...well the Chac deal that is. First of all some links:
And I'll add more links to this post as the day progresses, be sure to hit the Rockies blogs down the sidebar: only the Disaster Report (uhm, why don't you tell us how you really feel, Sam) and TGTB&TB had posted thoughts (Roxhead briefly calls the trade "horrible" in his front page game recap) as of a couple of minutes ago, but you should see more reaction soon.
1. Does this trade make the team better right now:?
2. Will the Rockies be better off next year from the players received in this trade?
4. Will the Rockies ever be conceivably better off from the players received versus the player given up?
A: It's possible, but likely not.
3. Does this make the fans happy?
4. Does this trade save the owners money?
A: That's debatable, ownership has set a payroll of $40 million for next year, and Chac's award in arbitration would have created a lot of hassles in fitting everybody else in. Why the $40 million figure? This is the real question we need to be asking as adjusting for inflation it will be the second lowest in Rockies franchise history next to their inaugural season. Why isn't this franchise succeeding financially when it has a sweetheart stadium deal, a middle of the pack attendance figure and a not too shabby media deal? I don't know all the figures that the team is looking at, but something doesn't seem right with that at first glance.
5. Are the owners going to use the saved money for the purposes of making the franchise better?
A: Not that I can tell, again $40 million for 2006 indicates this cut will either go into covering past losses, or hopefully go into a draft warchest so we can sign the best players available next year, but this move doesn't leave me optimistic that will be the case (remember in this most recent draft, our first choice, Luke Hochevar, we let slide because we didn't feel we would be able to meet his demands).
6. Was the player traded realistically going to be a part of a winning Rockies franchise in the future?
A: No. Not in his current role at least (other Rockies bloggers will disagree with me here, I'm sure). Chacon walked too many batters and thus usually had too high of a pitch count to make it deep into games for us. At 27, Chacon isn't old, but he isn't learning much more either. I just don't think the learning curve would have been enough to bring him to the level we needed him to be at.
7. Was this a good trade?
A: Given that we were going to trade Chac this year no matter what, I have to assume this was the best offer we got for him. Should we have traded him this year when the team will be worse next year with Day as a starter instead? Plain and simple, this trade was a salary dump. Whether it was a necessary salary dump is harder to fathom without knowing all the particulars, but I'm going to try to piece it together anyway. What I do know now is that Day won't be as good in stuff, but maybe he'll make up for it in efficiency. I know the two prospects are projects but there is at least a bit of promise there.
Because our farm is fairly deep, the two don't figure into our plans right away and neither will likely be in our top 30 or maybe even top 40 right now, but added projectible depth never hurts, especially when it comes to pitching. Regardless, I think the trade only works if there was money saved and it comes back into the system in the future as capital investment and improves the team down the road. If, as I suspect, it's just a stop-loss measure and the money never was there to be saved in the first place, then ownership is really putting itself out on a limb and risks alienating the dwindling fan base even further, and we have to wonder if the owners have overspent in the past to such a degree that their ability to maintain a viable professional sports franchise is in question. If such is the case, the spiral of fan exodus and mounting losses will continue until the team must be sold to more solvent leadership. Already, the team on the field is only marginally above a AAA level of quality. This Chac trade dilutes the quality of the product even further. At some point in order for the Rockies to succeed, payroll has to hit a valley bottom regardless of revenue and real gains have to be made with the on field product or we might as well not even bother with Major League Baseball.