Update, 7/2/13 6:21 P.M.: Feldman has been acquired in a trade by the Baltimore Orioles.
In recent years we have heard about how the Colorado Rockies have a frustratingly thin farm system. While there has been a measure of success in terms of position players, good pitching prospects have been few, far between, and largely disappointing. That was one of the reasons cited for the decision to trade Ubaldo Jimenez, among other philosophical pursuits, in the past few seasons.
It is hard to imagine the Rockies taking on a “rental” player, starting pitcher or otherwise, in that context. They are already in the midst of trying out Roy Oswalt on a cheap veteran contract and the young Drew Pomeranz for upgrades in the rotation. If that does not work, then and only then will they reluctantly consider a trade. For example:
Rox have interest in Scott Feldman. Several teams do…have had luck trading w Cubs..
— Troy Renck (@TroyRenck) July 1, 2013
Is it worth it for the Rockies to look at a starting pitcher like Scott Feldman? In terms of his method of operation, the 2013 version of Feldman is the platonic ideal of a Coors Field pitcher, inducing ground balls at a 50.7% clip. That goes along with a solid 3.46 ERA. In that sense he would seem the perfect fit.
Feldman is playing on a cheap one year, $6 million deal. That is the rub, as they say. He will surely hit the free agent market at season’s end. In any scenario he surely will not take a serious look at the Rockies because no free agent pitcher ever does. Unless the Rockies added Feldman at this year’s deadline and he led them to World Series glory, it is likely that Feldman would be nothing more than a rental for a fringe playoff team.
Are the Rockies, at 41-42 but legitimately alive in the playoff race, in a position to pursue that type of trade? One that would require relinquishing top prospects? Not yet, but if they catch serious fire against their NL West foes in the coming weeks this might become a different conversation.