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Tuesday Rockpile: Joey Votto, Matt Cain, and the Dodgers - How the Rockies Now Look Very Intelligent

Twelve years is a very long time.
Twelve years is a very long time.

The Giants wanted to keep Matt Cain, and he reportedly wanted to stay in San Francisco. The Reds wanted to keep Joey Votto, and he reportedly wanted to stay in Cincinnati. Despite these truths, extension talks in both cases lacked momentum over the past few months. While the effect cannot completely verified, the game appeared to change after news came out of...Los Angeles.

Last week, the Dodgers were sold for over $2billion, fronted by Stan Kasten and Magic Johnson. By all indications, the Dodgers will spend money on talent. Johnson last week: "We are going to have all the resources available to us to put a championship team on the field."

Matt Cain and Joey Votto were certainly the types of splashes that the new Dodgers group would strongly consider. In light of that, the Giants made Matt Cain the highest paid right handed pitcher ever, taking him through age 34. The Reds countered with signing Joey Votto for the next 12 seasons for $251.5million. Votto will be 40 years old when that contract expires.

Both deals are extremely risky and appear to be at the very extent the organizations would be willing to offer, and the Dodgers are likely to blame, in part. Ironically, these deals now spring back and will hurt the Dodgers, as Eric Stephen points out. Their big splash free agent pool is shallower, and with those baseline deals out there, Los Angeles will have to pay even more for their big fish. Cole Hamels, come on down.

Lucrative television deals are sprouting up for several teams, which will only fan the flames of the exponentially growing longterm contracts in major league baseball with newfound revenue. With no change on the horizon for Rockies ownership or television revenue, there is little reason to believe Colorado could reasonably compete in the race.

Good thing Dan O'Dowd got ahead in the game, huh? While San Francisco waited until Matt Cain's final year and Cincinnati waited until Joey Votto's final two, the Rockies have their two superstars locked up. The Rockies got their fair share of criticism for their longterm deals to Carlos Gonzalez and Troy Tulowitzki a year ago, but 7/$80 and 10/$157.75 sure look a lot better than 6/$127.75 and 12/$251.5, especially with the final ages (31/35 vs 34/40) considered.

A year ago, I compared Joey Votto and Carlos Gonzalez. Their first three years in the major leagues were eerily similar. The Rockies extended Gonzalez then, before his value could balloon more. The Reds waited two more years for Votto to put up two MVP-worthy seasons, and they are now paying for it. While I thought that missed opportunity would lead to Votto playing elsewhere by 2014, it might actually turn out worse with this extremely lucrative extension.

Joey Votto (2007-09) 1222 8.7 7.3 66.0
Carlos Gonzalez (2008-10) 1281 9.1 7.7 48.2

A year ago, many experts echoed "Why now?" in regards to extensions to Tulowitzki and Gonzalez. It sure looks like a sage premonition from O'Dowd today.

Off Topic

Ubaldo / Tulo

Ubaldo Jimenez Suspended For 5 Games After Throwing At Troy Tulowitzki - This is not at all surprising. Jeff Francis got an identical sentence for throwing being Kevin Kouzmanoff a few years ago, and that was obviously not intended to actually hit the batter. With Bud Selig in attendance, a suspension was bound to happen. It will result in just one missed start for Ubaldo, likely meaning his first start will come in Cleveland's sixth game.

Ubaldo Jimenez: My Thoughts - Purple Row - I don't have much more to say on the subject, but if you want to soak up more passionate writing on the subject, you can still get it at Purple Row in RhodeIslandRoxFan's FanPost.

Tracy reacts to Ubaldo suspension | News - Much more calm this time, Tracy essentially stated no more than "I know right and wrong, and that was wrong."

In case you wanted to share your displeasure with Ubaldo or ask him directly for his side on twitter, don't bother. @UbaldoJimenez22 was deactivated Sunday night.

Other Links

Tulowitzki to rest, plans to be ready for opener | News - It's just a flesh wound. Tulo will ice and rest and plans to back to his normal routine of hitting cleanup and turning double plays Friday.

Rockies Set Opening Day Roster - Brackets are busted, and no one got the Opening Day roster correct. That is because the Rockies will hold Drew Pomeranz back in AAA until April to go with a four-man rotation. They will wait until Saturday to add Jamie Moyer to the roster. So on Opening Day, Colorado will have three starting pitchers. That means one extra bullpen arm (Tyler Chatwood) and one extra bench bat (Herrera or Young). Matt Reynolds makes the team, which surprises Troy Renck, though I have trouble following his reasoning.

Patrick Saunders' Mail Bag - Questions include surprise at Jim Tracy's harsh words of Ubaldo and pleas to replace Dexter Fowler with Tyler Colvin. Ahh, spring.

Colvin starting to prove he belongs | News - Thomas Harding profiles Colvin, who completely reworked his swing this off-season. He has no doubt earned a roster spot, but let us wait a little before annointing him as fixed and polished..

Rockies’ Top Prospect Nolan Arenado Has What It Takes " CBS Denver He is itching to fill the void at the hot corner. Just mash in Tulsa, Nolan. Make it easy on the brass.

Familia Camarena® Tequila Continues Marketing Sponsorship With Colorado Rockies - MarketWatch - I didn't even know what this brand is, but you might be seeing more of it around Coors Field this year.

Also, be sure to tune into the Today Show with Matt Lauer at 8:30 MDT this morning. Jamie Moyer will be there.