Baseball Toaster Bad Altitude
Word On the Trade
2005-07-29 17:24
by Mark T.R. Donohue

ESPN's Trade Scorecard: "Low quality" for both sides. Dan O'Dowd in the Denver Post: "We just didn't feel like Chacon and Kennedy were part of the core." On the subject of O'Dowd, an ESPN fan poll ranks him 26th among current general managers, just ahead of luminaries Dan O'Brien, Dave Littlefield, Allard Baird, and Chuck LaMar. Has anyone ever held a job longer for doing less than Chuck LaMar? Interesting stat from SI's power rankings: the Rockies are 1-17 against lefthanded starters on the road.

Hey, Baseball Prospectus is having a free preview, so you can read what they have to say about the trade from the Rockies' and Yankees' points of view until August 3rd. Chris Kahrl: "Two live arms are, I suppose, a market-appropriate price for a pitcher you don't like having around, and who on top of that is due for another big arbitration raise. It's probably too much to expect or to wish for something that might change the franchise's fortunes." Also: trade reports from Baseball America, the New York Daily News, and the New York Times (reg. required), which notes that the Yankees have used an ML-leading 12 starters so far this year. Chacon and potentially Hideo Nomo could make 13 and 14. The irony of the mighty Yankees looking to Colorado for pitching help is not lost on the New York Post. The Rocky Mountain News plays up the angle of the local kid being thrown to the wolves in the big city. Seriously, what do people think the over/under should be on starts made by Chac in New York the rest of this year? Four? Five?

Out in the blogsphere, RDR is fightin' mad, and Purple Row has a more measured take. What do I think? Well, on a team as bad as the Rockies, no one is untouchable. I don't think Chacon is either as good as some have it or as truly awful as he was last year. He's not a number one starter in anyone's book but the Rockies weren't paying him to be one. The question is whether moving Chacon will improve the team either directly through the performances of Sierra and Ramirez or indirectly through how the team spends the money that otherwise would have been earmarked for Shawn's 2006 salary. I doubt two average middle relief prospects will be as valuable to the organization as the starter with the highest VORP on the major league team this year. The other question is more complicated. Will the Rockies go out and spend money on a difference-maker (logically a catcher) next year? Well, they really shouldn't, because when you look at the talent they have available for '06, how much difference can a difference-maker make? Maybe push them into fourth place?

If the Rockies really couldn't do anything better than two Yankee arms for Chac, they should have held on to him. They're not going to be able to sign a better starter for the money they'll have available, and they don't have an ML-ready guy to step in for him next year. At the very least they could have waited until the offseason when more teams are willing to move players around. This deal does nothing to make the team better short- or long-term and with a franchise in as dire straits as Colorado, that's pretty hard to do.

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