You may or may not have heard the news that broke today regarding a HUGE move by the Colorado Rockies. Okay, it was not huge. It was tiny. It was, perhaps, so insignificant that the announcement of it actually created negative space in the world, rather than any sort of impact. However, in an offseason as quiet as this one, it’s worth noting that the front office made a move.
This move involved a young player for the Tampa Bay Rays, Reid Brignac. Brignac is beloved enough in Florida that many fans on Twitter expressed disappointment when he was designated for assignment recently. Although, if you spend any time on Twitter, you know that it’s full of opinions, and not always very good ones. As for how Brignac performed with the Rays, perhaps inconsistently is the best way to put it. This past season, he appeared in only 16 major league games, and his average was a dismal .095. Small sample size is what we’d say about a guy who hit .530 over that same number of games, and it’s true of Brignac as well. But if the Rays had seen some remaining sliver of potential, they’d have given him more chances than that.
Over at Rays Colored Glasses, the opinion is that Tampa must have been thrilled to get anything at all for Brignac. I seem to remember a similar sentiment coming out of the Kansas City Royals’ fanbase when they traded Jonathan Sanchez for Jeremy Guthrie. We all know what happened next. Sanchez tanked, Guthrie remembered how to pitch a baseball, Sanchez now has a minor-league deal with the Pirates, Guthrie has a three-year contract with KC. So whomever the Rockies wind up passing along to the Rays (right now it’s a PTBNL), we can all expect great success out of him.
What does Brignac bring to the table? He’s never hit better than .278 in a season. He’s not a power hitter. He’s not a base stealer. The best answer to that question is, he plays defense. At shortstop. The one position where we are supposed to be shored up and set to go for many years. Failing that, what about Josh Rutledge? He was more than adequate as a solution to Troy Tulowitzki‘s disabled list time last season. He’s certainly a better hitter than Brignac.
It’s hard to say what the Rockies are going for here. Either they plan on Tulo being injured a lot, which is a pretty serious problem, and they want to have a back-up to their back-up, or they really think Brignac is going to hit his stride at the plate and give the lineup some more juice. Not good reasons to pick him up in either case. On the other hand, the silence has been deafening this offseason, and it’s always nice to have a news story to read.