Noel Cuevas Is PTBNL In The Nicasio Trade

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The Rockies’ trade with the Dodgers is now complete, as they receive Noel Cuevas in exchange for Juan Nicasio.

Most teams have been more active this offseason than the Rockies, but that’s no great surprise. I myself am wavering between the camp that says, “Do something real, Bridich!” and the one that says, “Patience is a virtue, and this guy needs time to make a game plan.” At this point, most of the good free agents have found a home. There are still teams willing to make trades, though, and if Jeff Bridich is to bolster the 2015 Rockies but at all, that is where he’ll have to look.

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He’s already done so a few times, recently sending pitcher Juan Nicasio to the Los Angeles Dodgers. The Dodgers hardly need Nicasio; after signing Brett Anderson to a one-year contract, their rotation is Clayton Kershaw, Zack Greinke, Hyun-Jin Ryu, Brandon McCarthy, and Anderson. This makes me afraid. Of course, I hope Anderson breaks like he did last year, but even if he does, the Dodgers have the depth and the resources for that not to be as big a loss as it was for the Rockies. In any case, Nicasio is likely to find a home in the bullpen, as he did in the second half of 2014. It’s a solid if unspectacular pen, and Nicasio won’t be expected to carry nearly the weight he did in Denver.

But I digress, because the purpose of this article is really to introduce you to Noel Cuevas, who has been named as the player the Dodgers will send to the Rockies in exchange for Nicasio. Truthfully, I wish the Rockies had given Nicasio one more chance, instead of unloading him for an unproven minor leaguer. But I’m trying to keep from judging any of Bridich’s moves too quickly. Rather, I think we need to wait and see how some things play out before we’ll know just what kind of GM we’re dealing with here.

Cuevas was drafted by the Dodgers in 2010 in the 21st round. He has never played higher than AA, where he spent last season. He hit .231 and slugged .351–yuck. He profiles as a power hitter, but has yet to show that he can harness that power and channel it into offensive productivity. He’s also not great in the field, though he makes the occasional brilliant catch.

My feeling right now is that Cuevas will disappear into the Rockies’ farm system, with maybe an occasional call-up to provide injury depth. I don’t think that was worth sacrificing Nicasio. The bullpen is bad, and the only thing that’s been done about that so far is getting Jairo Diaz from the Angels.

Matt Belisle is gone, Rex Brothers is inexplicable, and LaTroy Hawkins is going to break some kind of record for oldest closer ever in his farewell season. While I am trying to give Bridich a chance to show us what he’s up to, that is one area where I want to see some movement, and fast. Trading Nicasio away, signing Daniel Descalso, those things are all well and good, but if we don’t create some bullpen depth soon, it will be hard to believe in the 2015 version of this team.

I’ll admit it, I’m starting to be a little bit jealous of the Padres.

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