Too many “baseball” people think Moneyball and Athletics GM Billy Beane were all about on-base percentage and once everyone figured out what OBP was Beane and the A’s no longer had a leg up on the rest of baseball. Really, Moneyball and Beane and other smart General Managers around baseball are looking for market inefficiencies; that type of player that other teams under value and might come cheap.
Apparently the Rockies think back-of-the-rotation starters are an inefficiency in the market? They will certainly come cheap…
It was easy to see as the 2011 season wound down that the Rockies were going to look to move a few players on the roster before the start of the 2012 season. Ian Stewart and Chris Iannetta had fallen out of favor with Rockies management. Aaron Cook had clearly lost his stuff and the team couldn’t bring him back without a coup knocking down the doors at 20th and Blake. Seth Smith had been relegated to a platoon player who only played against right hand pitchers and on a team full of left hand bats he was not a piece the Rockies required. Finally, Ryan Spilborghs was the fourth outfield for the Rockies and the team is loaded with possibilities in the minor leagues to help in the outfield. Once Michael Cuddyer was signed by the Rockies Smith and Spilborghs were definitely gone.
Iannetta was sent to the Anaheim Angels before they became focal points in the baseball world by signing Albert Pujols and C.J. Wilson.
Stewart was traded to the Chicago Cubs for four players who may or may not impact the Rockies.
Cook was recently signed by the Boston Red Sox to a minor league deal (good luck facing the Yankees, Rays and Blue Jays, Cook).
There are rumors that Spilborghs has met with the Texas Rangers and in all likelihood will not receive a contract offer from the Rockies.
And today it was announced that the Rockies have sent Smith to the A’s for pitchers Josh Outman and Guillermo Moscoso.
The players jettisoned by the Rockies being of any value is debatable. Sure, all four of these guys has SOME value but does any of them have enough value worth retaining? I am of the opinion that the Rockies are better without all of them except Smith and Iannetta.
Debating their value in a Rockies uniform is moot at this point. What I want to chat about are the starting pitchers the Rockies have obtained this offseason.
Before the Rockies acquired Outman and Moscoso today they traded for Tyler Chatwood, signed Kevin Slowey and very recently offered Jamie Moyer a minor league contract.
Out of 184 starting pitchers in 2011 with 50 innings pitched or more Outman ranks 181st, Moscoso ranks 180th and Chatwood ranks 178th in xFIP and each of them should have had ERA’s close to 5.00. Outman and Moscoso had ERA’s in the 3′s while Chatman did have an ERA of 4.75. Outman and Moscoso were very lucky in 2011. Slowey has not had an xFIP below 4.00 since 2008.
Not really exciting numbers for Rockies fans (Esmil Rogers and Alex White are right there in xFIP for 2011 with Moscoso, Chatwood and Outman).
As for Jamie Moyer, well, he is 49 which is slightly older than a typical player’s prime age of 27. Moyer broke in with the Cubs in 1986 or before 11 Rockies currently listed on the Rockies 40-man roster were born.
Bottom of the barrel pitchers and old players are what the Rockies roster is currently comprised of. Of course guys like Troy Tulowitzki, Carlos Gonzalez, Drew Pomeranz and a few others do not fit this mold, but a lot of players do.
Along with Moyer and his walker the Rockies have Jason Giambi (40), Casey Blake (38), Todd Helton (38), Rafael Betancourt (36), Ramon Hernandez (36) and recently signed Cuddyer (32 – will be 33 next season) all on the wrong side of the age of 30.
I can tell you one thing: the Rockies will be sorely inefficient in the wins column in 2012. Maybe that is the market Dan O’Dowd is after? The losses market?