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Thursday Rockpile: Upton deal has Fowler's trade stock up, but deal still seems far off or even unlikely

The signing of B.J. Upton by the Atlanta Braves would appear to clear up a potential Dexter Fowler trade scenario with Philadelphia, but for right now, that window is still quite muddied.

A Dexter Fowler trade seems to be just out of reach...
A Dexter Fowler trade seems to be just out of reach...
Justin Edmonds

Yesterday's announced signing of B.J. Upton by the Atlanta Braves should start the dominoes falling that may wind up with the Rockies trading Dexter Fowler, absurd as the team's asking price may be. With both the Braves and Phillies being in pursuit of Upton, the Phillies are now looking at their fallback options, which could include the Rockies centerfielder. The Nationals are also keen on most CF's on the market, and the NL East center-field bidding war could even be drawing in the Miami Marlins.

The Phillies, for now, emerge as the most likely destination should a Fowler trade materialize this winter. As the first link indicates, however, they seem to still be focused on free agent options instead of the trade market. The same remains true to date of the Nationals, and Fowler's wide open contract status past 2013 may make him unappealing to Miami. Fowler's age helps him compared to the rest of the available CF market, as does his switch hitting, but a lack of understanding of the effects of Coors Field on both the hitting and defensive end of things adds to his perceived risk once outside Colorado. I'm currently seeing a trade as unlikely until there's a bit more evidence that the demand will rise closer to the Rockies apparent valuation of their center fielder.

In other Fowler (the town, this time) hot-stove.., err, used-pot-warmer-on-thrift-store-shelf news, the Rockies may be an interested party in the Luke Hochevar trade talks as the Royals seek to move the RHP before the non-tender deadline. The local Hochevar no longer has the promise he held as the #1 overall draft pick in 2006 (taken one slot ahead of Greg Reynolds, no less) but as far as low cost, high risk upside plays, the team could do much worse. Much like Ricky Nolasco, who the Rockies are also apparently interested in, Hochevar has been a much better pitcher peripherally than has translated into his actual run prevention results, with a career ERA more than a full run over his career xFIP according to FanGraphs. With 771 innings pitched over several seasons, the discrepancy may be a fixed trait of the pitcher that never "normalizes," but in the event that it does, that represents a considerable profit to be taken by whatever team acquires Hochevar for cheap right now.

Off-topic.