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Friday Rockpile: O'Dowd to roll dice in offseason

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According to Tracy Ringolsby's article this morning:

Given the failure of this season, it will open the door for O'Dowd to be more daring than he was last year and puts the Rockies in position to shake the baseball world with a couple daring moves.

Mentioned specifically by Ringolsby are trades of both Matt Holliday and Garrett Atkins and the plan to offer Brian Fuentes arbitration but the expectancy that he'll find his way to greener pastures. Perhaps the biggest implicit gamble in this scenario for O'Dowd is that Todd Helton will be able to recover enough of his value to make letting Holliday and Atkins go more palatable. I've got to say I'm least confident about this aspect of O'Dowd's plan, as back injuries tend to be chronic and the drop-off from Todd to Jeff Baker or Joe Koshansky is a lot steeper than the switch to Atkins. 

As usual, dollars are playing a big role in the team's decisions, but the $22.5 million that Ringolsby brings up in salary savings should give the team some flexibility in filling its most crucial position void at second base. Orlando Hudson? Suddenly he would seem a lot more possible and doesn't require the sacrifice of our farm system. If we're being stingy, Mark Ellis would be a solid buy low option. I would think the team would also be wise by signing Chris Iannetta to an arbi-buyout contract similar to Tulowitzki's.

That's all, of course, assuming that somehow in a Holliday and Atkins trade that we get a quality MLB ready young starter.  Tampa Bay has the obvious collection of arms, but each of the teams Ringolsby mentions has at least one young arm that would qualify.