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Saturday Rockpile: Rockies Remain in Pursuit of Prado, Lose Out on Oswalt and Tanaka

The Rockies are seemingly remaining busy this offseason, as negotiations with the Braves regarding Martin Prado are reportedly still ongoing. However, I can't imagine a scenario where other teams won't put together an offer similar to (or maybe even better than) what the Rockies offered in Seth Smith, so if they're serious about acquiring him then they'll need to step up their game. I am firmly in the camp that Prado is a significant upgrade over any and every part of the current 2B/3B shitshow that is currently clogging the Rockies' 40-man roster (seriously, is Blake DeWitt any better than Ian Stewart?). Maybe the Rockies' attempt to acquire Tyler Colvin instead of DeWitt was seen as a possible precursor to a Prado deal by the Colorado front office. That, however, doesn't appear to be happening.

One darkhorse candidate that the Rockies were giving serious consideration to is Japanese free agent Kensuke Tanaka. The 30-year-old infielder's last full season was in 2010, when he hit .335/.408/.417 and stole 34 bases. It's obviously unclear how that would translate at the MLB level, but his patience probably would have been a good fit for Colorado. However, it's all a moot point, as Tanaka appears to be staying in Japan.

Even with the recent acquistion of Tyler Chatwood, the Rockies are still obviously looking for some help in the starting rotation. One guy that they had their eye on is apparently no longer an option, as Troy Renck says that Roy Oswalt's price will be too steep. However, Kevin Millwood still remains a viable option, and the Rockies also have some interest in bringing Jeff Francis back into the fold. Francis is strictly a junkballer at this point in his career, but at least he's capable of filling a back-end-of-the-rotation role.

More links after the jump...

MLB - Justin Upton leads top 50 list of MLB players under age 25 - ESPN
ESPN's Keith Law, who has perhaps deservedly become a controversial figure around these parts recently, posted his top 50 MLB players under 25. The Diamondbacks' Justin Upton leads the way, and despite having ten players on their 40-man roster under the age of 25, the Rockies only 'placed' one guy on the list. Here's what Law has to say about Jhoulys Chacin, who came in at number 39:

I was tempted to dress up for Halloween as a zombie wearing a Rockies cap and call myself Ghoulys Chacin, but I doubt my five-year-old would have gotten it. Chacin is a command righty with a plus changeup and an above-average slider who generates enough ground balls with his two-seamer to survive in Coors Field. His walk total was uncharacteristically high in 2011, but even if he brings that down, in all likelihood he's a solid No. 3 with a small chance to exceed that.

NL West: Three fixes for each team - SweetSpot Blog - ESPN
In other analysis from the four-letter network, David Schoenfield lists each NL West squad's three main areas for improvement. Nothing at all groundbreaking here.