Rockies trade Jeff Baker to Cubs for minor league pitcher Alberto Alburquerque


Jeff Baker

#10 / Second Base / Colorado Rockies

6-2

210

R

R

Jun 21, 1981



According to Bruce Levine of ESPNChicago, the Rockies have sent infielder Jeff Baker to the Chicago Cubs for 23 year old RHP Alberto Alburquerque. Baker's been a stalwart on the bench for the Rockies the last few seasons, but had his playing time cut with the emergence of Ian Stewart. The Cubs have been searching for some offensive pop to revive a moribund offense until Aramis Ramirez returns from the disabled list and Baker fits the bill. The Rockies had to make a move with Baker with him set to come off the DL himself.

Not a lot is known about Alburquerque at this point, but he does generate high groundball rates (56% this season at high A Daytona) and some strikeouts, both of which will serve him well at Coors Field, should he make it to the Rockies. 

Alburquerque's First Inning Page

I really hate spelling that name. Why couldn't we have traded for Lance Las Cruces, or Trudy Truth (and Consequences)? 

Patrick Saunders confirms with Baker, who says he's looking forward to the opportunity.

UPDATE:

Cubs fan toonsterwu from BleedCubbieBlue provides a bit of scouting info on Alburquerque in the comments:

has a good live low-mid 90’s fastball, a solid slider I believe, and a decent change. His stuff has gotten better, and he’s improved his control a bit. While I think he’s a pen arm, I hope he gets a shot to try the rotation a bit, as I’m curious how it plays.

It looks like the fastball's a two seamer from the GB rates, so a low to mid 90's FB with a slider is a prototypical bullpen arm, and the kind of pitcher the Rockies have been targeting for some time now. 

And Jack Etkin gives us more information:

Alburquerque, who is 6 feet and 180 pounds, has a plus, plus fastball. He'll sit at 95 mph with the pitch, which ranges from 92-97 mph and has good sinking action, runs in on right-handed hitters and has enough of a downhill plane.

And has an even more detailed scouting report at the link. This dispels the two seam notion I had before, because there's more than a semantic difference between "FB with sinking action and downhill plane" and "sinker".

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