In the Rockpile: Street/Stewart Trades + Best Closer in Denver

Trading Street allowed for $7 million of additional spending money


The Rockies made a flurry of moves this week and here are my takes on how the team made out:

Pitcher Huston Street – Traded to San Diego for pitcher Nick Schmidt. This frees up $7 million to possibly acquiring Michael Cuddyer from Minnesota. Rockies players have reportedly reached out to Cuddyer to try and convince him to play at 18th & Blake next year. I’d love to see an outfield of Cuddyer, Fowler and Gonzalez. Cuddyer brings the wood which is sorely needed in the clubhouse.

Third baseman Ian Stewart and pitcher Casey Weathers – Traded to Chicago Cubs for Tyler Colvin and D.J. LeMahieu. Colvin could possibly be packaged with Seth Smith to obtain Martin Prado from Atlanta, though I see this unlikely as other teams are pursuing him and the Braves really want Dexter Fowler as part of any deal, which Rockies front office said will not happen.

Pitcher Dan Turpin – Traded for pitcher Kevin Slowey from Minnesota. Slowey will get a chance to compete for a starting rotation spot, but the field is fairly crowded even without Aaron Cook. I don’t like Slowey’s chances and expect him to start the season in triple A.

Rockies claimed outfielder Jamie Hoffmann (LAD) and outfielder Andrew Brown (STL) … I can only quote South Park’s Officer Barbrady: “Move along folks, there’s nothing to see here.” My head nearly exploded when I saw that the Rockies were able to land two players that have absolutely no shot of playing at Coors Field.

I’d love to talk more about these moves, but as it stands right now, the deals that have happened are pretty unsubstantial as Street will be replaced with Rafael Betancourt (upgrade) and Ian Stewart wasn’t going to make the roster if he stuck around through spring training anyways (the Nolan Arrenado thing).

The players acquired are nothing to be excited about, and most –if not all- won’t see the field in Denver.

Once again, the Rockies have not made a splash (say it ain’t so!), but their pursuit of Prado, Cuddyer and Hiroki Kuroda –who has since been tendered an offer by the Yankees, go figure- is encouraging that the front office realizes that all the answers do not currently lie within the organization.

If they can land Cuddyer, I would be thrilled with just the fact they picked up somebody who has a name and can swing the bat.

Now, I would like to propose that the best closer in Denver doesn’t play at Coors Field; he plays at Sports Authority Field.

Tim Tebow, the Denver Broncos closer -I mean quarterback- has become the best producer of saves in the NFL. He has essentially become a finisher in football through week-after-week comeback victories at the end of regulation, or in overtime.

I have a proposition: Opening Day 2012, first pitch is thrown out by Broncos QB (and Pro Bowler) Tim Tebow.

It would be perfect, so long as Tebow doesn’t decide to run it in to home plate.

NEXT POST: Rockies Christmas Wish List

It’s actually mine, but the Rockies should adopt it for themselves.

Follow me on Twitter @CoryWhitmer


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  1. Sorry, that is a pretty bad mistake. The bars I visit downtown are on 18th … so they must be calling me.

  2. I believe shoving him out the door is an overstatement to be honest. I don’t think they are truly calling around to trade him. People heard that the Braves would be willing to trade him and the teams started to call. 

    Prado’s biggest problem is he isn’t a typical LF player. It’s not even his problem, it’s the Braves problem. Prado is a second basemen. He bats like one and plays like one. 

    The Braves don’t have a need for that right now and need to have some extra power in the lineup, preferably in the outfield where Prado plays. Prado then would be basically a super utility then which the Braves are fine with, but the Braves would like to use the money he’s set to earn. He’s due a hefty raise. A very expensive utility player indeed.

    So, the Braves would be interested in trading him if a team has a need for a second baseman. They can get back some very valuable pieces for the future and possibly a backup to Jones in case he goes down. 

    Chipper played in over 125 games last year and took breaks often including a DL stint. So saying he wont hit over 100 games is kinda unfair since that has happened only once in his entire playing career (except for the year he missed due to surgery back in the day). Playing over 125 games a year after surgery is pretty good. 

    I expect more this year to be honest. He’s going to have a full off-season to get stronger. He will make his potential last year the best he can make it.

  3. Thanks for setting me straight on Jones. But I doubt if he would be physically able to play over a 100 games. So unless the Braves keep Prado, which I also believe is unlikely, those rookies better get ready in a hurry. Martin is such a versatile, team player too. Why are they shoving him out the door?

  4. Steve,

    The Braves aren’t waiting on a decision from Chipper Jones. He said before the year started last year that he was playing this year. The Braves have no intention of signing Ramirez. They have some young controllable rookies that could man the position after Jones retires, which presumably is after his contract ends.

    I think they will move Prado and Jurrjens this off-season. It’s not often you see this much trade talk about a player and not get traded. Half the league is in on Prado, and Jurrjens has 10 teams.

    Interesting to see Colvin thrown in the conversation. I would rather have him over Seth Smith. They won’t take both though. Smith plays too similar to Prado, so the Braves want more players, perferrably a top prospect. With Colvin thrown in, he’s young and has higher potential than Smith, the Braves could take him with a lower level prospect to complete the trade.

  5. Nice post, Cory. This is actually the first time I’ve read your column, but I’ve been meaning to since I’m a closet Rockie fan. Street will help the Padres minus Bell, and the Rockies freed up some cash. But Betancourt as an “upgrade”? I’m not too sure, although his numbers were remarkably good  last season. The question is whether or not he can carry the whole load.
    Stewart badly needed a change of scenery, and I think Colvin did too. Advantage Rockies. But if Atlanta signs Aramis Ramirez, I think they’ll move Martin Prado and the Rockies are the frontrunners. I don’t understand why they would insist on Fowler when they already have Michael Bourn, unless they want more speed. Maybe Jamie or yourself can answer that question better than I can, but I suspect the Braves are waiting for a decision from Chipper Jones..

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