Sunday Rockpile: More talk about trading Fowler and the silly awards season starts to commence

Doug Pensinger - Getty Images

Miguel Cabrera versus Mike Trout? Or The Melkman Cometh versus The Human Cespedes? I think we may as well be arguing about your fantasy baseball team as the AL MVP. We can talk about Dexter Fowler some more, though.

I'll let you in on a secret non-peeve of mine. Or maybe it's not so secret, but I really don't care about awards voting controversies. They do provide something to write about and discuss on a baseball blog at times when there's often not much else going on, so I indulge in them, especially those that involve Rockies players, but the truth s I just use the controversies to generate comments. The moment a vote's involved it becomes a political exercise where a player's teammates, media observers, fans, reputation, and a slew of other factors beyond that player's actual value will contribute to his vote total. Since it is political, as a Rockies fan I will contribute my support for Rockies candidates (well, strong ones, sorry Wilin,) but I'm almost entirely ambivalent to the process otherwise.

So Miguel Cabrera, sure. 161 games in a peak season from a potential Hall of Famer for a marginal playoff team has a huge impact in this age. Or if you rather, Mike Trout, absolutely, lots of WAR there and the Angels were also on the periphery of the playoff picture. Trout's season was remarkable, extraordinary, possibly most valuable. Go for him if you're so inclined. As for me, it doesn't really matter, as I view the individual awards as somewhat akin to fantasy baseball results, a potentially lucrative auxiliary contest to major league baseball that's otherwise a completely separate game from the one that's played on the field with different rules and standards that makes it far less entertaining to me than the real thing.

The above linked Troy Renck article, does have some news that interests me, and that's in regard to the fate of Dexter Fowler, who could either be a valuable component of the Rockies 2013 team, or perhaps their most valuable trade commodity in their pursuit to build said 2013 team. The question the Rockies are having to ask themselves is if the difference in anticipated value between Fowler and the field of candidates who could replace him (Tyler Colvin, Charlie Blackmon, etc..,) is greater than the difference between the player the Rockies would trade him for and the team's current options at that position. So assuming it's a starting pitcher, that pitcher would have to make up at least a win in value, and possibly more, over the team's current #5 starter.

With five 2013 starting pitching candidates posting fielding independent ERA figures in the 4.5 range or higher in 2012, you would think the bar would be pretty low for an upgrade this way, but as the comments to last week's Rockpile indicated , it's actually not as easy as it would appear. The two main teams potentially interested in Fowler according to Renck would be Atlanta and Philadelphia. Of those two, Atlanta has the most starting pitching depth to deal from, but getting them off of the Tommy Hanson level that's not going to be enough for Fowler to the Randall Delgado/Julio Teheran level which I feel would be, won't be an easy sell. The point is that the Rockies would be selling Fowler at his absolute highest point for the potential he has over the next few seasons (his willingness to extend should be taken into account) and any return would have to be high enough to compensate for that.

Everybody should also keep in mind that this could just be posturing by the team in advance of serious negotiations for an extension, it's just another side of the business.

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