Baseball Toaster Bad Altitude
Here We Go
2005-06-16 05:41
by Mark T.R. Donohue

Well, I don't know about you, but last night's crushing defeat kind of soured me on dreams of fourth place. It's '62 Mets or bust now. That means it's time to take stock of who's leaving town and where they're going.

Before you do anything else, you should bookmark the other excellent Rockies blogs that are out there: Purple, RDR, Rox Head, DBO, Up In, Tap, and Diamond. (If I forgot anybody, I'm really sorry, e-mail me or comment and I will remedy the oversight.) It's quite remarkable that such a lousy baseball team has such a rabid Internet following; I think it speaks to both the untapped potential for wildly successful baseball in Denver and the unsolved mystery that is "winning at altitude." I'm going to go ahead and steal links like it's going out of style now, because there are a lot of rumors going around and I'd rather be thorough than original.

  • Let's start with the newest one first:  Preston Wilson to the Cubs (reg. required). This could be an interesting one, as Corey Patterson, who in many ways resembles a younger, left-handed Wilson, could be available. Patterson's a speed guy who thinks he's a power hitter, but good coaching could convince him to swing for the fences at Coors and try and slap it on the ground on the road. He's also a talented, if erratic, center fielder. The Cubs also have scads of pitching prospects, all of whom are about eight feet tall if my recollections of their training camp in Mesa are correct.
  • Wilson to D.C. or Baltimore. Both of these teams have overperforming offenses and have better records than their RS/RA would suggest (the Nationals, having been outscored, "should" be under .500). The Baltimore rumor has for a while been reliever Jorge Julio, who's a pure power guy with the requisite pure power guy problems (lotsa walks, lotsa homers). Julio will be going into his second year of arbitration but if he can be a dominant eighth inning guy, he'll be worth the money. Washington won't trade Ryan Church, which is surprisingly prudent for Jim Bowden. Zach Day, as I think I mentioned a while ago, is a pitching-to-contact guy who would be a disaster at altitude. He's hurt to boot. There is also a disagreement about how much of Preston's salary the Orioles will defray.
  • Joe Kennedy to Oakland. With the emergence of Byung-Hyun Kim and the pending return of Aaron Cook, the Rockies actually have starting pitching to spare. Colorado would get Eric Byrnes, a hustling, heedless corner outfielder and blue chip reliever Jairo Garcia. Garcia has a 97 MPH fastball and a slider that John Sickels calls "overpowering," although above A-ball he's had some trouble throwing them for strikes. Still, Garcia-Julio-Tsao-Fuentes could make a fierce late-innings squadron in two years. I'm not sure what use the Rockies would have for Byrnes, as they're already a little long on left and right fielders who don't hit a lot of homers, but he might have to be included due to payroll considerations, which weigh heavily on both of these clubs. He's not under any sort of long-term deal so they could always just see what he can do for a couple of months then cut bait. I think some form of this deal will probably go through, although the Rockies might have to settle for a less tantalizing prospect than Garcia.
  • Kennedy to the Dodgers. Another new one. This might be the competing pressure the Rockies need to get Garcia from the A's. Edwin Jackson, a big-time starting prospect who has regressed in the last two years, might be a possibility for Colorado, possibly moved to a relief role. His AAA numbers are pretty scary, though.
  • Wilson to Texas, Kennedy or Jason Jennings to Philadelphia, Todd Helton to the Mets. These are just speculation at this point. Further updates as events warrant.

I'm sure I missed a few, please let me know if you've spotted any good rumors. We strive for excellence here at the Venison Lodge, formerly the Good, the Bad, and the Barmes.

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