We're seeing a rush of transactions this week as teams and players try to put things in place before things will get very quiet around the Christmas and New Year's holiday period. Yesterday was pretty significant for several important members of the Rockies 2007 pennant winning team. We learned:
- That Garrett Atkins would sign with Baltimore
- Jamey Carroll is heading to play with the Dodgers
- Rodrigo Lopez will be pitching with Arizona, or maybe Reno
- And that now that they have his good friend Atkins, the Orioles are also interested in Matt Holliday.
Thomas Harding has quite a bit of news in his latest Hot Stove Report for the Rockies official site, including Dan O'Dowd's reaction to the Carroll signing, where he states that the team's desire is to find a more offensive oriented utility player, but Harding then includes Nick Green in the subsequent list of potential candidates anyway. If Carroll's offensive utility isn't enough for the Rockies, Green's certainly wouldn't qualify and I'm a bit skeptical about Quinlan as well.
The other two players mentioned, Fernando Tatis and Melvin Mora, should project to be worth more at the plate than Carroll. I think Tatis is my preferred target because he's also a competent defender, but Mora does have that intriguing angle that signing him would mean that the Rockies and Orioles basically swapped their once great but recently disappointing third basemen.
Harding also includes the note that Jose Contreras wanted a three year contract, which the Rockies wisely walked away from, and repeating the news from yesterday that the team and Yorvit Torrealba seem to be drifting apart in negotiations, and Miguel Olivo is looming larger as a Plan B in the quest for backup catching.
Matthew Carruth at FanGraphs went over the shifting WAR value in the NL West from 2008 to 2009, finding that the Rockies jumped from 21st to 6th thanks mostly to a massive improvement in the pitching performance.