For the past couple of weeks, all we heard from those in support of at least shopping Ubaldo (if not actively seeking to trade him) was that there was no way, just no way in hell that DOD would deal him unless we got a Godfather/Herschel Walker/whatever label you want to use offer. Something that totally gutted the other team's system of all their elite prospects. Something that was such a knock-me-over trade that it would be insane not to do it. Something like the 4 for 1 we talked about involving the Yankees, involving two top of the rotation pitchers, plus a potential impact bat, plus a guy who can pitch decent MLB innings right now while the other pieces develop. That was the message over and over again from the pro-trade Rowbots: listen, it's not going to happen unless the offer is too absurd to turn down.
Well, here we are. The consensus seems to be that the Rockies won this trade, and I don't disagree, but let's not kid ourselves or try to kid anyone else. This was not a Herschel Walker deal. Those same pro-trade folks seem to be trying to spin Gardner as an "intriguing piece" who "shouldn't be ignored," but let's face it- odds are that he never makes a significant impact for the Rockies. Don't get me wrong, he'll put in some innings, but he's not going to do anything special. Really, the trade ended up being Ubaldo for a guy who can be Ubaldo in 2013 or 2014 if he works out, a guy who could be Chacin in 2012 or 2013 if he works out, a guy who in all likelihood will never crack the Rockies starting rotation unless it's in the same capacity Mortensen and Reynolds "cracked" it this year, and someone who will lock down 1B at the Springs for a few years. It's not what was advertised and that's what disappoints me the most. When you're trading one of the faces of the franchise when he's under a team-friendly contract for the next 3 seasons, you SHOULD ask for an absurd offer because you can. But DOD didn't end up getting one. I feel kind of duped.
I saw Muzia in another thread respond to a point similar to this one by pointing out that, hey, that's why they call it a Herschel Walker deal. It was so crazy it'll never happen again. So? I don't think that's relevant after DOD and people in support of trading Ubaldo talked so much about how we would see that exact outcome or no trade at all. To borrow someone else's analogy from the other thread, if this trade was going to happen given Ubaldo's contract situation and the team's current direction, it needed to be a home run. Instead we got a double. It's far from the end of the world but it's a letdown. The 2012 Rockies almost certainly just got worse, regardless of how many innings White throws next year. The 2013 and 2014 Rockies may have gotten better or worse, but I'd say their variance just increased. They're now a riskier bet. The 2015 and 2016 Rockies definitely just got better, but if it's at the expense of 2013 and 2014 because White sputtered out or Pomeranz took an extra year or two to get settled into life in the big leagues, this trade becomes a push or maybe a loss. That's not the position the team should have been in after trading one of the league's 20 best SPs while he was signed to a team-friendly deal through 2014.
Thus, I am disappointed. And I say this purely from the perspective of "you root for the name on the front of the jersey, not the back." When you add in how much I enjoyed watching Ubaldo pitch and how great it was that he was a homegrown guy, it's that much worse.