It looks as if Karim Garcia has joined Rod Barajas and chosen the Phillies' offer over the Rockies, once again leaving the team on the losing end of a bidding war for back-up parts. Not much more to say today as far as the Rockies go.
As has been mentioned by Russ, however, there is likely to be one big move made official within the division later today, the Diamondbacks are going to announce reacquiring Randy Johnson from the Yankees, and already the media is lining up to kiss Brian Cashman's feet as to how great and shrewd he is. "Even if none of the prospects from Arizona pan out," according to Dayn Perry, will this move be better for the Yankees.
Uhm, no. Performance issues aside, the Diamondbacks did bring back to the fold a proven revenue draw, and they should be able to recoup their $26 million dollars in increased gate sales in the fifteen games or so when Johnson starts over the next two years. The D-backs' rotation now takes a clear step ahead of the Rockies for 2007, and is no longer the worst in the division. The only way this deal works out better for the Yankees is if they do get some return from Vizcaino, Ohlendorf, and company -which they probably will- but it isn't the slam dunk steal Perry and others are making it out to be.
Compare it for a moment to the deal the Rockies made earlier this offseason with Houston. Jason Jennings won't be the draw that Randy Johnson is, and while JJ might perform better than RJ this year and here on out, there's no guarantee he'll be back in Houston in 2008 and beyond. For Jennings, the Rockies got two young MLB ready starters of better quality than the pitchers the Diamondbacks gave up, as well as a centerfielder that's at least as good as the shortstop prospect sent to New York, and again, the player the Rox got is already in the MLB whereas Alberto Gonzalez is not. If the Yankees got a steal for RJ in three prospects plus a reliever, then why wasn't more written about the Rockies heist? Oh. That's right, because our team plays in Denver.
Anyway, now back to the Rockies chances for 2007 and what this means, for a bit. I just mentioned that I feel we now have the worst rotation in the division, but should we feel obligated to do something about this? I'm going to suggest that a panic move for 2007 isn't necessary until we know for sure how young pitchers like Jason Hirsh, Ubaldo Jiminez, Taylor Buchholz and others will perform. Our rotation may be the weakest in the West overall right now, but it seems to have more potential than at least three out of four of our divisional rival. The Dodgers, with Billingsley, Seo and Elbert, have a bit more, maybe the Giants (Cain, Zito, Lincecum and Jonathan Sanchez could be a formidable front four) can make an argument as well. Still, we would only need two of our rookie pitchers to step up in performance this Spring (this is probably harder than I'm making it sound) to make a move for a starter unnecessary. Only after not seeing any maturation from our young guns, might we want to look for help by the trade deadline.
Does this mean that the team acted rashly in trading Jennings? No, the deal as I mention above, still clearly benefits the Rockies, and it was probably the right thing to do from a baseball perspective. As for this year's rotation, for now, we'll just have to chew on our fingernails a bit in anticipation of what will come about and move once we know a little better what we've got.