As this offseason continues to unwind, the Rockies continue to surprise us with the moves they're making. Today, Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun writes that the Orioles are close to sending righty starter Jeremy Guthrie to the Rockies in exchange for righty starter Jason Hammel and righty reliever Matt Lindstrom.
Guthrie, 33 on Opening Day 2012, sports a career 4.19 ERA (4.68 FIP) over 1020 career innings, almost entirely in Baltimore. Acquiring Guthrie seems redundant when you consider the "acquire all the young arms" mantra the organization has established for themselves, but the big difference is that Guthrie has hit that magical 200IP mark in each of the past 3 seasons.
Guthrie sits 92-93mph on the gun with his fastball, which he throws 62-63% of the time, and he mixes in a curve, slider, and changeup. He's never been too wild, and his strikeout numbers are comparable to Jason Hammel's, and similar to Hammel, Guthrie will need to be careful as he is somewhat more prone to the longball than desirable.
Hammel, 29, had a very disappointing season for the Rockies in 2011, much like the rest of the squad. After posting 2 franchise-high marks in the Strikeout-To-Walk ratio, Hammel lost a lot of his fastball command in 2011 and was demoted to the bullpen later in the season. Hammel claims the time in the pen gave him a new perspective on pitching, but it seems the Rockies weren't willing to bet on that.
Almost more confusing is the fact that reliever Matt Lindstrom went along with him. After being acquired this offseason and immediately signed to a 2-year deal with an option on a 3rd. Lindstrom didn't let the Rockies down, either, notching a 3.00 ERA with a 2.57 K/BB ratio in what was arguably the best season of his career. Possibly a sell-high point, but the Rockies bullpen is weakened after moving Lindstrom.