Colorado Rockies acquire IF Ryan Wheeler from Arizona Diamondbacks

Denis Poroy

The Rockies acquired an intriguing bat from the Diamondbacks on Tuesday, picking up Ryan Wheeler in exchange for reliever Matt Reynolds.

The Colorado Rockies acquired infielder Ryan Wheeler from the Arizona Diamondbacks in exchange for left-handed reliever Matt Reynolds, the team announced on Tuesday.

Wheeler, 24, hit just .239/.294/.339 in 119 plate appearances with the D-Backs last season, but raked at Triple-A Reno, posting a .351/.388/.572 line with 15 home runs. In the low minors, Wheeler showed good plate discipline, with the ability to draw walks and limit his strikeouts. However, that discipline has waned a bit while climbing the ladder.

Still, the 6'3, 235-pound Wheeler is an intriguing bat and could be an insurance option at first base while also seeing time at third. Michael Cuddyer, Tyler Colvin, Jordan Pacheco and others could also see playing time at first base if Todd Helton is unable to recover from a nagging hip injury, so it almost leaves one to wonder if another deal could be in the works.

Reynolds, 28, put up a 4.40 ERA in 57.1 innings for the Rockies last season while striking out 8.0 batters per nine innings and walking 2.7. He posted similar numbers in 2011, so the D-Backs can probably count on that sort of production from the lefty going forward, which certainly is not a bad thing.

As Cee Angi wrote earlier today, the Rockies should probably be stacking up on left-handed arms rather than trading them away. However, Reynolds has allowed a .768 OPS to lefties in his career, including an alarmingly-high .876 OPS in 2011. Those aren't the type of numbers you want from a shutdown lefty out of the bullpen, so perhaps the Rockies will look elsewhere for that guy.

With the departure of Reynolds, Rex Brothers and Josh Outman are the only left-handed relievers remaining on the Rockies' 40-man roster.

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