Rockies should look to deal Dexter Fowler for pitching

Daniel Shirey-US PRESSWIRE - Presswire

Dexter Fowler is, without a doubt, the best of the Rockies' centerfield options. However, you have to give something to get something, and in this case, the Rox need to get a lot of starting pitching.

Dexter Fowler is coming off of a season in which he posted a 117 OPS+ for the Colorado Rockies. Predicted by many to have a breakout year prior to the start of the season, he finally did just that, putting up a .300/.389/.474 batting line, despite struggling in the second half.

Accompanying the 26-year-old centerfielder's big year was Tyler Colvin's strong debut with the Rockies. The 27-year-old Colvin doesn't possess the strong on-base skills that Fowler always has, but he did hit 18 home runs and slug .531. In addition, the Rockies have a couple of other outfielders that have made strides toward success, with Eric Young Jr. leading the pack. EY2 isn't the defender that Fowler is, but he enjoyed big-time success when he actually got into the lineup (which wasn't often early in the season), hitting .316/.377/.448 in 196 plate appearances. Colvin and Young, combined with the Rockies' possession of guys like Charlie Blackmon, Tim Wheeler and Rafael Ortega, could result in a logjam for outfield playing time very soon, if not already.

So, what does the team do in this case? Look, nobody is arguing that Fowler isn't the best option among all of these guys, because that's simply not true. His experience, combined with speed and on-base skills -- as well as seemingly still-developing power -- makes him standout against the other guys listed above, who are fringy in some cases and still inexperienced in others. But, the Rockies have MUCH bigger holes on their roster than the one that would be created if Fowler were to be substituted with one or more of Colvin, Blackmon, Wheeler and/or Ortega.

As such, I propose the Rockies use Fowler, and not a combination of the other guys, to help bolster their starting pitching. The team is going to get A LOT more value for the cost-controlled and still upside-heavy Fowler than if they were to deal all of the others combined, and I really don't see a huge dropoff in offensive-plus-defensive production from Dex to the others over the course of a full season.

The big question is: who will make a good trade partner for Fowler? Who has the type of pitcher(s) that the Rox will need to help improve their staff? And who would be willing to deal them? That's what I'll leave to you guys, but with the warning that nobody is going to give up their ace for Fowler. If you want to get creative and make a package proposal, go for it.

Links

Kaleb Cowart and Nick Castellanos among early standouts in Arizona Fall League - MLB - ESPN
ESPN's Keith Law had a brief blurb on Tyler Chatwood's AFL debut:

Tyler Chatwood (Colorado Rockies) started against Cosart and showed good velocity (93-96) but had no plane on the pitch, so hitters managed to square it up without much trouble. His curveball remains sharp, but the lack of fastball plane or a decent third pitch really holds him back. He's listed as 6 feet tall on the official roster, but by that measuring stick Randy Johnson would come in at 7-foot-5.

Rob Scahill of Lombard impresses in major league debut for Colorado Rockies - Darien, IL - Darien Suburban Life
Scott Schmid of the Lombard Spectator interviewed Lombard, Ill. native Rob Scahill, who made his major league debut for the Rockies in 2012. Scahill will most likely appear on the latter part of the Fall 2012 PuRPs list, and has a good chance of breaking spring training with the big league club next season, albeit in a bullpen role.

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