Troy Renck's soapbox right now is that Todd Helton needs to be a bench player. As much as it hurts, it's not a winning argument to say otherwise. Keep in mind this move would basically sink the Rockies chances of having their first Hall of Famer for the next 20 years until (we hope, but can't guarantee) Troy Tulowitzki and/or Gonzalez or Jimenez might give us another shot.
Renck also starts off well in suggesting a replacement in Paul Konerko, a player everybody seems to be in agreement would be a perfect fit, but we're all also in agreement that there seems to be little reason to believe that the Rockies would be able to afford him.
To varying degrees I like Renck's next two suggestions as well, but remain skeptical about how realistic they are to acquire. Yonder Alonso has somewhat had an off year with the bat this season in AAA (an .813 OPS and 10 HR might be good for other positions, but at first, the numbers fall short) and there are rising fears he may top out as a AAAA player. Given this, Walt Jocketty is unlikely to sell low on him, and will be more inclined to give him another season to bring the value back up.
Billy Butler's certainly a solid player, but I think the costs of acquiring him will quickly outstrip the value he'll bring back. Mike McKenry and Chris Nelson aren't going to cut it, and then once you get into Iannetta/Nelson range, which I think Dayton Moore still would balk at, you've got to be very careful not to subtract more from your current team than you're replacing. If he could be had for either price Renck suggests, I'd be on board, but I'm very doubtful that's the case. By the way, the Royals system does contain one Wil Myers, a catching prospect likely to rank in the top 10 in baseball this winter. Catchers might not be what they're looking for, my guess is that it would take a Chacin/Nelson package to even start the conversation.
One player that Renck earlier tweeted he'd maybe like to see but apparently backed off on for this column is Oakland's Chris Carter. The reason why there would be a retreat is that his 0 for 19, 9 K cup of coffee with the A's sent a lot of people scurrying and there are the same AAAA fears here that there are with Alonso. It could be true of Billy Beane as well, as his dealings with Carlos Gonzalez showed at times he can be impatient with player development at the major league level. If we're looking for a decent young, right handed first base bat that could be available at a bargain basement price, Carter may be the guy to look for.
Second base is a bit trickier. Renck writes off Nelson as trade bait, and I don't know if that's reflecting some front office/managerial opinion or just Renck's alone. If it's the former, and in the Rockies personnel moves, there are real hints that this might be the case, it's disappointing, but it clears up the picture somewhat. Instead of a four man competition, it would seem the Rockies are going to give Barmes, Jonathan Herrera and Eric Young Jr. the opportunity to win the spot. The moves this week with Herrera insure that both he and Young will have options remaining for 2011, so one of those two will likely be back at Colorado Springs next year.
Kudos to the organization that this doesn't seem to be just a "let's see who has the best Spring" deal either, as the competition is going on right now. In a year filled with some questionable decisions, this one at least is a credit to them.
I've prattled on, and only filled in one link thus far, I'll look for more after I post this and try to edit them in.
More on McKenry, who would seem to fit as a possible backup for 2011 should the Rockies decide to part with Iannetta or Olivo during the offseason. Wilin Rosario's ACL injury does give him a little more breathing room on the depth chart for the time being, but Jordan Pacheco's also climbing quickly, and after a second half comeback we can't rule out Lars Davis. Life as a catcher in the Rockies system has to be kind of stressful right now.
Irv Moss caught up with Joey Williamson, who saw friend Matt Reynolds make his MLB debut this past week. Williamson decided to retire from the Rockies system last winter, and while he had some promise as a potential middle reliever, the odds were certainly against him. It has to be a difficult decision, and I can't fault anybody in Williamson's position making the choice to hang them up.