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Tuesday Rockpile: Just How Real Are Martin Prado Rumors?

The rumor just will not go away. The Rockies want Martin Prado, and Seth Smith could be a fit in a deal. When Ian Stewart was dealt for Tyler Colvin and DJ LeMahieu, it made even more sense for Colorado. With the signing of Michael Cuddyer, the motivation to trade Seth Smith increased even more for Colorado. So we continue to be presented with the possibility.

Notice the sources and causes here. "For Colorado." All momentum and ink for a Prado/Smith deal come from the Rocky Mountain region. During a lull in Rockies-related news, Thomas Harding pulled out the old reliable topic, stating "the possibility of a trade remains alive." In other words, the possibility isn't dead. Few potential trades really ever are.

How much sense does a Smith/Prado deal make for Atlanta? That is the question seldom asked. Head to Talking Chop, and they just want the rumor to go ahead and die for good. Braves beat reporter David O'Brien has been pretty quiet on the subject, touching on it almost exclusively in response to buzz generate from Rockies sources. If a Prado/Smith deal is consummated, Tim Wheeler would need to be included.

If you're Atlanta, why deal Prado for Smith and Wheeler when you need a corner outfielder with pop from the right side? Especially when Cody Ross could be had for a two year deal and has just as much pop? Smith is a better hitter, but Ross fits Atlanta's needs more squarely, plus they keep Prado as Chipper insurance. Or if not Ross, JD Drew would fit the bill, potentially more than Smith

So is it all fluff, a topic stretched far beyond rationality by our trusty beat to keep us entranced? I wouldn't go that far. Not quite. Dan O'Dowd strangely omitted Prado's name on last week's conference call but openly disputed interest in Jair Jurrjens, indicating an opening exists for Prado. Frank Wren plays things very close to the vest, so his silence isn't a death knell to a potential deal. I don't doubt Wren and O'Dowd actually discussed Prado last week without locking the door on it.

In truth, the possibility of landing Prado seems to be much less likely that we would like. It is also much more likely than Braves fans probably want to admit, considering Nolan Arenado and Dexter Fowler would no sooner be sacrificed in the deal than to be sacrificed on home plate to the baseball gods on Opening Day. By now, Wren would have stopped taking O'Dowd's "Smtih for Prado?" calls if that was all there was to it.

If a Prado deal is not completed, the Rockies still have the issue of Seth Smith. Do they keep a player with notable trade interest on the bench, only to watch his trade value significantly diminish through 2012? He would be an asset on the roster, no question, but at the opportunity cost of what he might fetch in trade. Jon Paul Morosi examined five potential destinations for Smith but did not suggest any specific return for any club.

Links From NL West and Beyond

Everything 'Clicked' When Andres Torres Confronted ADHD - Baseball Nation Rob Neyer profiles the former Giants' center fielder and the reason Torres was unable to break through in the majors. At least one of them.

A Mat Latos Primer For NL Central Fans - Baseball Nation Grant Brisbee introduces Mat Latos to rivals of the Reds as the height of unlikeability.

Hey, This Jason Kubel Thing Might Work (But Probably Not) - Baseball Nation The Diamondbacks' left-fielder last season won a Gold Glove and was solid with the bat, yet they just signed one of the worst defensive corner outfielders of the last decade with a slightly better bat. Rob Neyer tries to figure it out.

Anthony Castrovince: Rangers make big, brave acquisition with Yu Darvish | News Yes, it's nearly $52million just for the exclusive right to sign Darvish, unproven in MLB, to a large contract, likely in the 5yr/$75million range. If Darvish doesn't sign (he most certainly will), that $52mil is returned to Texas. Darvish has had significant success in Japan (two MVPs, three strikeout titles) in seven pro seasons. Many are turned off of Darvish solely because of Daisuke Matsuzaka, who was older when the Red Sox paid for him, and who was actually pretty good until injuries tore him apart. Unique moves like this, in any section of society, are often assumed to work out exactly like the previous most similar situation, which is faulty logic. It is a risk for Texas, but in losing CJ Wilson to the rival Angels and seeing the best player on the planet also sign there, it is a risk worth taking in trying to keep their talented core at contending level, but perhaps push them over the top.

Jeff Passan: Massive Darvish bid worth the risk for Rangers

To continue with the Rangers vein, it has been nice watching Darren Oliver finding such success in Texas. The following two tweets should put that into a purple light:

@2003bro "...released in July, and (presumably) retired in August. American League sluggers and bleacher creatures will miss (Darren Oliver)."

That was taken from the 2003 print version of Baseball Prospectus. The Rockies signed Oliver mere weeks later, and he went on to win 13 games, which still stands as the second highest of his career.

@JonHeymanCBS "lots of guesses as to why oliver's 4 best ERAs came at ages 37-40. he thinks 1 is that rox apodaca taught him cutter."