The basic rule in baseball is that a trade cannot be truly evaluated until at least 3 seasons have been completed. That’s a fair assessment, although it is still nice to take some early peeks at how a transaction helps or hinders a ballclub. The Rockies have made a few transactions over the past several years that bear some assessment.
The biggest deal over the past five years was the one that sent Matt Holliday to the Oakland A’s for Carlos Gonzalez, Greg Smith, and Huston Street. Matt Holliday is a terrific player, both on and off the field, but the Rockies got more than his value in return on this deal. Huston Street was a very serviceable closer for 3 years with the club, and while Greg Smith did not pan out, Carlos Gonzalez is one of the most talented and exciting players in all of baseball. When the fact that Oakland turned around and dealt Holliday to St. Louis for players that have not made a difference for them, this trade looks even better.
Another deal that has been a real plus was the one that sent Ian Stewart and Casey Weathers to the Chicago Cubs for DJ LeMahieu and Tyler Colvin before the 2012 season. Stewart and Weathers did not turn out well for the Cubs. Stewart is now a part-time player with the Angels, while Weathers is still in the minors and has been hurt more than healthy. Colvin gave the Rox one good season, but LeMahieu has been the real find. He might be the best defensive second baseman in the National League, while his baseball acumen and growing work as a hitter have made him one of the more valuable members of Walt Weiss’ lineup. Just ask anyone associated with the Cubs about their feelings on this deal.
I bring this up because of two trades made during this past offseason. The biggest was the one that sent Dexter Fowler to the Astros for Jordan Lyles and Brandon Barnes. We’re only 3 weeks into the season, but the early returns certainly favor the Rockies. Not only have Lyles and Barnes made solid contributions—especially Lyles as a 23-year old pitcher—Fowler’s departure enabled Charlie Blackmon to step forward. Blackmon probably won’t maintain his current hitting pace all season, but he has more than answered the question of who would bat leadoff for the team.
The Ubaldo Jimenez, by way of a second trade, has brought Brett Anderson to the Rockies. The injury history for Anderson is a concern, but if he ever finds some luck in that regard, the club has itself a certified front of the rotation pitcher. White has been hurt, and Pomeranz is now in the pen for Oakland, and Jimenez has moved on from Cleveland to Baltimore via free agency. As I said at the start, time will be needed before a true evaluation on this trade can be made.
TIP OF THE WEEK: A new release: Beth Hart and Joe Bonamassa: Live in Amsterdam came out at the end of March, and it is a must for modern blues aficionados. Bonamassa is a terrific guitarist, while Beth Hart’s sultry voice makes for a terrific pairing. Be sure and check out I Love You More than You’ll Ever Know. Talk to you next week, and don’t forget to follow Jerry and me on Twitter @JackCorrigan2 and @JSchemmel6.