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Friday Rockpile: The Market for Seth Smith Takes Shape

Jon Paul Morosi and Ken Rosenthal and separately Rob Neyer chimed in yesterday to discuss Seth Smith and the fact that he's pretty much getting thrown out the door. Well, not the throwing part but more likely where he's going to land. They list 5 teams as strong possibilities, including the Mariners, Athletics, Braves, Mets, and Rays.

Seattle is looking for a platoon partner for Casper Wells, so much like we've discussed here, Smith would logically fit that role.

Oakland wants a starter. Neyer suggests that given Smith's platoon/Coors splits, Smith probably shouldn't be the everyday starter. A commenter pointed out "I bet his Road/LHP splits are hilarious". I bet they are, commenter. I bet they are.

Atlanta wants a righty. Probably for the same reasons we do. But see, Rockies fans don't need to want one AS MUCH, because WE got Michael CUDDYER! Ha!

The Mets have some weird hodgepodge of outfielders now, including the overpaid and underperforming Jason Bay and probably other guys who cause you to think "oh, right, that guy".

The Rays would be landing an almost-starting-quality outfielder, which Morosi says will add "flexibility" to the Tampa outfield.

So the question for us is "Who REALLY wants him?" and then the next question should be "... and How much are they willing to give up for him?"

The Rockies seemingly have some difficulty in moving their players for the best value. It all started like 3 years ago when Brad Hawpe and Garrett Atkins were still Rockies players. The positive note is that at least they got some sort of a return from Chris Ianneta and Ian Stewart. The negative note is that they essentially handed Huston Street to the suddenly terrifying Padres.

You see, there were varying degrees of value that the team could've gotten from the players, and the team seemed to sell them at their lowest market value possible. Ian Stewart, for example, was already at pretty much his lowest possible value, given his play in the 2011 season. I don't really fault the team for moving Stewart at this low point, because I just don't think the team was going to have any better opportunities anyhow. Huston Street lost the closer's job, and the team thereby anointed Rafael Betancourt as the new closer - which was perfectly fine. What wasn't fine is doing nothing to rebuild his trade value publicly. I mean, any GM who actually does his research is going to know that Street wasn't the greatest pitcher on the planet, but the Rockies didn't even try and dress him up better than that.

While Stewart never really put it together, Street isn't very far removed from being, you know, good. His peripherals suggest that he hasn't been as bad as his 2011 blowups would indicate, but he's still a decent closer, and there's more value in Saves than Holds to many a GM.

What I'm trying to say about Street is that Colorado should've at least TRIED to sell him as "closer candidate" rather than "demoted setup man" because one is worth a lt more than the other.

Which brings us back to Seth Smith. Right now, there are teams that think Smith could be a full time starter. If they haven't done their due diligence, that's not my problem, and we need to be selling him as a starter. That said, if word gets out that he's a platoon player (he typed, tongue firmly planted in cheek), that value is going to diminish, because platoon = bad to other GMs. That ALSO said, there HAS to be one of those 5 interested teams up there who realize the value in a strong platoon bat from the left side, and would be willing to pay what that's actually WORTH.

So to conclude, Rockies, don't screw this one up. We need 2B help, we need pitching help, and we can't really afford to hand another player over for table scraps and "not-gonna-make-it"'s. We are selling off value for very little return, and that trend just needs to stop.