Monday, July 1, 2013

Making a trade is easier said than done for the Colorado Rockies

The Colorado Rockies deserve their fair share of criticism
It's time for a little rant.

When I started this blog, it was because I felt that I had different viewpoints on the Colorado Rockies than many of the people who were commenting on Denver Post articles, or in other forums on the internet. It was my way to express my viewpoints, and in-turn, give others like myself an avenue to see some different Rockies perspectives.

Over the course of time, as the Rockies have gone from good, to mediocre, to bad, to really bad and have started the road to recovery. I have read plenty of blogs. Many are very good. Purple Row, the biggest Rockies blog, is a phenomenal blog full of more information than most people have time to digest. Other blogs are full of bias and can't see their team objectively. My goal was to provide a viewpoint different than a fan, who falls in love with every player and dismisses their faults, and provide an honest look at the Rockies from someone who follows every move.

Writing a blog quickly makes the author realize that there is a wealth of evidence against him. It serves as a the greatest source of accountability that is possible. Wavering, perhaps the way a fan would, is something that quickly gets spotted and called out. It forces the writer to take an objective viewpoint.

That means that, regardless of loyalties, opinions or other feelings about players, front office members, or owners, I strive to view each move independently. I force myself to see through my feelings and write from a logical perspective.

During 2012, the Rockies deserved all the criticism that they received. The organization reeked of mediocrity. The front office was in disarray. They instituted a pitching theory that couldn't have been more ridiculous. When they were questioned about it, they got very sensitive. As bad as the team was, there was no accountability taken, from the owners to the coaches to the players, no one mentioned a lack of hustle, lack of heart or lack of talent on the field, everyone made excuses. They made excuses about injuries, the altitude, and anything else they could use as an out for being a terrible team.

Fans had every right to criticize the team that they rooted for and paid good money to watch.

However, at some point, a fan has to decide if they are going to continue being upset, or if they are going to allow the process to take place and see if their team's front office can figure it out.

That is where I feel the current fan base sits right now.

Fans don't trust Dan O'Dowd and Dick Monfort. They shouldn't. Those two have done nothing to earn the trust of their fans, and skepticism is acceptable until the Rockies prove they are respectable. As the trade deadline approaches though, Rockies fans, and even some in the media, are screaming for the Rockies to make a move and go out and get an "ace" to shore up the pitching.

That theory is generally met with cynicism and a snarky comment about how cheap the Rockies owners are and how they don't care about winning.

Here is the reality. Aces don't grow on trees. There isn't a team in the league that doesn't want to improve their starting pitching. No one is going to trade you their ace, unless they are so far out of the race that they don't believe they have a chance to go to the postseason not only this season, but next season as well.

The Rays aren't going to trade David Price to the Rockies. The Yankees aren't going to put CC Sabathia in purple pinstripes any time soon.

Why won't those moves happen? The answer is simple. The Rockies would have to trade not only prospects, but major contributors at the Major League level to those teams to even attempt to convince them to think about dealing one of those guys. In all reality, those teams probably wouldn't even consider that.

Fans have started to clamor for the Rockies to trade Michael Cuddyer for a couple of starting pitchers. Well, this isn't fantasy baseball. As hot as Cuddyer has been, he is still a 34-year-old outfielder with about $15 million remaining on his contract through 2014. Cuddyer isn't going to net an ace, let alone a No.3 starter.

A good example of what teams are willing to give up for an "ace" is what the Indians traded for Ubaldo Jimenez in the 2011 season. Even though they haven't panned out, Cleveland gave up their two previous first round draft picks, two guys who had absolutely dominated the minor league levels and had every scout in baseball talking about the pitching future of the Cleveland Indians. These guys weren't good prospects, they were two of the best prospects the Indians had seen in 10 years. By the way, it took two additional players to get Jimenez to Cleveland.

With all due respect to Jimenez, calling him an ace after his struggles in the first half of 2011 and then following the trade would be a huge stretch.

That trade underscores the difficulty of a team wanting to acquire an ace.

Trading Cuddyer has been a topic oft-discussed by Rockies fans. If the Rockies were to deal their Charlie Hustle veteran, it would be a bad sign for the club. Any trade of Cuddyer will only come if the Rockies don't view themselves as contenders and want to sell some pieces for prospects. Cuddyer won't bring back a Major Leaguer, the Rockies would likely get a good, not great, prospect, and an additional fringe prospect for him. Neither guy would be ready for big league action in 2014.

When clamoring for a trade, no one seems to suggest names. No one suggests a pitcher who might be on the market. People just want the Rockies to make a trade to bring someone in. The heart of the matter is respectable. These fans want their team to win and win now. However, realism has to be a part of that.

The names being talked about on the trade market are Ricky Nolasco and Matt Garza. Both pitchers are very good. Calling them aces might be a big stretch. Garza is a career 60-62 pitcher with a 3.84 ERA. Good, not great. Nolasco is a career 80-72 pitcher with a 4.45 ERA.

Would either of those guys make the Rockies the favorite to win the NL West, let alone the pennant? Doubtful.

It is fine to want the Rockies to make a move to get better. There isn't a fan who doesn't want their team to get better. But take the next step. Propose a trade. Talk about some prospects that might be ripe to bring back a contributor at the big league level, and talk about who that contributor might be.

At some point, however, getting upset that the Rockies haven't traded a fringe minor league prospect for David Price is just as ignorant as the front office blaming Coors Field for pitchers needing to throw only 75 pitches.

Be a fan, be slightly ridiculous, but be educated. Be ready to bring some names to the table when talking about trades, especially if there is going to be criticism of the guys who haven't made that trade yet.

If I am wrong, please talk some sense into me. Please let me know. I love hearing other opinions, but please be ready for a rebuttal. I can be convinced, and I respect a good argument.

OK. Rant over. Thanks for reading. I do often wonder why anyone chooses to read this blog on a daily basis, but the numbers say that some of you do, and even if we disagree, I appreciate you reading Rockies Review. So thank you.

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  1. David, well written and I think I know where your going with this however facts will never win an emotional based argument. Never has Never will. Keep fighting the good fight. Your fresh take on the Rockies has always been a breathe of fresh air for me. And remember when arguing with an idiot you will lose every time. They beat you down with stupidity and experience and it only takes you down to their level.

    1. are probably right. I am fine with an idea about the Rockies. I love to talk baseball...just don't bring a half-cooked argument. Don't throw out a trade suggestion that the other GM would laugh at and hang up the phone.

  2. I appreciate your balanced and logical viewpoint - Rockies Review is definitely daily reading for me!

    1. Thanks, Tim. Appreciate you reading.

  3. I for one hope we forget name of Nolasco, don't see this guy bringing much value to our team, even as a rental player. His numbers are declining each year and is salary is not worth covering, nor is giving up prospects. If anything, get bullpen help, wait for Betancourt to come back and place him the pen, keep Brothers closing and get Belisle some much needed rest.

    1. I think Nolasco could help, but he isn't a guy who is going to make the Rockies suddenly the team to beat. In my mind, if the Rockies are going to make a splash at the deadline, they need to make a splash that is a game changer. A guy like Nolasco isn't worth selling the farm for. How many wins will he bring a team in two months? An extra three wins? That might put them in the playoffs, but that is absolutely best case scenario.

    2. I totally agree with Anonymous..Nolasco hasn't shown he is any better than the pitcher we have.

  4. David...I'm with you 100% on what you are saying about trading out the farm for a rental. I would rather see the Rockies build up the long relief role for when Oswalt and Pomeranz pitch and they generally come alot cheaper. Heck, I would like to see them bring back Roeneke from the Twins.
    Also, has anyone brought up Ottovino as a potential starter if either Oswalt or Pomeranz crash and burn? He was a 1st round pick of the Cards as a starter and he looks like he finally has his control problems under control.

    1. Mike-
      Ideas like that are exactly what I like to see. They are all conceivable, and could help the team. Ottavino might not be a bad starter option, but I think he has filled that middle relief role so well. This team is definitely missing Josh Roenicke. He was a huge asset last year. Someone like him would help immensely right now.

  5. why is someone an idiot when they happen to disagree with your point of view. why is someone an idiot when perhaps their proffered remarks 'are designed to elicit, or prolong a discussion of an important topic'?
    i can't speak for the hinterland fans, but the Denver metro area is full of highly educated people, many of whom are baseball wise.
    i contend the rockie organization takes the easy way out to make a buck, overselling individual stats, and compromising team success.
    Chacin, De la Rosa, Chatwood, Pomeranz, Oswalt are good enough as well as the relief corps.
    Fix the first base situation for more offense and the rocks may have a shot at the west title. So go know you want me an idiot.

    1. Who called you an idiot? I didn't.

      That suggestion is great. I would love to see the Rockies shore up the 1st base situation. How would you go about shoring it up? Who would you go and get? Who would you trade to get that person?

    2. your first post called most of your readers the post.
      Pacheco and Helton are untradeable. Pacheco goes to triple a, or release. Helton takes on a pinch hit role and occassional play at first. move Cuddyer or Colvin to first for more power, quicker feet. Move Cuddyer, because Colvin is a better defensive outfielder.

    3. My first post? You mean the first comment on this article? That wasn't me who wrote that.

    4. the first comment called some of your readers followed with yeah, don't give me half baked ideas...why don't you ask your readers to stop using terms like idiot.
      this is an open forum, isn't it?
      and by the way, the best solution at first is Tulowitski if he ever returns this year...that leaves Cuddyer and Colvin along with Fowler and Gonzales, a pretty damn good outfield, don't you think.
      So go with the current five starters, dramatically improve first base offense and yippeeskippee, rocks just may win a division title.

    5. More agreeing with his statement that arguing with people isn't worth my time...didn't really agree that they are idiots. His words, not mine...

      Anyway, I can see the Tulo argument at first base. I just don't think it will help...still have to dive, charge on bunts, twist and turn. Unfortunately, I think the best thing that the Rockies can do with Tulo is expect 135 games per year and build depth around him so that he isn't so missed when he's not in the lineup. Tough to do, but possible.

    6. so blog away, Mr. Martin. This exercise can be entertaining, but please don't encourage use of terms like idiot, half-baked ideas, moron. Those terms diminish your forum.

    7. Well I will just go there. I mean hell we are all thinking it anyways. thanks for being such a hypersensitive bastard. No one called you out till now. Your an idiot! you know this because you were defensive before any one called you that. I get it your used to it. However, go back home and ask your mom to pour you a glass of Yoohoo. (Flavor of your choice of course) and rub your temples like the need for approval guy that you are. If you also could tell your mom I said hi and that I miss the days when the short bus picked you up for school and we would spend the day together that would be great. your mom is a great kisser, but you already know that don't you?

    8. OK, OK, OK... clearly I struck a nerve with this article. I appreciate the passion from both sides, frankly.

    9. sophomoric mike............the same guy who spills beer on you at the park.

  6. Rant is good to let off bitch and moan.......and perhaps a really good idea will become evident.

    1. I can't tell if this is a sarcastic comment, or serious...either way...all comments are welcomed.

    2. why would the poster be sarcastic.........hell yes, let it out.
      beats the hell out of ulcers.

  7. the problem isn't who's on first or what's on second, the problem as has been for 20 years is a constant and steady starting 5 pitchers. shoring up the infield or outfield would be and is the easiest of all problems to solve. rockies have played pretty decent ball the first half of the season let's see what they do the second half, and again as usual hopefully they can do something positive. i am 75 years young my mom is still with me and she's 97 so if i make it that far something has to happen and soon.

  8. you can not win the division with a first base tandem of Pacheco/Helton given the five starters available.
    and can we count on Troy's return, or will he conjure up another injury?

  9. your first comment to mike was...........
    mike your probably right. after mike having said don't argue with an idiot. i am not an idiot and i am not arguing.
    However, I am requesting you discourage your readers from using these sophomoric terms.
    A division title for the Rocks would be better this more of this we'll get em next year Cub/Mets horse doodoo.

    1. Give it a rest man. This is his blog he can do as he pleases. If you don't like what other people comment don't read.

    2. here's a good one.......the rock ownership is calling up parker frazier from aaa.......fits the style, don't you think.

      Mr. Martin has said, often, he welcomes reader's comments. If you don't like what other people comment, don't read.......sage advice.

      The point of this seemingly useless exercise is to identify and underline the failings of Rockie owner/management and their relentless pursuit of mediocrity. Rockie franchise owners simply are not doing a quality job for Denver and should sell the franchise to someone who knows how to win.
      Go know you want to say idiot.....give it a rest dude...

  10. Hey David, it is brave in this day and age to put yourself out there. Thanks for doing it. I was trying to think of a trade with the Phillies for either Chase Utley or Michael Young to play 2nd base. My thought was to use Betancourt as the starting point and have Brothers close. I think we need professional hitters at least as much as we need a 4th and/or 5th starter. We might look at a 3 team trade, where we send Betancourt to a contender (Baltimore?), they send a decent prospect to the Phillies and we get Utley or Young.

    And as for the poster who suggests having Tulo play 1st base, I thought about that while I was pulling my horse trailer in my Porsche Cayenne, and under those circumstances, it seemed to make a whole lot of sense.

  11. move tulowitski to 1b to reduce risk of injury.......making his bat available for a full season......certainly worth consideration.
    Troy's problem is he is not a 'team player'.....
    and rockie owners play to uneducated baseball fans, promoting personality over winning division titles.
    Mr Tulowitski is not available for play on a consistent basis.
    of the last 574 rockie games, Tulo has been available for only 373 games.
    that is his failure on a huge scale, and drags the team into the division 3,4, 5, spots consistently.

  12. A month later and you still think oswalt and palmeranse are good? Of course the rox need pitching that has been the case for 20 years now. We can only hope foe that. What we really need is chemistry, magic, stepping up....what ever you want to call it. We can't close games, and I Dont mean that solely as a pitching standpoint. We have one of the best offensises in the league but can't come through as a team when it matters.