Denver Post beat reporter Troy Renck has been giving us the down-low on potential trades popping up in that may affect the team as they prepare for what needs to be a pretty epic stretch run.
The first, and we've discussed this at length, is Jorge Cantu. Cantu would provide some extra pop in a pretty power-starved lineup, but the questions remain as follows:
1. He's been in free-fall since April.
2. He's defensively questionable.
3. He's redundant to Melvin Mora.
4. What exactly is the price tag?
5. Who pays the rest of his $6M salary this season?
All indications are that Florida REALLY wants to move him, and it looks like the Texas Rangers are in on him as well.
My personal opinion is: given the redundancy to Mora, the high salary, and the fact that we might have to give away ANY kind of talent makes this a deal I'm really not interested in. I don't see him as a realistic improvement to the team.
You can read more details and background information on this trade from Troy Renck at the Denver Post.
The second player that has been brought up just in the past little while is Chicago Cubs IF Ryan Theriot. Theriot has played mostly 2B and 3B with the Cubs, although he has taken reps at 3B and in the OF as well. UZR grades Theriot as an above-average 2B and a below-average SS. He seems to have lost a step in 2010, as far as range goes, but he's only a year removed from some pretty solid fielding.
Theriot's bat has also been on a decline since 2008, but he has been able to maintain a respectable .283 batting average. His best full season at the plate came in 2008, .307/.387/.359, good for a .745 OPS and a .338 wOBA (103 wRC+), however he posted a .934 OPS in 50+ games back in 2006.
While Theriot is hardly a power threat, he is a 20+ SB threat, and his 90.2% contact rate is better than any other position player on the Rockies. If he can re-find his plate discipline, Theriot could present a very promising on-base player for Colorado. Theriot is also arbitration-eligible in 2011, so this would be a move that would have impacts next season as well as this. Theriot is also only making $2.6M in 2010, which is less expensive than Clint Barmes.
My questions would be these:
1. Again, who are we giving up for Theriot?
2. What role do we expect Theriot to take with the Rockies? (Utility, starting 2B?)
3. Is Chris Nelson a non-factor?
My opinion: I am hesitantly ok with this, but that entirely depends on the return to Chicago. Theriot, while I don't think he's all that great, is at least quick and scrappy and stuff like that. I typically make fun of it, but it'd be great to have someone to make change for all of our big bills. All that said, Theriot COULD make something of himself again, but seeing how this is his Age-30 season, I don't really anticipate TOO much of a renaissance. I'm very Meh about this trade potential
As a final note to this trade rumor article, Renck suggests that Clint Barmes could be interesting to many a team. We've heard of interest in him the past few seasons, and Renck puts it as such:
Kind of puts things into a bit of perspective, huh? The investment in Barmes, as far as money this season goes makes him kind of disappointing, but the fact that he can slide all over the infield without us missing a beat and at least do a good job defensively makes him valuable to us. But if a Theriot trade goes through, we'll be sitting on like 3 or 4 redundant players for the 2B/UTIL job come 2011.
None of these moves are serious impact moves, but they're at least interesting. Something to kick around. Keep your ear to the ground, maybe this week will get more interesting for us after all.