Wednesday Rockpile: World Series starts tonight, Rockies talent drain starting in front office

Still little to report as far as the Rockies go, although assistant to the GM Kasey McKeon, son of the former Marlins manager, has jumped ship to join the Nationals front office as director of player procurement. I've always seen these front office departures as a mixed bag. First of all, it reflects well on the Dan O'Dowd's ability to hire the kind of people that other organizations covet.

One way to evaluate GM's would seem to be to look at their lineage, as often the best will push forward the careers of the people in their hire, so you end up seeing these sort of family trees. O'Dowd's primarily descended from former Indians GM John Hart, for instance, who also sired Mark Shapiro and Jon Daniels and others, meanwhile, O'Dowd's at least partly responsible for the advancement of Josh Byrnes and Jerry DiPoto (both currently with the Diamondbacks) and if McKeon continues to rise, then it could add another notch to his belt. Of course, Theo Epstein can also claim some credit for Byrnes, and Jed Hoyer's hiring already gives the wunderkind two GM descendants.

The other side of the coin is that McKeon's departure does leave the Rockies lacking some scouting help (I'm assuming that's what McKeon did for the Rockies given his new job title) and filling that void with an equal talent could be difficult.

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That last link to the Boston.com article about Hoyer's hiring also touches on the news that Adrian Gonzalez will likely be traded from San Diego. The Padres are going to have a payroll about half the size of Colorado's for some time, it appears, which would leave them an unlikely challenger for the division until the revenue situation down there gets fixed. Arizona will have to reboot soon too, given a deteriorating fan base and an escalating payroll*, and the news that top prospect Jarrod Parker will have Tommy John surgery and miss all of 2010 doesn't help them, either, as it leaves them one less internal option to fill a sizable rotation void.

In short, the bleak news for those two teams leaves the 2010 picture in the NL West much the same as it ended up looking in 2009, with the Dodgers, Rockies and Giants duking it out for the top spot and the second place team being in solid contention for the wild card.

The Giants are making it a priority to address their glaring offensive weakness this offseason, so we can't expect them to fade away like the other two teams.

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In case you missed this in the comments to yesterday's Rockpile, former Rockies top prospect Chin-Hui Tsao has been caught up in a Taiwanese match-fixing probe. Between this and Shawn Chacon's gambling issues, it seems like it's not a good month for pitchers who were once our most promising hopes early this decade. Jason Young, you better keep your nose clean, wherever you are. 

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