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Wednesday Rockpile: Rocky Road Could Lead to Deadline Deals

Could Huston Street be on the move at the deadline?
Could Huston Street be on the move at the deadline?

At this point, it's pretty clear to me that the Rockies are firmly in the seller's camp heading into the trade deadline. However, Colorado fancies itself a contender in the near future (I happen to share the same opinion), so figuring out which pieces to give up without mortgaging 2012 is the tricky path that Dan O'Dowd must tread. In terms of Rockies trades to be made, I've made it pretty clear where I stand on trading Ubaldo Jimenez (don't), but there are a few pieces that I would consider moving at the deadline.

First and foremost, Colorado should look to move closer Huston Street for three reasons -- 1. He's an above average closer/relief arm, something always in high demand at the trade deadline, 2. He's slated to make over $7 million next year, and 3. Colorado has a cheaper (but still good) replacement in waiting in either Matt Lindstrom (short-term) or Rex Brothers (over the next few years). In addition, Street is the player most likely to garner a return that will likely produce MLB value. To be honest, it wouldn't take much of a return for Colorado to profit on a Street deal because of these factors, but I think that the return for Street would be decent.

Another piece I see as having value to other teams while simultaneously not crippling Colorado's future chances is Ty Wigginton -- especially since league average OPS for 3B this year is under .700. His defensive "versatility", veteraniness, and the fact that he has been a league average bat make him attractive to contenders as a depth option (for the good teams) or as a starter (for the Pirates). At this point, letting Chris Nelson and Ian Stewart split the reps from here on out can only help the team in that it will clarify if either is a full time option going forward.

Next, Colorado needs to thin out the herd of outfielders that has suddenly appeared in the upper levels of the minor league system and the big league club. The obvious move is to pawn Ryan Spilborghs (or Eric Young Jr.) off on whomever will take him so that the Rockies can get another one of their young guns more playing time. Obviously the return for those players wouldn't be very high, but there is value in giving a player like Tim Wheeler some exposure to Major League pitching.

If return on an outfielder were more important, then Seth Smith would be your guy. I still feel like Smith is undervalued by the Rockies (and that his bat is almost too valuable to deal away from a team trying to contend for 2012), but given the depth of prospects banging on the door, it's something that must be given a thought. The main reason that I'm somewhat against trading Smith (and Chris Iannetta for that matter) is that he'll provide above league-average production offensively at a cheap price. Prospects are great, but there's considerable value to the Rockies in 2012 in having Smith anchor the middle of the lineup and Iannetta holding down the fort at catcher.

One rumored trade chip, Jason Giambi, was moved to the 15 day DL, which will probably take him out of play (though apparently he's still drawing trade interest). I don't believe that he would have been on the move anyway.


Scoring (4) Runs is Important Update

Colorado has scored 3 or less in 53 of its 104 games (51%).

Rockies record when scoring 3 or less: 11-42 (.208)

When they score 4 or more: 37-14 (.725)

Yep, still important.

One more note on that statistic -- of the 53 games that the Rockies have failed to score 4 runs in, 33 (62%) have come on the road. Of the 27 games in which the Rockies have scored 2 or less, 19 (70%) have been on the road. Well, there you have it. Colorado is losing in large part because they aren't scoring at least 4 runs in 63% of their games. In 52 road games, the Rockies have scored 176 runs (3.4 runs/game) compared to 288 in 52 at home (5.5 R/game).

Is the Coors effect really 2.1 runs per game and a difference of .050/.054/.087 (AVG/OBP/SLG)? Coors has been masking the impotence of the Rockies' offense since last year, but the fact of the matter is that this team is pretty terrible offensively despite all of the talent in place.

On a less depressing note, Grant's SBNation Power Rankings are hilarious...and somewhat skeptical of Colorado's intent to trade Jimenez.