According to the Colorado Rockies twitter account, the Rockies have traded outfielder Dexter Fowler to the Houston Astros for RHP Jordan Lyles and outfielder Brandon Barnes. The Rockies will also add a player to be named later in the deal.
There have been rumblings ever since the end of the season about the Rockies willing to trade Dexter Fowler, and Tuesday afternoon they finally made their move. Jordan Lyles is just 23 years of age and will fit in nicely with the Colorado Rockies as a 3-4 starting pitcher. Last season with the Houston Astros, went 7-9 with a 5.59 ERA in 25 starts. His stat line would read, 141.2 innings pitched, 165 hits, 49 walks, 88 earned runs and 93 strikeouts. The ERA may be a bit of concern with Rockies fans, but the fact that he played in a hitter-heavy division in the AL West, maybe be the reason for it.
The 23-year-old Lyles has struggled in parts of three big league seasons, pitching to a 5.35 ERA (74 ERA+) with a 2.21 K/BB in 377 total innings. He went 7-9 with a 5.59 ERA (72 ERA+) in 141 2/3 innings spread across 25 starts and two relief appearances in 2013. The Rockies are clearly banking on him taking a step forward as he approaches what should his prime years.
Brandon Barnes on the other hand may serve as a fourth outfielder, depending if the Rockies sign a first basemen. The 27-year-old outfielder played in his second season in the MLB last season, both with Houston. Last season, he would hit .240, with 17 doubles, 8 home runs, with 41 runs batted in. The average is pretty low and the strikeouts are a bit of concern. He would end up striking out 127 times in 408 at-bats.
The Dexter Fowler trade rumors are finally over, as he will say goodbye to the team that drafted him in the 2004 MLB June Amateur Draft in the 14th round. Dex made his debut with the big club at 22-years-old, spending six-seasons with the Colorado Rockies. He is a .270 career hitter, with 120 doubles, 53 triples, 40 home runs, 210 runs batted in, and 83 stolen bases. It will be weird not seeing him in center field for the Rockies to start the 2014 regular season. The Rockies were expected to owe $7.25 million to Dex next season, now taking them off of the hook. Here’s the stat line provided from CBSSports.com:
Fowler, 27, hit .263/.369/.407 (102 OPS+) with 12 home runs and 19 stolen bases in 119 games this past season while missing time with knee and wrist problems. He is a career .270/.365/.423 (101 OPS+) hitter, but that is broken down into .298/.395/.485 (123 OPS+) at Coors Field and .241/.333/.361 (77 OPS+) on the road. Fowler is usually good for double-digit stolen bases but the various metrics do not like his defense in center field.
As of now, it looks like Carlos Gonzalez will slide over to center field, where it would make the most sense. Charlie Blackmon’s strong finish to the regular season will likely land him a starting spot in right-field, whereas Michael Cuddyer will likely assume the first base role. Corey Dickerson looks like he might get a look at starting in left field, pending anymore trades or signings. The Rockies however, currently have their eyes on first basemen Justin Morneau and James Loney. If they land one of those players, Michael Cuddyer will be back as the every day right fielder.
As far as the trade goes, it could be a win-win for both teams. The Colorado Rockies get a serviceable 3-4 starting pitcher who can eat up innings, and the Houston Astros will receive a center fielder who can cover ground and get on base.