The trade deadline is quickly approaching and the Colorado Rockies have made their first significant move, trading Marco Scutaro to division leader and rival, the San Francisco Giants, for triple-A second baseman Charlie Culberson.
Scutaro was a decent addition this season, bringing with him veteran experience to what used to be a very young lineup. Hitting .271 with 10 home runs and 30 RBIs, Marco was being utilized recently as the backup to Troy Tulowitzki, which has now been turned over to Josh Rutledge. It makes the most sense to let Scutaro go at this time, as Rutledge is a SS and 2B, making it natural to move him over to second once Tulo returns near the end of August. DJ LeMahieu will most likely get some more time at second, as the Texas Rangers have become very interested in Jonathan Herrera, who is currently on rehab assignment.
As for what the Rockies received, they obtained a player who – barring plenty of injuries – will not see the major league level this season. Culberson hit .136 with one RBI in six games with the Giants, hardly encouraging considering he is a career .262 hitter in the minors. Viewed as “the best player” in a deal according to Denver Post’s Troy Renck, this deal has done nothing to help Colorado.
In reaction to the trade, Scutaro said he would like to come back to Colorado after season’s end when he will be a free agent again. While I appreciate his best impression of Jason Giambi – who continually comes back and the club is happy to have him – it is simply not in the cards. As long as Rutledge doesn’t completely fall apart by the end of the season, second base will be his to lose in spring training … unless he is packaged and traded, which is entirely likely, as the Rockies desperately need pitchers, and high quality prospects can go a long way in a trade.