First, the Denver Post obtained details on Willy Taveras' contract with the Reds. He signed for $6.25M. Yes, that $6,250,000. The $2.25M for the 2009 season can be defended, but $4M in 2010? The Reds better hope there's a new rule in baseball that allows a player to steal first base.
With the expected announcement of the Jason Marquis trade next week, let's pull together some thoughts from the reactions to this trade.
If the season started today, the rotation would likely be Aaron Cook, Ubaldo Jimenez, Jeff Francis, Jason Marquis, and Jorge De La Rosa. The first three starters aren't in question, but the fourth and fifth starters can be flipped with each other (I list it that way in order to break up the lefties). And there's always a chance that one of the other pitchers on the periphery for the rotation could enter into the equation: Greg Smith, Franklin Morales, Greg Reynolds, and Jason Hirsh. I can see Smith or Hirsh winding up in the bullpen, but since he has an option year left, Hirsh would be better off starting for the Sky Sox. Oh, and the ever-present Glendon Rusch is an option.
Does this move make the Rockies' rotation appreciably better? No. This is more of a lateral move, but the Rockies certainly have depth. And as Rox Girl wrote in a comment to her FanShot on the trade as I typed this up:
There are a couple of Yogi Berra-esque principles involved with young pitchers that you usually have to take into account:
1. You never know if they’ll really be good (until they are).
2. You never get as many innings from them as you hope you will (until you do).
The Rockies now have both principles adequately covered.
Now youth is the fallback option.
Memo to the Monfort Brothers: If Broncos' owner Pat Bowlen can (and did) fire Mike Shanahan after years of mediocrity, disappointment, and sheer ineptitude in some areas for the Denver Broncos, you two can fire or let go of Clint Hurdle, who is in the last year of his contract. Granted, Mike Shanahan had a few more responsibilities with the Broncos in addition to being the head coach, but Pat Bowlen extirpated a Broncos institution. Clint Hurdle is the closest thing to an institution the Rockies have--but without the accomplishments. One winning record in seven seasons is not good. Period.
And maybe you two have seen the writing on the wall that Clint Hurdle can't stick around forever. The additions of Jim Tracy as the bench coach and Don Baylor as the hitting coach, both former major league managers, would certainly seem to indicate that. So, here's a final thought for 2008: If the Rockies aren't close to .500 (I'll leave that vague enough for me to later interpret it as I want) by June, Clint Hurdle should no longer be the manager of the Rockies (as well as Bob Apodaca as pitching coach).
Pat Bowlen got rid of a coach he once called "coach for life." Surely, you two can let go of a coach who has done far less for his team.