|Dexter Fowler is no longer a member of the Colorado Rockies.|
Not only had the Rockies youth movement hit their stride, but they also had a kid named Dexter Fowler in the minors who was the crown jewel of a farm system that produced the majority of the pennant-winning team.
Fast-forward six years and it is a completely different story. On Tuesday, the Rockies dealt Fowler to the Houston Astros for two guys only extremely hardcore baseball fans knew anything about.
The Rockies, a week after publicly chastising Fowler's character and make-up, dealt him for a 27-year-old outfielder named Brandon Barnes and a 23-year-old right-handed starting pitcher named Jordan Lyles.
Barnes is a career .233 hitter with a whopping 156 strikeouts in just 506 career at-bats. Those 156 strikeouts compare to just 21 walks. Essentially this is a failed prospect who can't lay off the off-speed pitches. Scouts know this, so they direct their pitchers never to throw a ball in the strike zone.
Lyles, in parts of three seasons, has accumulated a 14-29 record with a career ERA of 5.35. His 92 MPH fastball is rated as below average and his numbers suggest that he isn't fooling many batters.
With the frustrated masses threatening to burn down the Rockies new party deck, reality needs to be said. There are some Rockies fans who loved Fowler and didn't want to see him go. Through mid-May, many thought he was worthy of the All-Star team. However, he faded, as has become common in his career.
Fowler is a good baseball player, but he isn't great. He strikes out way too much for a leadoff batter, and he showboats too much in center field. Those are areas that are hard to deny. That said, most hardcore Rockies fans weren't opposed to trading him. If it meant the Rockies getting better, there was no reason why Fowler should be kept.
The free agent market this winter is thin. Three centerfielders on the market stood to get huge deals. Curtis Granderson, Jacoby Ellsbury and Shin-Soo Choo. Ellsbury inked a deal worth over $150 million with the New York Yankees, removing himself from the market, which leaves teams vying, and willing to overpay for Granderson and Choo.
It has been rumored that Choo will land a deal over $100 million. With that in mind, Fowler would have been a phenomenal consolation prize for whichever teams fell short on Granderson and Choo. At $7.5 million, Fowler would have been an absolute steal.
However, instead of the Rockies waiting to see where those two signed and then exploring the market, they decided to publicly deface Fowler, then trade him for what seems like the first available option.
Here is the reality, every team in baseball has a 27-year-old who can't hit an off-speed pitch, and a below average young pitcher. This Fowler deal was nothing that knocked anyone's socks off.
The Rockies are reportedly trying to reinvest the money into signing former Twin and now Pirate Justin Morneau. He would replace Todd Helton at first base. The signing makes sense and is a good one, but the problem comes down to the Rockies lack of willingness to spend money.
There shouldn't be a fan of a baseball team in the big leagues that isn't worried when they take a step back and realize that their team isn't willing to pay for Justin Morneau and Dexter Fowler, they can only afford one of them. If your team can't afford two very average priced players, there is a severe issue.
The Rockies move to trade Fowler shows once again just how lost they are. They operate in their own reality. Their owner knows nothing about baseball. He knows so little that he can't fire his general manager because he wouldn't even know where to start looking for a new one.
It is a bad time to be a fan of the Colorado Rockies. But, hey, at least the sunsets will be pretty from the third level party deck.
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