Dan O'Dowd continues to look into ways to improve the Rockies club, and it seems that he'd really like to be able to do it without giving up anything at all, or at least not much.
Wandy Rodriguez? Too rich for the Rockies liking.
Gavin Floyd? Foolhardy to even think it was possible last winter, or now, according to Chicago media.
Remember Michael Young? Texas also balked at the Rockies offer. At some point, all of this adds up and you recognize that they all couldn't be terrible deals for Colorado. What O'Dowd wants to be able to pull off is another move like the one that acquired Jason Hammel (who was sharp in relief yesterday) or the trade for Jorge De La Rosa. The difference now is that he wants to be able to do this type deal with established quality starters rather than the promising but still prospective pitchers that Hammel and De La Rosa were. So while like all Rockies fans, I dream on David Wright playing in purple, I seriously doubt O'Dowd's willingness to pay the price in prospects that acquiring that level of player demands, even were he to become available.
Despite the ravings of people that don't understand the sizable financial differences between LA and SF and the rest of the NL West markets, the Rockies really can't afford to play the free agent money game and remain viable long term, and given the fickleness of minor league development, at some point trades for established players will have to be used to bring the Rockies from decent and perpetually on the verge of contention to a legitimate contention level.
So instead, that leaves us fans with:
Woot. It's yet another nice value/hope-the-upside-materializes play by the F.O. and while there's ultimately a decent return for consistently making quality decisions with this type of move (oh hey look, Jose Lopez is batting .333/.344/.767 in 10 games since being recalled by Florida,) it's still leaving that big blank space in O'Dowd's record in the tier of trades for established MLB players above this.
As the Ubaldo Jimenez deal is already showing, O'Dowd has displayed he does have acumen in the reverse situation, trading an established player for prospects, but if the Rockies really want to contend regularly during this Carlos Gonzalez/Troy Tulowitzki period, I think he needs to show that he can better supplement his stars with an established and quality supporting cast.
- Dan Lucero's great piece on Troy Tulowitzki at SBN Denver