Baseball Toaster Bad Altitude
Cost Certainty Is Sexy
2008-03-04 09:03
by Mark T.R. Donohue

I have the text for the Two-Man Roundtable of Power's discussion on the Yankees right here, but it's going to take some time to convert to blog form. In the meantime, I wanted to take a moment to note that the Rockies were in the news again yesterday for signing Brad Hawpe to a three-year extension. Hawpe is the fifth major piece the Rockies have given a multiyear deal to who was already under contract for the 2008 season after Matt Holliday, Aaron Cook, Troy Tulowitzki, and Manuel Corpas. Rumors persist that the Rockies are talking seriously to Holliday's agent about extending the left fielder beyond the end of his arbitration period in 2009. Holliday and Scott Boras feel like they deserve $20 million a year -- and apparently, that doesn't completely scare the Rockies away. How times have changed.

The Rockies chapter in the new Baseball Prospectus is kind of a letdown -- there's no great statistical insight they have to unveil that sheds new analytical light on Colorado's magical 2007. For the most part they repeat the same stuff we've been saying all offseason, that the defense played a huge part and that although the team's hot streak down the stretch was remarkable the Rockies were by no means lucky to make the postseason based on their overall season stats. I'm fairly certain that the person who wrote the player comments described Willy Taveras as a "down-ballot MVP candidate" merely to annoy me, but in the team essay another writer says "Taveras lacks the power and patience to be a great regular." Hmm. Seems like better editing might have caught that contradiction. And also the reference to "free-agent Torreabla." I realize I am being absurdly pedantic about the grammatical errors and typos in the new annual, but I did just lose my job as an editor and I do not find the irony comforting. The most interesting item in the Colorado section is this perhaps surprising comment about Todd Helton: "For all the talk of his decline, Helton was second in the NL in on-base percentage last year... his contract... is almost starting to look reasonable."

There's a really neat story on about Manny Corpas's status as a national hero in Panama you should read.

2008-03-04 18:09:47
1.   exitstrategy
I like what the Rockies are doing. It's been twenty years since baseball fans outside of NYC have been able to root for a team composed of the same core of players for two or three years in a row.
I'm sorry about your job.
2008-03-05 12:17:23
2.   Mark T.R. Donohue
What I think is best about O'Dowd's offseason is that there has been a design to all of these extensions. He's concentrated on keeping starters (Cook last year, Francis this year), guys at important defensive positions (catcher, shortstop), and guys the Rockies can't easily replace out of the system (Holliday and Hawpe). Garrett Atkins isn't getting an extension because Colorado has a lot of third-base depth. Although at the reasonable rates O'Dowd has been able to secure from some of his other players, one has to wonder whether Atkins' trade value wouldn't be increased rather than decreased by such a deal.

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