Here's mine to the trade Colorado Rockies made on Tuesday, which sent left-hander reliever Matt Reynolds to the division rival Arizona Diamondbacks in exchange for 24-year-old corner IF/OF Ryan Wheeler.
I always liked Matt Reynolds for his durability, versatility and the fact he attended the same high school as my cousins in St. Charles, IL. I also realize the importance of left-hander relievers, but he's totally replaceable, just as most bullpens arms are. Not that the Rockies have or will acquire upgrades, but there's a better chance of stumbling in production in middle relief (see Josh Roenicke and Adam Ottavino) than any other position.
That said, I'm not so sure we're getting a meaningful piece back here in Ryan Wheeler. It's a little frustrating, too, because it seems like Reynolds would have been more valuable in a package for something a little more significant. This one has the feel of the typical Rockies trade that doesn't maximize the value of the talent involved and ultimately turns into a throwaway, but it will certainly take time to figure that out for sure.
In the meantime, here's a little taste of the Diamondbacks perspective on Wheeler courtesy of the Arizona Republic's Nick Piecoro:
The Diamondbacks likely were willing to trade Wheeler in large part because of his perceived defensive shortcomings. Scouts have had concerns about the big-bodied Wheeler’s mobility at third base for years now, and Wheeler has worked hard to try to become more agile.
But defense and athleticism seem to be turning into an enormous factors in most Diamondbacks acquisitions lately, so it’s not a big surprise that they don’t view Wheeler as their archetypal third baseman.
The other question with him is whether he’ll be able to hit for enough power in the majors; he’s more of a natural opposite-field hitter, and the Diamondbacks’ coaches were working with him this season on pulling the ball more regularly, driving it with more authority.
He’s headed to the best hitter’s ballpark in baseball, so we’ll see if he’ll be able to hit enough to make up for whatever defensive shortcomings may exist.
The other thing is, he has a tremendous work ethic and makeup, so there’s little question he’ll put in the time and effort to improve.
It sounds like there's some work to do here on both sides of the field, but based on that information I'm going to guess the Rockies will give Wheeler a long look at first base this spring.
Speaking of trades, Chris Jaffe over at the Hardball Times posted a couple recent historical items on the Rockies, including the Mike Hampton-Juan Pierre deal from 2002.
I also came across a year old interview with Dante Bichette's wife, Mariana, where she discusses her role as a baseball wife and mom.