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Let’s Make a Deal – Colorado Rockies Edition

Posted By Steve Folsom On Aug 6 2011 @ 1:47 pm In Colorado Rockies | 2 Comments

You might have heard that the Colorado Rockies traded their best pitcher, Ubaldo Jimenez, last week to the Cleveland Indians.  You also might have heard a variety of opinions from expert analysts around the nation as to whether it was a good deal.  You want to know the truth?  The truth is that this trade (much like all trades involving prospects) can’t be properly judged for a few years.  Colorado received a couple of top prospects from the Indians, so they’ll have to wait to see how they develop.  If they can become solid contributors to the major league club in the years to come, then the deal makes sense. Wait and see…

So who did the Rockies get in the biggest trade at the 2011 trade deadline?

Alex White:

[1]

White has already seen time in the major leagues in 2011 with the Cleveland Indians.

Prior to the trade, White had made 4 starts in the minors and 3 starts in the majors with the Indians.

Minor League: 1-0; 1.90 ERA; 1.01 WHIP; 28/5 Strikeout/Walk ratio.

Major League: 1-1; 3.60 ERA; 1.53 WHIP; 13/9 Strikeout/Walk ratio.

WHIP is Walks + Hits divided by Innings Pitched.  Essentially it is the combined average of hits or walks a pitcher allows each inning they pitch.

White has been effective this year but has battled some minor injuries.  He is expected to make a few starts in the minors before coming up to the majors for Colorado in September.

Joe Gardner:

Sense a theme with pitching prospects? Gardner is not expected to be in the mix until at least next year for the Rockies.  He did lead the Indians organization in wins and strikeouts in his first season though.  Prior to the trade, here were Gardner’s stats:

7-8; 4.99 ERA; 1.59 WHIP; 60/47 Strikeout/Walk ratio.

Clearly Gardner needs to work on his control and get his walk count down before he can make a serious run at contributing at the major league level.

Matt McBride:

This is the only non-pitcher in the Jimenez deal.  McBride looks to be more of a throw-in to the deal. McBride is an outfielder currently stationed in AA. His combined minor league stats this season are as follows:

.279 AVG; 15 HR; 56 RBI

Player to be Named Later:

[2]

Pomeranz is the prized prospect the Rockies received in the Ubaldo Jimenez deal.

The Player to be Named Later in this trade is Drew Pomeranz.  He is called “player to be named later” because he signed his professional contract less than a year ago.  After that year he can be officially named and traded.  For now, Pomeranz is stuck in no man’s land.  He knows he’ll be in the Colorado Rockies organization, but not until August 16th.  In the meantime, he is stuck at the Cleveland Indians spring training facility throwing simulated sessions.  His stats this year have been very impressive:

Minor League: 3-3; 1.98 ERA; 1.14 WHIP; 112/38 Strikeout/Walk ratio.

Pomeranz might be in a Colorado Rockies uniform in September to see how he does.  Since the Rockies are not headed to the post-season, they can give Pomeranz a look and prepare him for 2012.  He is the potential big piece in this deal and if he can become the star pitcher he is expected to become, the deal will work out.

In the end, the Rockies farm system is not too strong while their major league club has some holes.  Trading Jimenez might have been their best option because he was able to get them four players.  Of those four players, two of them are expected to be solid starting pitchers (White and Pomeranz).  Gardner is a wild card but has potential and McBride was more of a throw-in to the deal.  It is hard to tell how this deal will ultimately be judged, but it will take at least a year to begin to assess the deal for both the Rockies and the Indians.

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