Tuesday, March 23, 2004

Lets Fleece the Rockies! 

In recent years, the Mariners have let players off their 40-man roster, only to see them flourish after being claimed by other teams. Raul Ibanez, Scott Podsednik and Aquino Lopez all jump to mind as former M's players or farmhands that achieved stardom on other teams.

Well, maybe its time to turn the tides. The Rockies are going with an age movement that makes GM Bill Bavasi look like a genius in comparison. And soon its going to cost them. The Denver Post reports today that the Rockies are about to add as many as 10 players to their 40-man roster after this Spring, and that means the Rockies are willing to trade prospects rather than risk losing them to waiver claims.

Based on conversations with multiple baseball officials, the Rockies are shopping outfielders Rene Reyes and Jorge Piedra and pitchers Denny Stark and Justin Huisman. Even third baseman Garrett Atkins is no longer untouchable.
As a 23-year-old in AAA Colorado Springs last year, Atkins put up a nice 319/382/481 which translates to a respectable .265 EQA. He could be a nice option for 3B for a few years. Reyes is a spray hitter and not worth our time, but Piedra had a nice year in AA Tulsa last year, with a .513 SLG percentage for the lefty outfielder, and still might be worthy of a bench spot.

If we are going to release Kevin Jarvis, then a hole opens on our 40-man roster that would be a good fit for one of these players. And it probably would not cost too much. This is a team that is using its best pitcher, Shawn Chacon, as its closer, and has Shawn Estes as its Opening Day starter. Suffice to say, they could use some pitching. With us playing in Colorado tonight, lets hope that we are at least discussing possibilities.

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