I was not all that surprised when I heard earlier this week that the Rockies had acquired Brett Anderson in a trade with the Oakland Athletics; I was, however, surprised at the player sent to Oakland in return.
Drew Pomeranz did not seem like a player the Rockies were looking to trade this offseason. Still just 25 and the "centerpiece" of the Ubaldo Jimenez trade, he showed some promise in September 2013, allowing just two baserunners in five innings in a relief role.
However, I was not necessarily upset to see Pomeranz leave Colorado, as I think it is a move that can benefit both the team and the player.
Pomeranz showed glimpses of the talent that made him the fifth overall pick of the 2010 draft in his time with the Rockies, but was inconsistent and had some real struggles as well. A good portion of those struggles seemed to be mental, as Pomeranz looked to be trying to live up to the hype of that fifth overall selection and his role in the Jimenez trade. Pitching in an environment like Coors Field could not have helped him mentally, as well.
If Pomeranz succeeds in Oakland, and I think there's a fair chance that he will, I won't begrudge him that success nor will I blame the team for trading him or play any "what if" scenarios in my head, because I don't think he ever would have succeeded in Colorado for a variety of reasons.
As for where moving Pomeranz leaves the Rockies, their return in the deal was Brett Anderson, another very talented 25-year-old lefty who has struggled recently. Anderson's struggles have, unlike Pomeranz's, been because of injuries, including Tommy John surgery in 2011.
Anderson was a second-round pick of Arizona in 2007 and actually wound up in Oakland as a result of the same trade for Dan Haren that sent Carlos Gonzalez to the A's.
Anderson broke into the bigs with the A's in 2009 and did quite well for a 21-year-old, with a 4.06 ERA and 3.69 FIP in 175 1/3 innings. He lowered that ERA to 2.80 in 112 1/3 innings in 2010. After his Tommy John surgery, he bounced back well enough in six starts in 2012 that the A's reportedly turned down the Royals' offer of Wil Myers for him that offseason.
His numbers on the surface in 2013 were less than stellar, as he posted a 6.04 ERA in 44 2/3 innings. However, the luck dragons were unkind to him as hitters had a .359 BABIP against him and he only stranded 61.5% of runners.
Anderson also seems to be a good fit for Coors Field, with his 54.9% career ground ball rate. If he stays healthy, he could be the Rockies' best pitcher in 2014.