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Thursday Rockpile: Redding redux; Snakes speaking with a forked tongue

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In the winter of 2009, after he was non-tendered by the Washington Nationals, the Rockies were one of Tim Redding's more dogged pursuers before the right hander eventually decided to sign with the Mets. He would go on to start 17 times for them and appear in 30 games in total, posting a 3-6 record with a 5.10 ERA. Spurned by Redding, the Rockies pursuit of another MLB established, but reasonably priced starter for added depth continued into the start of the season when they were finally able to acquire Jason Hammel via trade with the Rays. Hammel would start 30 times for the Rockies, going 10-8 and posting a 4.33 ERA.

In a parallel universe where the French won Waterloo and eventually the world but mysteriously allowed the development of professional baseball in the very large American colony of Louisiana, the Colorado Les Roches probably did sign Redding and the Rockies finished behind the Gyants in the 2009 sauvage card race. Hmm... I really need lay off putting so many mushrooms in my breakfast omelet.

So now that the Rockies are again pursuing (okay, maybe too strong a word, let's just say "looking at" for now) Redding according to Thomas Harding, I have to say I'm curious how this would work out. I'm going to guess that the team is looking to sign Redding or a similar pitcher to a minor league contract NRI with a player opt out if they aren't on the 25 man roster by the start of the season, similar to the deal the team signed Brian Lawrence to before the start of the 2007 season.

A couple of quick NL West links:

The Diamondbacks are still waiting on Kelly Johnson, but the second baseman apparently has better offers available. There is some interesting phrasing in the Nick Piecoro post, namely the "if all things were equal he'd rather play for them" part, because the "better offers available" part pretty explicitly states that things as they stand are not equal.

The D-backs are also interested in Randy Winn, who "likely would get a fair amount of at bats" but isn't going to be starting over Justin Upton, Chris Young or whoever winds up starting in left for the team between Conor Jackson (if Brandon Allen is ready to play first), Gerardo Parra or Eric Byrnes.... which come to think of it, doesn't indicate a "a fair amount of at bats" to be available, either.

Byrnes, as the team's fourth outfielder in 2009 had only 245 AB's, Alex Romero as D-backs OF option #5 had 100 at bats less than that. So it seems Piecoro's being a good company soldier for the Snakes in that post in selling Winn on some phantom available AB's that would supposedly make it almost like starting for him. There is an interesting implication in the post, however, that if the Snakes do sign Winn, it would either make Byrnes the most expensive fifth outfielder in the majors or, and this is my guess, cheaply available to all 29 other MLB teams as the Snakes pay him $11 million to play somewhere else.

According to Ken Gurnick, the Dodgers were Toronto's preferred trading partner for Roy Halladay, but the right hander wouldn't okay a move to Los Angeles. Using the haul the Blue Jays got from Philadelphia and Seattle as a measuring stick, and given that Ned Colletti seemed pretty adamant about not dealing Clayton Kershaw or Chad Billingsley, I'm speculating that a Dodger deal that would have worked for both teams would probably have centered around LA's top prospect Chris Withrow as a starting point, and likely also would have included Russell Martin. At any rate, the good news about this is that Halladay to LA didn't happen and the Dodgers are still seen by other GM's as easy partners when it comes to acquiring prospects.