2)Woody Paige wrote a great article on the Rockies having 6 or more pitcher now competing for the #5 spot in the rotation!!!

    3) Woody Paige accurately sums up money saved vs money spent $27.4 vs $6.4m

    Something has to give. Now it looks like Michael Cuddey is staying put. Who will the proven veteran be that can help the team???

  • GARY | December 7, 2011 | 4:24 pm

    Prog,GREAT lesson in Econ.101!Supply and demand=price of comodity.I also think trading a decent player within the division is a no-no,bound to bite us in the butt!Since Pads were in need of a closer to replace Bell,we should have had the strong hand to play.Instead,it looks like we folded.

  • steve c | December 7, 2011 | 6:43 pm

    Wow – 27.4M-6.4M = 21M. That’s in the Prince Fielder ballpark! Just sayin’.

  • rockymountainhigh | December 7, 2011 | 7:15 pm

    If can’t get a top tier pitcher, keep talking with Reds to get Yonder Alonso.

  • the postman | December 7, 2011 | 7:21 pm

    Hey gang besides dumping salaries, don’t you wonder why this club is settling for minor league players in trades? ps: Mr Betancourt hates closing.

  • rockymountainhigh | December 7, 2011 | 7:39 pm

    We have alternatives for closing: Brothers, Lindstrom, and Belisle.

  • Agbayani | December 7, 2011 | 10:46 pm

    Thoughts:

    1. The gopher ball was Street’s big issue in 2011. Petco is just what the doctor ordered. Expect a significant comeback year based on that alone.

    2. Well, dumping Street and then trying to acquire Lidge certainly fits the pattern. What pattern? The pattern of dumping the younger guy who projects to be considerably better next year in favor of the older guy who projects to be considerably worse. Exhibit 1: Iannetta for Hernandez.

    Lidge 35 years old
    Street 28

    Lidge, fielding independent pitching ERA over the past 4 years:
    2.82 (only 19 innings), 3.87, 5.45, 2.41

    Street: 3.88, 3.37, 2.93, 3.47

    Oh, and Lidge’s average fastball last year was 89. In his glory days it was 96. Umm, not really seeing the upgrade there …

    … and like the Hernandez thing, I doubt it saves much money either.

    So I have no problem dumping Street and his salary. After all, a big salary for a somewhat better than average reliever is a luxury that a — and I cringe to say it — marginal team like the Rockies can ill afford.

    So dump salary and acquire young power arms to your heart’s desire, but please don’t stick us with the Ramon Hernandezes and Brad Lidges. A club that really should be getting younger has now spent the offseason re-signing the oldest player in baseball (Giambi, assuming Omar Vizquel and Jamie Moyer are really retired), swapping a 28 year old catcher for a 35 year old catcher, and now trying to swap a 28 year old former closer for a 35 year old former closer.

    At least we won’t be lacking for veteran leadership.

  • Pooter | December 8, 2011 | 8:01 am

    How do the Rockies go from a dealing Street for Volquez to dealing Street to a division rival for PTBNL? I am getting tired of hearing about deals that were close but at the last second fell through. I am really starting to wonder about O’Dowds closing ability with good prospects.

  • egossage | December 8, 2011 | 8:32 am

    Whoa! Pujols to the Angels!!!

  • Julian | December 8, 2011 | 8:32 am

    Agbayani, I don’t see Lidge as Street’s replacement, but as a reasonably priced 7th inning guy at this point. If he can be helpful at a reasonable price, then that’s OK, although I’m not sure that the team actually needs Lidge for the bullpen.

    I understand your frustration regarding the trading of Chris, but we’ll have to see if Chatwood turns into a good major league pitcher. If he does, and if within a year, Rosario is the starter, then I think that trade works out OK.

    Now, we have to see if DOD can find any good players to spend the team’s money on.

  • egossage | December 8, 2011 | 8:50 am

    Julian, that’s just too many “ifs” for me and it seems to be this way every season.

  • Mike Raysfan | December 8, 2011 | 8:53 am

    NO KIDDING EGO!!! I was shocked. $25m a year!!! For 10 years … NICE. I need a job like that.

  • rockymountainhigh | December 8, 2011 | 9:14 am

    For the DOD doubters, there was a headline in today’s sports section of the Denver Post, “Rockies’ Dealin’ Dan is back.” Patience and more patience my fellow ITRs.

  • progmatinee | December 8, 2011 | 9:21 am

    RMH, have not read the article but cynic in thinks the “Dealin” part means he’s dealing all the cards to the other GMs who actually anted up.

  • Rocky | December 8, 2011 | 9:24 am

    Sorry, but I don’t get all this sympathy for Street. I am thrilled he is gone, he hasn’t been worth a sack of batting practice balls since he blew those back to back saves against the Fillies in ’09.

    With that said, hope he won’t have a bounce back year in pitcher friendly Petco.

  • Mike Raysfan | December 8, 2011 | 9:25 am

    Did it say Dealin Dan or Dealin Doug? He will pay off your trade :>)

  • Mike Raysfan | December 8, 2011 | 9:30 am

    It’s probably the Figgins rumor. Figgins to the Rockies for Smith with the Mariners picking up some portion of Figgins salary. At least that’s what some of the national talking heads are speculating.

  • rockymountainhigh | December 8, 2011 | 9:30 am

    CDI’s smile is getting better by the hour! He gets to play for John Sciocia while catching the best rotation in baseball (Angels also signed CJ Wilson). Plus he gets to play with Pujols. If I was in CDI’s shoes, I’m like a little boy at X-mas time squealing with excitement.

  • Anonymous | December 8, 2011 | 12:58 pm

    Just think, we still have Ian Stewart