The trade deadline rumor mill media feast that’s been going on for the last two weeks with regards to Colorado Rockies ace Ubaldo Jimenez was vindicated Saturday night, as it was announced that pending a physical, Jimenez would be next suiting up for the Cleveland Indians.
The trade solidifies into consciousness what many Rockies fans could have intuited: that the team is now in a rebuilding period. Along with that comes a need to restock the farm, and it looks at first glance like the Rockies have gotten good value that way in return for Jimenez. According to reports, the Indians send along top pitching prospects Drew Pomeranz, and Alex White, as well as pitcher Joe Gardner, and first baseman/outfielder Matt McBride. Pomeranz and White were the Indians’ first round selections in the 2009 and 2010 drafts.
Since it is now evident that Dan O’Dowd is in rebuilding mode, what are some moves the Rockies could make the rest of this season?
It’s possible that they look to unload Chris Iannetta. Regardless of how Jim Tracy has used him, Iannetta has value, and with the promotion of AA prospect Wilin Rosario looking more imminent by the day, moving Iannetta could bring back more talent. Reports indicate that interest from the Pirates has cooled, but it’s still worth keeping an eye on.
Ty Wigginton has been bandied about as part of trade rumors, and he is one that should go. While it may be true he did provide what the Rockies were looking for this season, it is evident that he is not a long-term fit for the team, given his dreadful defense. He may not bring back much, but should go regardless. Given the signing of corner infielder Jorge Cantu, it’s evident the writing is on the wall for Wiggy and Ian Stewart.
Look for them to pursue Mark Ellis, who is a free agent this offseason. It’s true Mark Ellis is Mark Ellis, but he’s also not Jonny Herrera, Eric Young, Jr., and Chris Nelson, who all got looks at second base this season with middling results. The Rockies would be guaranteed defense at the position, which should be a priority given this team’s faults with such this season.
Later this offseason, also look for them to be looking for a right-handed bat. A priority last offseason (and the role Wigginton was ultimately brought on to fill), it should be no less of a priority this offseason.
Finally, keep an eye on what happens with the bullpen. Rafael Betancourt has surfaced in recent rumors, and is a great option to move as he hasn’t lived up to last year’s numbers, but would still be a productive bullpen piece. Matt Lindstrom is also a possibility to be moved given Rex Brothers’ recent ascent to the setup slot.