Saturday Rockpile: More Justin Upton Trade Rumblings, Felipe Paulino Pumped to Be a Rockie, more

MLB: Why Would the D-backs entertain dealing Justin Upton? Here's four good reasons - ESPN
In an Insider-only piece, Keith Law discusses the reasons why the D-Backs would seek to trade their up-and-coming star outfielder. Mostly, he thinks that Kevin Towers wants to win this season and doesn't believe he can do so without dealing Upton - possibly to go along with a little bit of doubt about Upton's potential due to a large regression in 2010 and nagging shoulder problems.

Personally, I'd love to have Upton but at what cost? As Law says, the D-Backs would likely require two Major League-ready players and a couple of upper-tier prospects. I guess it just depends on how much depth you think the Rockies actually have. I believe Upton will ultimately reach his star potential and plateau with somewhere around a .290/.360/.500 mark and play stellar outfield defense, but I don't know that the Rockies would be willing to part with the impact players that would be necessary to complete a deal (not to mention the D-Backs would probably require a higher return from the Rockies, and any other inside-the-division club than they would from other teams). Plus, if the Rockies aren't seriously interested in acquiring Upton and are merely kicking the tires, they could force other teams to dangle more and better options to the D-Backs. And while that doesn't sound too bad on the surface, I don't like the idea of Arizona's farm system being bolstered and torturing us for years to come (not that the Rockies won't have a chance to bolster their own, but still...).

I know a lot of people don't want to hear this, but I think the real way the Rockies come out winners in this situation is if they sit back and let everybody else fight over Upton (if it even comes down to that), and hope that Kevin Towers makes a mistake. History doesn't really suggest that will happen in a trade, as this is a guy that has only once traded anything that even somewhat resembles big-time talent (as he traded Jason Bay and Oliver Perez for Brian Giles), and it's not like that worked out horribly or anything. He also turned Adam Eaton and some scraps into Adrian Gonzalez and Chris Young. However, he has been subpar at drafting (aside from snagging Jake Peavy and Mat Latos in double-digit rounds), so maybe there's a chance. We'll see...

Elsewhere in Law's article, he mentions his thoughts on the Clint Barmes-for-Felipe Paulino deal:

The Astros picked up Clint Barmes, who can play some defense but is an atrocious hitter, in exchange for erratic but hard-throwing Felipe Paulino. I could see Paulino having some success in a relief role, although that lefties torch him -- he's faced 399 left-handed batters in his major league career and 161 (over 40 percent) have reached base -- limits his value ... but I'd take him over Barmes eight days a week.

Paulino talks about joining Rockies; additions to 40-man roster | All Things Rockies — The Denver Post
Troy Renck has a bunch of quotes from Felipe Paulino on the trade and how he's looking forward to being a Rockie (courtesy of Meridiano, a Venezuelan newspaper).

A few more links after the jump...

Fowler could be primed for breakthrough 2011 | ColoradoRockies.com: News
Thomas Harding's feature piece on Dexter Fowler is filled with optimism. Let's hope Dex bounces back from his sophomore slump similar to the way Tulo did in '09...that would be awesome.

D-Backs' new spring-training field takes shape
As Peter Corbett of The Arizona Republic states in the article, grounds crews expect to finish the installation of sod in the main stadium at the D-Backs/Rockies' new facility. Who's going to Spring Training with me this year?

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