So, back to the real focus of this blog, the Rockies. Thanks to Mark at TGTB&TB we are alerted that Peter Gammons is suggesting the Rox and Red Sox might revisit the Bigbie/Shoppach deal and he says it might be expanded into a deal that sounds eerily familiar to one of the first reported incarnations that he mentioned shortly after it fell apart and was also found on mlb4u's rumors page (To read the previous Purple Row discussion of this particular trade, scroll about halfway down the comments to the August 7th game. Now, either Gammons is rehashing because he has no fresh juicy gossip, or the Red Sox are wanting to talk. As nice as Shoppach would be for us, and still considering how redundant Larry Bigbie is to the system, Ryan Shealy has just become too valuable to be included in a straight prospect swap without a more surefire rotation candidate included. Besides, the Red Sox still leave a bad taste in my mouth for what they did.
Which kind of brings me to my next point: already the biggest losses for the team seem to be off the field, well off Coors Field at least. Losing Bob McClure and Fred Kendall easily trumps losing Todd Greene and Dustan Mohr, and should Thad Levine bolt to the Rangers - who are interested according to reports out of Dallas - we should officially consider ourselves a chronically second division ballclub. Holding onto -or at the very least quickly and adequately replacing- managerial talent is a hallmark of any successfully run business, and right now the Rockies are lagging on this front.
Tracy Ringolsby of the Rocky Mountain News adds Elmer Dessens and Josh Bard to the list of players we're supposedly interested in. I'd rather have Shoppach than Bard, but if it means we keep Shealy, then Josh becomes the more viable option in my book.
Overall, it's an interesting assessment of the division, as is Rox Fan in TN's over at Tap the Rox. I have to say I disagree with both when it comes to the Giants in particular. Matt Cain and Jason Schmidt will cover a lot of ills, but the Giants have just way too many ills at this point they need to cover. Look for Schmidt to be dealt by the deadline next July, and the Giants to finish last in the NL West. I mean, you don't have to believe me if you don't want to, but that's just the way it's going to be for the next couple of years.
One other note, this one on the Padres: I can't remember where I read this, but Ramon Hernandez himself is pretty certain he's not coming back to SD next year. Although, now that I think about it, if San Diego loses the trifecta of Hernandez, Loretta and Giles, then the Padres are toast -probably even worse than the G-men- even if they do keep Hoffman. First to worst? I'd say it's a distinct possibility, especially considering their "first" wasn't that impressive to begin with.
I'll post my complete thoughts on all of the division as we approach the Winter Meetings and more info comes out, but this will have to do for now. In the Ringolsby article you'll also note why I haven't posted AFL updates of late: when your top two hitters combined average (Ian Stewart .185 + Jeff Salazar .158 =.343) is right around your best average allowed by a pitcher: (Jon Asahina .333) you've got figure your prospects aren't really impressing anybody.