Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Missing out on Dan Uggla and other Rockies issues

With the Florida Marlins officially trading second baseman Dan Uggla to the Atlanta Braves for what even the most casual baseball fan would recognize as a weak return, Rockies fans are left to wonder how and why their team didn't get involved.

For the price the Atlanta Braves paid, yes, the Rockies could have easily topped that package without losing a truly meaningful piece to their present or future plan, and probably should have. Unfortunately, for whatever reason, the Rockies were not in on recent discussions.

I don't know why that is. But one thing we shouldn't discount is that the Florida Marlins are a pathetically run franchise. This isn't all about what the Rockies were willing to part with, it's also about who the Marlins valued in return. As Troy Renck pointed out on Twitter, the Rockies didn't have the pieces that would have satisfied Florida based on what they took.

It's also possible Marlins GM Larry Beinfest's demands during talks last off season led Dan O'Dowd to believe a deal would be impossible then and in the future. That could be BS in itself, but believe me, it's never as easy as we're led to believe by the armchair GMs with blogs and Twitter accounts.

I completely understand the frustration, though. I'm frustrated to see Uggla go elsewhere for such a lousy return, but again, there are a lot of factors involved. Of course you can put money at the top of that list.

Other Issues

I don't like the pattern developing with the Rockies roster. In the past 18 months we have seen once valuable trade pieces like Garrett Atkins, Brad Hawpe, Taylor Buchholz and now Manny Corpas unloaded from the squad with absolutely nothing in return.

It's concerning because the model for the franchise to stay competitive is never going to be excessive spending. I don't think it has to be or should be either, but they do need to stay ahead of the competition, evaluate their talent better and trade out pieces before they lose value. That's why I've always been big on the idea of dealing Ryan Spilborghs and Clint Barmes the past two off seasons. Their value will never get that high again.

The Rockies also stand to lose Jeff Francis for nothing in the coming weeks as we're hearing up to five teams have interest. His case is a little different though with the injury bug having bitten him repeatedly.

I've stated many times this is the most important off season for Dan O'Dowd as Rockies GM. It's off to a quiet start. That's not necessarily a bad thing, but it's understandable that many fans will start getting antsy. Hopefully we'll see something worthwhile develop in the next couple of weeks so he's not left scrambling to fill several roles in February.