As you may know, the Colorado Rockies made a couple of moves Tuesday afternoon. First off, the Rockies would trade center fielder Dexter Fowler and a PTBNL to the Houston Astros for starting pitcher Jordan Lyles and Brandon Barnes. Dexter would be going from one last place team to another. This move would raise questions about the front-office as usual, after trading Dex; a fan favorite for many years. Fowler was coming off of an injury riddled season as he appeared in just 119 games. He hit .263/.369/.407, 102 OPS+, with twelve home runs, eight of which were in the month of April. It was a clear salary dump for the Rockies not to spend any extra money on upcoming free-agents, which the Rockies would owe Fowler $7.35 million in 2014 if they kept him.
Which leads to the signing of 4-time all-star and former AL MVP Justin Morneau. The Rockies were in need of a first basemen after Todd Helton would retire following the 2013 season after 17 years with the club. And of course, some fans would still complain about the move. His numbers have been down the past few years due to injury, but he could contribute in an already potent Rockies line-up. There is no telling where he will bat, as 1-7 in the line-up is pretty set. I posted a mock line-up on Roxpile.com on where I personally would place him, interesting what the line-up will look like come March 31st.
With that being said, I believe the Rockies should have traded Dexter last year. His value was at an all-time high after hitting .300/.389/.474 appearing in 143 games. But perhaps the fact that Dan O’Dowd said Fowler doesn’t come to the field with the same mentality everyday in an interview last week, could have been a factor. His home/road splits may have reduced his value this season as well, take a look:
Home – .311/.396/.478, 65 hits in 209 at-bats.
Away – .214/.343/.335, 44 hits in 206 at-bats.
Meanwhile, the Rockies are getting Jordan Lyles who is only 23, a former top pick. He like many other pitchers, including Drew Pomeranz, was rushed to the big-leagues. He has struggled in three major league seasons, but could use a change of scenery. He will likely be competing for the 4-5 slot in the rotation; but you have to be patient with him, as Coors Field is a tough spot to put a young pitcher in. Rockies would also get Brandon Barnes in the deal, a possible fourth-outfielder for the Rox. Could be an upgrade off of the bench for defensive purposes and will compete. So the Rockies basically traded Fowler for Morneau, Lyles and Barnes, giving the Rockies three players to use over one. It’s about depth, which the Rockies have lacked.