Last night might be cause for pause among Rockies fans. Sure, we continue to hear that a trade involving Troy Tulowitzki or Carlos Gonzalez is unlikely. But was there anything less likely than the Detroit Tigers trading Prince Fielder to the Texas Rangers for Ian Kinsler? The Rockies are not in the business of making bold moves, but that news was still a reminder that things can change very quickly.
Here’s what else is happening with the Rockies and around the rest of the league:
But a trade like this, so clearly based on (1) the Tigers wanting to get out from under a big contract; and (2) the Rangers wanting to add some pop at first base, speaks just as much to these teams’ past mistakes as it does to their current needs and goals.
“The Tigers signed Fielder to a nine-year, $214 million deal. His trade clearly indicates that they don’t think he’s worth that now, even if they thought so two years ago. That kind of regret over big contracts is pretty widespread these days. The Angels are likely wishing they hadn’t given big, long deals to Albert Pujols and Josh Hamilton. The Yankees clearly regret the Alex Rodriguez deal. Joe Mauer‘s deal runs through 2018 and, given that he’s no longer a catcher, it can’t make the Twins brass feel great. Mark Teixeira‘s deal is a drag. Matt Kemp might crumble into dust before he’s halfway into his $160 million contract. The list goes on and on.”
My point is that even when you think you’ve got a great group of relievers, the level of production you can expect from said relievers in a given year is much more volatile than any other positional group. That’s a bit of a problem for the Rockies, who had their relievers throw the second most innings of any team in the majors last year - following a season in which they threw by far the most innings.
“I don’t believe that the Rockies will lean quite that heavily on their bullpen this year, especially if they add another dependable starter to the mix, but there’s a reason why Bill Geivett doesn’t think the Rockies are done adding to their bullpen. On a team and in a ballpark where the bullpen is going to be throwing a lot of high-leverage innings, the Rockies want to reduce the volatility they can reasonably expect from their relievers. That’s why getting a proven commodity like Hawkins in the mix makes a lot of sense…and why I wouldn’t be surprised to see Colorado add another veteran reliever to the pen.”
The Rockies added seven players to their 40-man roster Wednesday with an eye on next month’s Rule 5 Draft.
“With the moves, the Rockies roster sits at 39, with the one opening to be filled when the club officially signs free-agent reliever LaTroy Hawkins.”