A year ago at this time, rather than rooting for who would get the privilege of eventually becoming the Rockies most reviled middle reliever, we were watching the team scan the bargain trade market for pitchers that were likely to be cut by their teams. For a while, it seemed as though the pitcher the Rockies would get would be Chad Gaudin, who today is in the exact same situation of not being quite good enough for the 25 man roster of the team he signed with, but apparently the best available pitcher out there (he really needs to get some better off season advisers, I think) for a lot of the other teams looking for pitching. Instead, however, the Rockies focus shifted to Jason Hammel, and Rockies fans everywhere became super excited, as you can tell by the comments here at Purple Row.
It's interesting to note that the thought we had at the time was that Hammel was acquired to fill the role that the bloody bastard Tim Redding, may we all perpetually rain curses upon him and his household for not slaying dragons, hopes to occupy now, that of a spot starter/long reliever that wouldn't figure to get used unless we were already screwed somehow either by an injury to one of the team's starters or a disastrous outing from one of them.
Two years ago this past week, the Rockies named Mark Redman the starter for the home opener, and that very day traded Ramon Ramirez for a player to be named later. That player, of course, turned out to be Jorge De La Rosa, who was named a starter for the home opener in 2010. Hmm, I think I will take this year's honoree, thank you.
What you look for in trades around this time of year are useful reserves. Bench players that will soon be forgotten. Guys like Gaudin or Redding that will add some value but then find themselves reliving the exact scenario year after year. That Dan O'Dowd was able to acquire two pitchers that would become rotation mainstays in subsequent years is both a credit to him and have to be considered an extremely lucky break for the organization.
So the Diamondbacks are looking for a mid-rotation starter, and our team's recent history would suggest that if they don't leave stones unturned, such a starter could be out there. Still, I wouldn't count on them finding their version of Hammel or JDLR, and thank the baseball gods once again for letting us find ours when we did.
I'm sorry, every time I read about Dexter Fowler working out with Andruw Jones over the winter, I can't help but think how Scott Boras is drepresenting three fifths of our young outfield (Fowler, Carlos Gonzalez and Ryan Spilborghs) and the headaches this is going to cause in a few years. I wish I saw more Boras clients stay with their original teams to ease my worries about this, but they just keep on coming up.
Todd Helton and Jason Giambi are hardly peas in a pod, but they're doing well for each other, it seems.
There are a couple of other interesting links in the FanShots down the right side of the column, in particular I liked the Jim Caple tribute to Hi Corbett linked by DbacksSkins.