The news that superstar Rockies pitcher Ubaldo Jimenez is available has sent Yankee fans far and wide abuzz, dreaming up packages to entice the Rockies to part with him. We all know what’s in it for the Yanks, so lets look at a prospective deal from the Rockies point of view. At the end of the day, Rockies GM Dan O’Dowd has to like a package enough to pull the trigger on a deal. It has to fill the needs of the Rockies, or he’ll either ship him elsewhere or simply choose to stand pat. In this piece I’ll examine the Rockies 25 man roster needs, organizational depth and Colorado’s top prospects who could be on the way to fill those needs of the MLB club. The point is to ascertain what the Rockies will be looking for. Remember, O’Dowd is looking to make a pivotal franchise deal, akin to the deal the Rangers made in trading Mark Teixeira in 08. Do the Yanks have what it takes? Are the two clubs a match?
25 man roster needs-I doubt the Rockies are looking for an MLB-ready Catcher with Chris Ianetta as their starter. He doesn’t hit for average, but hits for enough power and walks enough to give him a solid .347 wOBA, good for 4th in all of baseball at his position. Ianetta is signed through 2012 with a 5 mil club option for 2013. A much more pressing need would be to upgrade at 2B and CF, where the Rockies are fielding weak hitting defensive specialists at both positions. The Rockies could also use a future 3B with journeyman Ty Wiggington signed for this year and next. Wiggy can play anywhere, so if you find a long term answer at 3B a player like him won’t stand in the way of making a deal.
On the pitching side of the ledger, the Rockies can use all the help they can get. They’re 11th in the National League with a 4.08 ERA and in the same division as the San Francisco Giants (#3 in NL). If they deal Ubaldo, they’ll be looking for a high end prospect starter in return that can eventually hold down a spot in the rotation, preferably as soon as possible. They’re desperate for starters, that’s why they reached all the way down to AA for Juan Nicasio earlier this year. Jorge Delarosa just had Tommy John surgery 6 weeks ago, so he’s out until at least the middle of next year, probably longer. In the bullpen the Rockies have a sub par group, pitching to a 4.00 ERA that ranks 10th out of the 16 teams in the National League. If I’m O’Dowd, I want pitching, pitching and some more pitching. I don’t make this deal without 2-3 pitchers coming back, at least one of them high end and the rest MLB ready.
Top Prospects-Here’s the preseason list of the top 10 Rockies prospects according to Baseball America:
|1.||Tyler Matzek, lhp|
|2.||Wilin Rosario, c|
|3.||Nolan Arenado, 3b|
|4.||Christian Friedrich, lhp|
|5.||Peter Tago, rhp|
|6.||Kyle Parker, of|
|7.||Rex Brothers, lhp|
|8.||Juan Nicasio, rhp|
|9.||Chad Bettis, rhp|
|10.||Hector Gomez, ss|
As you can see, the 2nd best prospect in the Rockies system is a Catcher named Wilin Rosario. What’s worse news for Yankee fans is he’s described by BA as “rare catcher with an impact bat” and the athleticism to stick at the position, although he needs to improve on his strike zone discipline a bit. He threw out 44% of base runners in 2010. He’s not quite the hitter Montero is but far better defensively. He had a big year with the bat in 2010, but he’s currently in AA and has struggled a bit offensively this year coming back from a major knee injury. If you’re going to sell the Rockies on Montero it’s going to be as a temporary part time Catcher and/or eventual 1B replacement for the 37 year old Todd Helton, whose contract expires this year (club option for 2012). That’s not impossible, its not even a bad idea, but it does lower Montero’s value. Most scouts think Montero belongs at 1B anyway, but Dowd may not go for it. Replacing a legend like Helton is hard enough, doing it with a guy who’s never played the position may be asking too much.
As for the rest of that list Matzek, Arenado, Tago, Parker and Bettis are all a long way off in A-ball. Friedrich has pitched well but proved to be a bit too hittable in AA. Gomez has struggled mightily with the bat in AA this year. He’s raw but scouts love his tools. Yankee fans will remember facing Nicasio during interleague. He’s held his own in the bigs thus far in 2011, which is impressive considering he was called up straight from the AA Texas League. Nicasio looks like the only guy on that preseason list who will help the MLB club this year. The rest of them are either too far away or just not ready.
Summary-One could understand why O’Dowd would consider a deal. He’s 8.5 games out in the West and 10 out for the Wild Card. Not a single Rockies prospect made the BP Top 50 midseason list, so his system could use replenishment. I have to assume he’s looking to compete next year, so you’ll need to be sending MLB-ready talent their way. The Yanks are a decent fit, not perfect, but you can build a package around Montero (as a future 1B) and a few pitchers. Or you could offer a package of mostly MLB ready pitchers, where at least one (or both) of the Killer Bs will be going along with Nova, Warren/Noesi and a solid positional player such as Laird or Adams. That may still not be enough, but it is in line with package Dan Haren garnered a few years back. The residual value you’ll have to make up on that very cheap contract means you’ll be backing up the truck to your farm system, and maybe more. This is the type of deal that may even require you to peel someone off your MLB roster, and there are a few relievers out there O’Dowd may really like. It won’t be cheap, but its a win-now move and that’s what the Yanks are all about. But if it gets to the point where Cashman is taking anyone but Noesi off the MLB roster, my guess is he’ll pass.
LIKE TYA ON FACEBOOK
- TYA To Merge With It’s About The Money, Stupid
- What about Kevin Youkilis?
- Teix Now Front And Center On The “Needs To Produce” Radar
- Cashman: Heathcott A Dark Horse Candidate
- A Dog Chasing Cars
- Outfield Trade Targets
- The Problem With Brett Gardner
- A Look At Relief Prospect Branden Pinder
- The Yankees Should Be Realistic, Put Team on Short Leash in 2013
- Briefly discussing the internal options to replace Curtis Granderson
- Louis Vuitton Outlet Sale Singapore on The Monthly Prospector: April Edition
- Authentic Louis Vuitton Outlet Store on The Monthly Prospector: June Edition
- Louis Vuitton Outlet San Diego on Banuelos to Undergo Tommy John Surgery, Yankees Prospectors to Undergo Grief Counseling
- related web site on The Great Subway Race
- get your lover back on Contact Us
- Dorothy Silvan on Pineda’s Torn Labrum, or Does the lemon law apply to baseball?
- tao of badass on Open Thread | Game 3 | Detroit Tigers vs. New York Yankees | Sunday, April 3, 2011
- tube launch review on Why Has Attendance Fallen Year-To-Year?
- Evon Znidarsic on Teixeira MRI Update, Babe Ruth Pitching In Pinstripes, And Jeter’s Gift Baskets
- Sacramento PC Repair on Yanks finally sign non-Yankee free agent in Russell Martin
TagsA.J. Burnett Alex Rodriguez Andy Pettitte Austin Romine Baltimore Orioles Bartolo Colon Boston Red Sox Brett Gardner Brian Cashman Bullpen CC Sabathia Chien-Ming Wang Cliff Lee Curtis Granderson David Robertson Dellin Betances Derek Jeter Francisco Cervelli Freddy Garcia Game Recap Hiroki Kuroda Ivan Nova Javier Vazquez Jesus Montero Joba Chamberlain Joe Girardi Johnny Damon Jorge Posada Manny Banuelos Mariano Rivera Mark Teixeira Melky Cabrera Michael Pineda New York New York Yankees Nick Johnson Nick Swisher Phil Hughes Prospects Rafael Soriano Red Sox Robinson Cano Russell Martin Tampa Bay Rays Yankees