Tracy Ringolsby reports that our General Manager will be "much more aggressive" this offseason after taking a costly conservative hiatus last winter.
All four of the mentioned teams that are supposedly interested in Taveras have comparable players already in the majors or close. I have no idea why any of them would be too willing to give up a lot of value in return, the possible exception being the White Sox, who have players that should be comparable to Taveras, but just haven't panned out as well as even Willy has. They had to rely on Nick Swisher or Ken Griffey Junior for over 100 games in center field last season, which will never help a defense. I'm going to guess that we'll get a somewhat questionable near ready AAA or recently debuted MLB reliever in exchange.
- Royals - ?
- Yankees - Ian Kennedy? I don't buy it as it's too good to be true, but that was the rumor. My realist expectation would be more along the lines of a Ross Ohlendorf. The Yankees have a lot of young relievers, we might get a steal just dealing for some of their excess.
- White Sox - If we could pry Boone Logan or Lance Broadway away, great, but my guess would be somebody like Ehren Wasserman. He had a pretty terrible ERA in the MLB in 2008, but the small sample was atypical of his GB heavy pitching skill and he'd be a decent plug in the middle of an NL bullpen.
- Braves - With Josh Anderson seemingly ready to take over right now and Jordan Schaffer and Gorkys Hernandez pretty close, I really don't know if the Braves are that good a fit. If they've expressed interest it would be with Taveras as an insurance policy. What's more, their young pitching is either too good for Willy Taveras or not good enough so the likely best return for the Rockies would either be a utility player like Diory Hernandez or fourth outfielder type.
Holliday is likely to bring the biggest trade return of the offseason with the possible exception of what the Padres get for Jake Peavy, and we could look at the best available player from our trading partner as a starting point. I'll list who I think that player is for each team Ringolsby mentions, but realize that the Rockies will also get an add on or three by the time the bidding closes.
- Yankees - Phil Hughes
- Red Sox - Justin Masterson. Add Michael Bowden and Clay Buchholz as a trifecta that the Rockies would try and break-up. The Padres are looking at the same group from Boston for Peavy. That said, there's a roster glut here which would imply that the Red Sox would then look to deal J.D. Drew if they were to acquire Holliday. Added complications like that make me skeptical that Boston will come up with the best offer. The Yankees have a similar glut, but a lot of mid-30's players means they also have more imperative to add a younger guy to the mix.
- Rays - Jeremy Hellickson; Tampa Bay kept him off limits in talks with Pittsburgh for Jason Bay at the trade deadline, preferring to dangle Jeff Niemann. As turned out to be the case then, Niemann won't be quite enough.
- Angels - Ervin Santana. The complication here is that they would have to sign C.C. Sabathia or Ben Sheets to allow them to trade Santana for offense.
- Mets - Fernando Martinez. The only team on this list where the best available young player isn't a pitcher.
- Phillies - Carlos Carrasco
- Nationals - Ross Detwiler. The Nats are an interesting inclusion on this list that I hadn't been aware of and I'm surprised the Reds aren't mentioned. At any rate, I would think Detwiler would be the Rockies primary interest from Washington, since they were keen on him before the 2007 draft.
Atkins' situation is a bit peculiar in a good way for Rockies fans, as he seems to be drawing interest a bit above his actual value. This makes it difficult for me to peg what to expect in a return. It won't be the same as with Holliday, but with a lot of teams looking, I'm thinking it might turn out to be a pleasant surprise. I'm going to guess the Rockies wind up with quantity over quality, but it could be that the Rockies get one really good piece.
- Yankees - Kennedy plus prospects. I doubt they'd offer Hughes for Atkins, but like I said, the interest in Garrett is stronger than I anticipated.
- Red Sox - I'm really not sure. I don't think the Red Sox would offer the same pitchers or players that Holliday would draw, and their second tier of prospects really isn't that great or too far from contributing.
- Angels - Dustin Mosely, although I'd like to try for a middle infielder like Howie Kendrick.
- Mets - This is curious to me that they're included as interested in Atkins ,and I have to think maybe it's an omission since they have Wright and Delgado already.
- Phillies - Carrasco. We'd get less on the add-ons than we would with Holliday, but the Phillies need a better solution at third than Pedro Feliz and I could see both the Rockies holding out for Carrasco and the Phils acquiescing here.
- White Sox - Javier Vazquez? The Wihite Sox are agressively trying to trade him and looking for a third baseman at the same time, the one for one swap would make sense for both teams, but Vazquez has a no-trade clause that blocks out Western teams, I'm assuming that getting him to waive it to go to Colorado would be nearly impossible.
- Minnesota - Kevin Slowey