The Colorado Rockies may have made a great acquisition in acquiring Robert Stephenson.
Stephenson, 28, was drafted by the Cincinnati Reds in the first round of the 2011 draft. In fact, Stephenson was drafted 18 spots ahead of the Rockies compensatory draft pick for losing reliever Octavio Dotel in free agency: a shortstop by the name of Trevor Story.
The Reds hoped that Stephenson would become an ace-like starting pitching for them but, due to ineffectiveness and injury, his career didn’t pan out as a starting pitcher and, then, the Reds gave up on Stephenson as a reliever.
His most effective season for the Reds was in 2019, in his first season as a full-time reliever. He appeared in 57 games and had an ERA of 3.76. He struck out more than 11 batters per nine innings and walked about three batters per nine innings.
But he was injured and ineffective in 2020 for the Reds as, in only 10 games, he had an ERA of 9.90.
The Reds and Rockies decided to make a four-player trade that would see the swap of one prospect and one struggling MLB pitcher: Stephenson and minor league outfielder Jameson Hannah to the Rockies for Jeff Hoffman and minor league pitcher Case Williams.
The Rockies reacquired Williams from the Reds in the Mychal Givens trade so the Colorado native is also back in the Rockies farm system.
Hannah and Williams could prove themselves to be good major leaguers but the Rockies have had an excellent season from Stephenson in the bullpen and they still have two more seasons before he hits free agency.