Rockies fans went into the offseason knowing we were likely to lose our sometime-beloved closer Huston Street. And so we have, as he’ll be wearing a Padres uniform in 2012. San Diego lost their closer Heath Bell to free agency several weeks ago, so they were in the market for one. Street was as good an option as any for them, with stats similar to Bell’s and a nearly identical contract.
Speaking of that contract, it’s nearly $8 million, and it’s no longer on the Rockies’ books. That’s the real upside of this trade. The Rockies don’t need Street next year because they believe, as do I, that Rafael Betancourt is a fully capable closer. And he’s cheaper. Keeping Street would have been a strain on payroll for no discernible competitive reason. Now we have that salary to work with in our continued search for a veteran starting pitcher and possibly a quality bat. My only regret in this trade is that I preferred the one that would have sent Street to the Reds for Edinson Volquez. Now, to get Volquez, we’d have to give up somebody like Seth Smith, to whom I’m clinging desperately.
The player to be named later in the Street trade has yet to be named, but it’s expected to be a prospect. As long as he’s not a 20-year-old starting pitcher, or Orlando Hudson, I’m sure we can find a place for him.