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Thursday Rockpile: What if the Rockies had traded for Ricky Nolasco?

Seven and a half games back at the trade deadline, the Rockies did the right thing by not making a move. However, things were not always this bleak. Did the front office miss an opportunity this year by not trading for Ricky Nolasco early in July?

Name: fl-marlins-a

The Colorado Rockies' front office safely stood pat yesterday at the trade deadline. The team is far enough out against an obviously superior Dodger's team that it didn't make sense to mortgage the farm system on an arm or bat. The team is also good enough for next year that getting rid of Michael Cuddyer or Jorge De La Rosa would have made it that much harder to build for what could be a good 2014. Before letting the front office off the hook though, lets look back to when they could have made a difference.

The date was July 5 of this year, the Rockies were starting a losing road trip to Arizona and would end the day four and half games behind the D-Backs. They still were a game up on Los Angeles, though, and there was talk of interest in Ricky Nolasco. The front office was speaking out of both sides of their mouth when they said they were not afraid to spend money but also reportedly told Miami that they could not take his full salary.

Miami's asking price proved not to be too much for Los Angeles. The Dodgers gave up a young, latin arm in Angel Sanchez and two mid-twenties relievers in Steven Ames and Josh Wall. A comparable haul from the Rockies might be Rob Scahill and Coty Woods along with either Nelson Gonzalez or Chris Jensen. It definitely would have been some arms out of the organization, but none of the top pieces.

Here is what it could have meant for Colorado. Nolasco's ERA has been 3.13 since the trade pending Wednesday night's game, here are his results:

Innings Earned Runs
7.0 1
5.0 3
5.1 2
5.2 2

These starts would have been valuable to the Rockies as their fifth starter did the following:

Innings Earned Runs
4.0 5
4.0 3
4.1 3
5.0 6

The two don't quite match up based on the Oswalt injury and the Nicasio call-up, but the first three starts were Drew Pomeranz's last three with the Rockies before being demoted and the last one was Collin McHugh. A Rockies trade for Nolasco could have been a difference of two wins for them and may have cost the Dodgers two losses as Stephen Fife went on the DL and they would have been forced to bring up someone from AAA. Of course the Dodgers could have always gone out and gotten Jake Peavy or another ace, but this only focuses on what losing out on Nolasco meant to the Rockies.

It is probably better that the Rockies did not make the move, as they are clearly outclassed by Atlanta this week. However, it would have been a lot more interesting at the deadline if the Rockies were only 3.5 games back of the Dodgers and Los Angeles was still looking for a fifth starter. As it is, the Rockies will need at least one more starter for next year, a bat at right field/first base, and a couple of good bench players/relievers for 2014.

Here are links to what did happen on trade deadline day and news about the Rockies:

Teams in the hunt make strategic moves, mainly in the AL East with the Red Sox getting Jake Peavy and the Orioles trading for Bud Norris while putting former Rockie Jason Hammel on the DL.

The NL West saw an interesting move as the D-Back picked up a lefty reliever by shipping Ian Kennedy to the Padres.

The standard article on the Rockies standing pat at the trade deadline.

If you had not heard yet, Chad Bettis will be debuting on Thursday as the Rockies look to permanently scare him from wanting to pitch in the major leagues by sending him out to face the Braves.