The merry go round spinner of the hot stove has stopped on a somewhat new name. Edinson Volquez has been discussed around these parts before (but really, who hasn't), but it has been awhile.
Now, according to Troy Renck, the Rockies and Reds are discussing a Huston Street for Edinson Volquez swap. On the surface, it makes tons of sense. The Rockies want an innings eating cost controlled pitcher. Volquez will make about $2 million in arbitration and is under team control through 2013, and he threw 196 innings in his lone fully healthy season. Meanwhile, the Reds get the closer they were looking for. The Rockies get out from under the $8million owed Street.
Volquez mid-90's heat and strikeout stuff, and he has been described as a "low cost Gio Gonzalez alternative," an assertion that the numbers certainly support. If this deal were to go through, SABR writers would have no choice but to heap praise on the Rockies. They could then take that money saved and absorb Placido Polanco's contract. But first, the Phillies would have to sign Aramis Ramirez. Ah, hot stove season.
Of course, there are complications here. The Reds don't want to just add $6million to the payroll in that exchange. If the Rockies don't eat some of the contract, which would go against the essence of the deal, the Reds want an A-ball or AA pitcher. There are a lot of names on those rosters that would make Dan O'Dowd balk.
Then there's the question of Volquez' quality. He started the 2008 All-Star Game, but has been a mess since. His career walk rate is near five, and he had problems with the long ball last year. His stuff hasn't matched his results, leaving many to wonder what's wrong with Edinson Volquez?
It should be noted that Volquez had Tommy John surgery in late 2009. The surgery leads to a year recover time, and sometimes an extra year to regain control. His velocity and stuff has returned, but his mediocre location still has not. That two year period ended with the 2011 season, so his time to rebound could conceivably be 2012. The upside in the rotation could be huge, and the downside in the bullpen will be mitigated by the depth already in place, or from a cheap free agent.
If O'Dowd can get the Reds to bite on a minor league pitcher without huge prospect power - say Dan Houston or even Parker Frazier - I do this deal.
Other Names to Watch
LaTroy Hawkins - Rockies have met with him, but need to free up payroll space. A Street deal would accomplish this, with O'Dowd pulling the same tactic as the Iannetta trade. Deal a piece for a cheap starting pitcher, then sign a veteran to fill the new hole created.
Ian Stewart - The Cubs and Diamondbacks interest appears to have cooled, and the Rockies will wait it out. They are not acting as if Stewart must be dealt this offseason, which I agree with completely.
Martin Prado - The Rockies touched base with the Braves yesterday to reassert their interest, but nothing is imminent. If the Phillies sign Aramis Ramirez, Placido Polanco will become available, hurting Atlanta's market for Prado.
Renck: Rockies finding lots of teams interested in outfielder Seth Smith - The Denver Post Smith's value has been tough to gauge. Some argue straight for his rate stats, indicating he's an underused cheap slugger. Others are positive he's a platoon player only. There's a big difference between the two, so the Rockies hope at least one club is convinced of the former. Smith came up in a Volquez deal. Also, yet another update on Juan Nicasio that will knock your doors off.
Bob Apodaca, Rick Peterson won’t be joining Bobby Valentine in Boston | HardballTalk Apodaca was Valentine's pitching coach with the Mets. This possibility had not been brought up before, but that's because it had no legs anyway. Dac is staying.
Marichal plans to talk with former Rockie Ubaldo | On the Rox — Colorado Rockies news — Denver Post I would imagine that would be the most surreal conversation ever. The only pitcher from your country in the Hall of Fame coming up to you and saying, "Yo....so what the hell was wrong with you last year? You had to be hurt, because you flat stunk."
Orioles and Rockies Discussing Trade For Huston Street | FanGraphs Baseball Jim Breen reacts to a late night tweet from Jon Paul Morosi. No return has been publicized, but the more teams linked to Street, the better.
NL West Updates
It hasn't been a particularly encouraging offseason for our contending-level division rivals as of yet.
- Dodgers - inexplicably signed Adam Kennedy, Jerry Hairston Jr., Aaron Harang and Mark Ellis to two year contracts. Those four alone will make around $22million in 2013. Such deals guarantee Hiroki Kuroda's exit.
- Diamondbacks - have yet to make an impact move. They are hot on the tail of Kuroda, but Jon Heyman heard it's a longshot. We will also find out if Lyle Overbay accepted Arizona's one-year offer this morning. If he accepts, the Diamondbacks' lukewarm interest in Ian Stewart will be quashed.
- Giants - Fans of the former reigning World Series champs were told the Giants could not afford an impact hitter, as they were focused on extending their core pitching. Yet Tim Lincecum wants an 8-year extension, with San Francisco offering four, a vast expanse to negotiate from. Instead, they are looking at the Ryan Ludwicks and Mark DeRosas of the world with that hypthetical money tied up.
- Padres - looking at Andrew Bailey to replace Heath Bell, but with the Red Sox involved now, negotiations could be tough. Bell wanted to return to San Diego, but the Padres never made an offer. With San Diego out of the contention window, their winter meeting moves are unlikely to shape the divisional title picture.
This Date in Rockies History
2007: Jose Capellan (Giants) and Steven Register (Mets) were selected from the organization in the Rule 5 draft.
2005: Signed RHP Bret Prinz
2004: Terminated the contract of LHP Denny Neagle via Section 7(b)(1) of the Uniform Player Contract.
1995: Signed SS Walt Weiss
1993: Signed 1B Andres Galarraga