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Views from the Top Row - Winter Meeting Edition

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The Rockies have finally indicated they have at least one wise use for the money they have this offseason, trying to lock in Brian Fuentes long term. In general, relievers are fairly interchangeable and you can find good ones fairly cheap even late as the team proved last year, but every so often some prove themselves a step above by showing consistent, solid performance for multiple seasons. Brian Fuentes is one of these and I applaud the effort to re-sign him.

Dan O'Dowd agrees,

"The difference is, we feel Brian is unique," O'Dowd said. "I can't say enough about his character."

Update [2005-11-9 5:58:57 by Rox Girl]:
The Rockies are also trying to work out multi-year deals with Aaron Cook and Matt Holliday according to the Rocky Mountain News.

No Rockies made much of a dent in the NL ROY voting, which isn't that surprising, enough said. And in this mailbag over at the official site, the biggest news is that the Michael Restovich deal remains incomplete and the Rockies could still wind up with something. Other tidbits on Chris Iannetta, the leadoff spot, who's arbitration eligible, etc.., is all old hat.

In other news, the Chicago Tribune is reporting the Cubs have reached a deal with Neifi (registration required) so we can cross him off the Rockies wish list. At these prices, I say it's a very good thing.

Speaking of lists, on Sunday Patrick Saunders at the Post put out probably what is the most definitive list of the Rockies wants to date, but his descriptions of players might need a little translation. Never, fear my friends, that's what I'm here for. I have a complete translation of the entire list after you click the "read more"
or "comment" links.

"High End Merchandise" (uhm, you know how when you bend over to touch your toes, and your derriere becomes the "high-end"? Yeah, I think that's what he's talking about)

Elmer Dessens

Veteran right-hander would fit as a setup man and spot starter. When he has good control, he induces a lot of groundball outs. He is affordable but wants a long-term deal.

Translation: Veteran right-hander will become the fifth starter on a "temporary basis" after Zach Day looks terrible in Spring Training. After Jason Jennings is dealt, the "temporary" mysteriously will disappear as will the vestiges of Dessens' control.

Shawn Estes

Rockies would like to have the former Rockies lefty back in their starting rotation. Estes has four pitches, including a good sinking fastball. Coming off a foot injury that cost him much of 2005.

Translation: Rockies liked the snake-oil the former Rockies lefty sold them in 2004 and would like to see if it can cure gout as well as their colic. Besides, it came in such a pretty looking bottle, that they are willing to overlook the fact that nobody else seems to think this stuff actually works.

Affordable quality (by affordable, we mean cheap, and by quality, we mean, cheap.)

Pedro Astacio

Injuries are a concern, but the right-hander could return to Colorado as a fifth starter. When he's on, he's a productive groundball pitcher.

Translation: While we have a few lingering doubts that such a thin little thread could really hold Pedro's reattached right arm on, Dr Nick assures us there is nothing to worry about.

Brian Meadows

Might fit in as a right-handed middle reliever. Was 3-1 with a 4.58 ERA in 2005. The Pirates let the soon-to-be 30-year-old Meadows go as part of their youth movement.

Translation: The Pirates, with a smaller payroll than the Rockies, thought that they could do better than Brian Meadows by filling from within. Ha-ha to their folly. We'll show them that we can't do better than Brian Meadows by filling from within. Wait, that didn't sound right for some reason.

Byung-Hyun Kim

Talks are heating up, but Kim's asking price might be too high for Colorado to re-sign him. It all depends on how much interest is out there.

Translation: What have we created here? We didn't want him to be so good that he might be desirable to another team until after this year. Oh man, who's idea was it to plug him into the rotation anyway? Now, look and see what you've done? Don't ever come up with bright ideas like that again.

Chris Hammond

A heady pitcher with good control and a nice changeup, he could provide Rockies with some quality middle relief.

Translation: Alright, so we know your grandmother could throw harder, but could she throw it consistently right over the middle of the plate for opposing batters to tee off on?

Really? She can? Hmm, hey, can we get a scout over here to check out this old lady?

Bargain Hunting (Bottom Feeding... mmm,  sludge...)

Terry Mulholland

Yes, he's 42, but the lefty reliever has experience that could be a plus for the short term. He survives without benefit of a powerful fastball, using a curve, changeup and slider.

Translation:42... without a fastball... using a c... a... n... e.

Dan Miceli

Colorado could re-sign the veteran reliever if the price is right. Missed the latter part of the 2005 season with a stress fracture in his foot.

Translation: If nobody notices that before his foot injury he was actually pitching well for us, we might catch a break. Rats! Alright on to plan B...

Doug Brocail

Club has shown interest in him in the past, but he's 38 and had a 5.52 ERA in 2005.

Translation: ..."B" as in Brocail that is! Isn't looking at the bottom of the barrel of free agents great? There's a vitual smorgasbord of hack players we wanted three years ago down here!

Eli Marrero

Rockies like him as a utility man, but they're only interested if he also wants to be a backup catcher. Missed last two months of the season with torn ligaments in his right hand.

Translation: Hey, wasn't Scott Hatteberg once a catcher too? You think he might be able to go back? Really, we don't care if it's been a while, you see we had JD Closser catching for us this past season, so no defense... no shirt... no shoes... no problem.

Marquis Grissom

Would provide leadership for a young team and some power in a limited role, but first must heal from his torn hamstring and decide if he still wants to play.

Translation: Would provide a nice natural outlet for the young Rockies' pranks, but first must prove he can shake a fist and yell out "Dadgum young whippersnappers! Get off my porch!" or other classics.

Likely too expensive (To titilate the fans, we leave these names on even though there's not a snowball's chance in h-e-l-l...o, there fan, didn't see you still in here, yeah we're looking at these players... if the price is right maybe we'll be able to sign them... go rockies and what not...)

Matt Morris

Rockies like him, but a shallow market for starting pitchers likely puts him beyond Colorado's reach.

Translation: blah, blah, blah, ...out of reach

Ramon Hernandez

A great fit for Coors Field and a power hitter anywhere, but he's out of the Rockies' price range.

Translation: blah blah, blah-blah-blah, ...out of the Rockies' price range.

Bengie Molina

Rockies love his glove, leadership and bat, but so do a lot of teams with more money to spend.

Translation: blah blah blah, ...but No.

Neifi Perez

The former Rockies starter would provide infield depth, and possibly start at second, but he's probably too rich for Rockies' checkbook. He's asking for more than $2 million a year.

Translation: I mean seriously, we couldn't even afford Neifi-freakin-Perez and you actually think you're going to get somebody good? Yeah get some help.

Kelly Shoppach

Rockies thought they had their hands on the hot catching prospect until a midseason trade crumbled, but they still could be interested in a deal somewhere down the line.

Translation: Make no mistake, the Rockies  are bitter still you lizard tongued weasels, but really we're pretty desperate for a catcher.

Josh Bard

A line-drive switch hitter who could provide solid depth behind the plate. Not a free agent, but a trade possibility this winter.

Translation: Can't hit it very far, but because of that we might not have to give up a lot.

Jason LaRue

Rockies must wait to see if Reds still want to make a deal for a catcher with plenty of power potential.

Translation: Because he can hit it pretty far, we might have to give up too much.

Johnny Estrada

A tempting young prospect whom the Rockies might be willing to deal for. Hit .261 with 26 doubles with the Braves in 2005.

Translation: Anybody who thinks 29 year old journeymen are "tempting young prospects" is really going to enjoy watching this year's team, please come on over to our season ticket booth right now.