Lots of news from yesterday, headlined by the Rockies sending Eddie Butler to the Cubs in exchange for minor league reliever James Farris. Speaking about Farris to MLB.com, assistant GM Jon Weil said “"Our focus is always on pitching -- either power guys or different-look guys, and he fits that mode. We believe he can be a part of our Major League bullpen at some point, and how he performs will determine what role he has." He apparently did not comment on whether Farris ever pass his test on European socialism or if he ever did, in fact, get a car.
The Rockies seem to be making a habit of
dumping sending former top prospects off to the Cubs. Five years ago they sent Ian Stewart and (trigger warning) Casey Weathers to the Northsiders in exchange for outfielder Tyler Colvin and a middling second base prospect DJ LeMahieu. A little over a year ago they sent former closer Rex Brothers and received pitcher (and No. 29 PuRP) Wander Cabrera. Here’s hoping this deal goes as well as those.
With just 11 days until pitchers and catchers report, the Rockies are putting the finishing touches on their spring training roster and they’ve decided to bring back an old friend. With Ian Desmond set to take on the mantle of everyday first baseman, Mark Reynolds will be fighting for a role on the bench, maybe as a right-handed side of a platoon where Desmond would play the outfield while one of the many lefty outfielders sit against lefty pitchers. The only problem is that the right handed Sheriff of Swattingham hasn’t been that much better against lefties (.233/.346/.445) than against righties (.235/.319/.454).
Good ol’ Patrick Saunders graciously continues to answer questions about Desmond at first base, which actually seems even more relevant today. Sure, it’s the question many of us continue to ask, but you have to admire the patience he shows in tackling the questions time and again. He also addresses questions about the Greg Holland signing, Charlie Blackmon rumors, and the World Baseball Classic. Also, of vital importance now that we’re less than two weeks away from it’s opening, where to eat during spring training in Scottsdale.
As a result of signing Reynolds to a minor league deal, don’t expect the Rockies to get involved in bringing Chris Carter aboard. Carter, who may well be going abroad, is part of a fascinating trend this offseason wherein big sluggers are struggling to find big—or any—contracts. Jayson Stark spoke to a bunch of team personnel and player agents to understand what’s behind this trend. Spoiler alert: you may not like what they find about Carter.
Bradford Doolittle of ESPN is previewing each team in baseball over the next few days. Doolittle, who is returning to writing full time about baseball after spending the past five years covering the NBA, “thought it might be fun to offer up a wide-lens overview of each team, one from what is ostensibly a fresh set of eyes.” Ranking each team by projected run differential, the Rockies fell in the bottom third of baseball, a fact that surprised Doolittle for reasons he elaborates in the piece. It’s also a worthwhile read to get that “wide-lens view” for nine other teams as we start to get ready for spring training.