The writing was on the wall with a Dave Krieger column wherein Charlie Monfort announced that Jason Jennings and his agent wouldn't even talk to the Rockies about a contract extension, but the news still arrives with a painful finality. Jason Jennings, who was the Rockies' youth movement before the team even realized they needed one, has been traded to the Astros for Willy Taveras, Jason Hirsh, and Taylor Buchholz. I hate this deal mostly because it means Willy Taveras will play (probably a lot) for the Rockies next season. Buchholz is pretty much done as a prospect, although Hirsh is much-loved in some circles. The deal as originally discussed had Dan Wheeler instead of Buchholz. Wheeler is one of the best setup guys in the NL, Buchholz doesn't have any of the original muscles remaining in his right arm. I still didn't like that deal, because, once again, Willy T. He's free-swinging, he's powerless, he's fast and yet somehow not that good of a basestealer, Clint Hurdle won't be able to resist hitting him leadoff even though his OBP will hover around .320.
It seems like the Rockies were certain there was no chance of Jennings re-signing. That's fine. If you can't make the guy stay, you have to do what you can to get the most value out of him. I think given market conditions the Rockies could have done better than a good starting prospect, a long-term reclamation pitching project, and a sixth outfielder/pinch-runner. But hey, the payroll was in danger of creeping over $50 million for a second there, and we can't have that.