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More on the Jennings Deal: Grumblings from around the blogosphere.

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Let's start out with the kind of funny and stubborn Mark Donohue, who at Bad Altitude "still hate(s) this deal."

Why is this kind of funny? Well, let's take a trip down memory lane. I hate to do this to you Mark, but if you insist on posting twice about how much you hate this deal...:


Do the Red Sox have interest in Jason Jennings? Sunday's Boston Herald says the team looked into getting Colorado's righty starter last year, and they might go after him at the 2005 trade deadline as well. It's hard to imagine the Red Sox needing more starting pitching, as they will have six rotation-worthy guys once Curt Schilling and David Wells return to health, but if Boston wants to throw the Rockies a young arm or two, who are we to say no?

The Red Sox farm system isn't great but they do have some arms. Lefty Jon Lester is probably more than Jennings is worth, but further down Boston has the intriguing Jose Vaquedano, a fastball-changeup righty, and lefty Tommy Hottovy, whose senior year of college K to BB ratio was 92 to 10. Personal fave Abe Alvarez is probably too hittable for Coors Field, although he is closer to the majors if the Rockies decide they want someone they can plug in right away.

The recommendation here, if the Red Sox really do want to do business, is the same as in case of a Preston Wilson or any other deal: get young arms in quantity. Colorado has a lot of young position players either in the high minors or already with the parent club, plus they have the enticement of the Coors Effect when it comes to filling in holes with free agent signings. We need pitchers! Of course, if the Red Sox completely take leave of their senses and want to send us Hanley Ramirez for Jennings, that's fine too. Clint can play second.

Posted by Mark Donohue on May 16, 2005 at 03:34 PM


I really wish Lester well with his recovery from Chemotherapy, by the way, and hope he has a full and happy future in baseball, but that trade wouldn't have been better than what we got yesterday. There was also this tidbit posted at the Row a few days later:
well...
If somebody like the Red Sox were to trade for Jennings, its seems he'd wind up more as a swingman or insurance starter than someone taking the ball twice a week. My point isn't that Jennings is worthless, just that generally teams counting on players of his ilk to be capital "S" Starters aren't very good.

And the Rockies probably won't get better in the length of his career with them, either.

by Mark D on Tue May 24, 2005 at 10:12:23 AM EST

to be fair and pan my own past words, I replied to that last post with the following:

Even better to make the trade today.

I actually agree with the assessment of our future with him, and that's why I thought to bring this up in the first place. It's just I disagree with your point about other teams. Boston did have an interest at least briefly in him last year, apparently, if Peter Gammons is to be believed and he was just as bad if not worse. I still bet some contending team would be willing to throw him out there twice a week, Jose Lima-like just to see what he's got and give us something valuable for that rare opportunity to boot. I think teams will cut him slack because of Coors and think they can turn him around quickly. And then he could be the next Jason Schmidt or the next Seth Etherton for all I'm interested in. I only want to get the goods while we still can from him because as you say, the Rockies aren't going to be getting better as long as he's one of the front five.

by Rox Girl on Tue May 24, 2005 at 10:27:48 AM EST


My position has always been that we should be able to trade somebody like Jennings for a decent return, but I have to admit that the Rockies were getting a little better with him in the rotation in 2006. In 2007, they should still get better even without him in the rotation. Jason Hirsh isn't as good yet, but the improved offense will result in more wins nonetheless. As far as Taveras and Buchholz, I look at it this way:
  1. Will the players you receive outperform the players you give away? Yes
  2. Will the players you receive retain more trade value than the players you give away? Also, Yes
The fact that Taveras is a young center fielder who plays solid defense and has speed still has value in this league. Just ask the Dodgers. Buchholz and Hirsh are young talented arms, a commodity teams are always after, regardless of the "damaged goods" label that may apply to Taylor.

Second, I don't buy this "play for this year" stuff. Successful mid-market teams play for both this season and two or three seasons down the line in every move they make -and that's what the Rockies did here. Sometimes one goal will take precedence over the other, but you have to always be looking at both. Given the weak moves of the rest of the NL West this offseason, and the fact that our offense will have more players in their prime than any in the division in 2007, this was actually a fabulous time to make a trade like this and still be competitive. We now have depth, we have improved play at a key position up the middle, and we have more flexibility to still make moves in season to shore up any weaknesses that get exposed. The rotation takes a small hit, but it's not going to be significant enough to wreck our chances. Alright, I'll post more thoughts on the trade from around the horn after the jump.

From shoewizard at Diamondbacks Bullpen:

Thats an excellent trade for Colorado. Jenning is a good pitcher, but with just one year left of control, and certain to be a FA after 2007, getting Hirsh and Taveras will help them long term quite a bit

Hirsh had a rough callup, but he seems like he will have a good future, regardless....

Taveras can't hit, but his defense is more valuable in CF in Colorado than just about any other place he could go, so this is definitely maximizing what the play can do.

Bucholz probably aint much. I view him as a throw in here.

Good haul for one year of Jennings.

From MLB Trade Rumors:

Clearly, the Rockies made out like bandits on this deal.  I liken it to the trade that sent Adam Eaton to Texas last year.  The main difference is that the Astros did not a get an Otsuka-like player back in the deal.

From RotoWorld.com:

A clear winner for Rockies GM Dan O'Dowd. Jennings was a fine pitcher last year, finishing with a 3.78 ERA in 212 innings with the Rockies. Still, this is a guy with a 622/425 K/BB ratio in 941 innings as a major leaguer. He's hardly a sure thing to remain a second or third starter going forward. Considering that he's just one year away from free agency, the Astros overpaid here. He wasn't even worth Hirsh alone. Dec. 12 - 6:11 pm et

From Up in the Rockies:

WINNERS: Rockies, and it?s not close. The general consensus is that the Astros got robbed here, and I think that?s fair to say. Initially, it looked as though Taveras and Buchholz was the best that the Rox could hope in return for Jennings ? in fact, that very same package seemed to be on its way to the White Sox in exchange for Jon Garland, who?s probably a little better than Jennings, until the White Sox backed out, claiming Buchholz had failed a physical. (Buchholz said he was never given a physical, but it?s still something to keep an eye on.) Credit Dan O?Dowd for waiting for somebody to get desperate, and the Astros, after losing Andy Pettitte to the Yankees, were the very definition of desperate when it came to adding pitching.

From RoxHead:

Whoa Nelly, the deal has finally been done and what a deal it was. Home grown poster pitcher boy, Jason Jennings, is history. So long big guy, we had fun while it lasted. You pitched your heart out for us and we'll be forever grateful.

It's too bad that it had to come to this that's for sure. There's no reason why JJ with his big trunk and durable arm can't be a Rockie forever but that's wishful thinking in today's sporting world. He wanted the big bucks and no one should blame him for that. If he should blow out his arm tomorrow taking a shower, do you think the Astros will be sympathetic? Nope, no way. So go get all the cash you can and have fun. We'll miss those flushed cheeks and that determined face every five days of the summers to come.

From Coors Effect:

It's not the actual deal that worries me. It's the quotes that come with it.

"It's very hard to say goodbye to a homegrown talent, but whether it was now or at the end of the season, it was inevitable," O'Dowd said.

Dan is prepping for his statements in a couple of years when the team can no longer afford Matt Holliday.

On the other hand, the Rockies did get some good players out of this deal, and had the side benefit of ridding themselves of Miguel Asencio as well. Willy Taveras is a bit overrated, but he's a decent leadoff hitter. He can swipe a few bases but doesn't get on base a whole lot (just a .333 OBP last season.) Quite frankly, he's Cory Sullivan if Sully stole 30 bags a year. Which is like Juan Pierre, without the ridiculous price tag. Not sure who I like better in center field now. I guess if Coors Field and its humidor-juiced balls are going to play like a regular ballpark now, we could use such a player. On the other hand, Taveras will be 25 on Christmas, so he's younger than Cory and still on the upswing of his career.

From Baseball Think Factory (Szymborski):

I would've liked this trade better for the Rockies if they hadn't picked up Taveras - his BA and OBP are just not-terrible-enough that he'll look marginally useful for the Rockies and with his defensive reputation, which seems to have been earned solely by virtue of him being fast and a bad hitter, will make him look like a solution to the Rockies and eventually, some other stupid team. Coors is no longer the Best Hitters Park Ever, but it's still a decent hitters park and increases hits of all types, not just homers. I could start writing the entry for the Taveras free agent signing now and open it up come December 2010, I think.

Hirsh, of course, is the prize of this trade. He's a good pitching prospect, though not on the Hughes/Bailey level and Buchholz has potential, if some injury concerns, but I'm not sure I'd do this if I were the Rockies. You have a starting pitcher who can survive in Coors and you're going to cash him in and start over? Kind of risky.