Quick-Hits: The two players that cost the Rockies Ubaldo Jimenez

Colorado Rockies starting pitcher Ubaldo Jimenez waits on the mound just before being pulled from the game in the fourth inning of their MLB National League baseball game against the New York Mets in Denver May 12, 2011. REUTERS/Rick Wilking (UNITED STATES – Tags: SPORT BASEBALL)

In Monday’s Quick-Hits, I discuss the two players that cost the Rockies their ace, Randy Moss’s decision to retire, yet another perplexing decision by Giants general manager Brian Sabean, and Braylon Edwards’ shrinking market.

– If Rockie fans are upset with the Ubaldo Jimenez trade, they might as well direct their anger at the club’s flubbed selections in the 2006 and 2007 MLB drafts. Colorado selected Greg Reynolds with the second overall pick in the ’06 and Casey Weathers with the eighth overall pick in ’07. Neither right-hander has developed and while there’s plenty of hope for LHP Tyler Matzek, he’s not projected to help the big league club until 2013. That’s why when GM Dan O’Dowd received an offer from the Indians of Alex White and Joe Gardner in exchange for Jimenez, the deal was too good to pass up. The Rockies aren’t rebuilding their farm system: they’re restocking. Granted, Jimenez may right the ship while White and Gardner fail in Colorado, which would obviously make O’Dowd look like a fool. But at the end of the day, this is a deal O’Dowd felt he had to make after blowing the first rounds in ’06 and ’07. He’s essentially trying to make up for past mistakes.

– I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again: Randy Moss is now the posterchild for what not to do when you’re seeking a new contract in the NFL. Early last season, Moss whined about how the Patriots hadn’t discussed giving him a new contract. When New England told him to be patient, he pouted even more and became a distraction. Worst of all, he stopped playing hard, which is always a fast ticket out of New England with Bill Belichick running things. So he winds up in Minnesota, where he’s a distraction there, too. Finally he lands in Tennessee, where the coaching staff apparently realized that he was done as an NFL-caliber receiver. And now? Instead of continuing his career as a role player, he has decided to retire. Moss has been one hell of a player. He ranks eighth in career receptions, fifth in receiving yards and second only to Jerry Rice in touchdowns. But there will be a debate about whether or not he’s voted into the Hall of Fame after he quit on the Raiders and got himself traded out of New England and Minnesota. It’s amazing what kind of numbers Moss could have put up if had possessed Rice’s attitude.

– SF Giants GM Brian Sabean has some explaining to do after the Phillies and Braves landed younger outfielders under team control (Hunter Pence and Michael Bourn, respectively) without giving up their top prospects, while he traded for a 34-year-old free agent-to-be and had to give up his best farm arm. Oh, and Orlando Cabrera for Thomas Neal? Does Sabean have to overpay for every veteran talent that he wants? It’s like if he walks into an electronic store, sees a TV he likes and then asks the salesman if he could purchase said TV for triple the cost. Meanwhile, competing general managers walk into the same store and purchase newer models with comparable features for three-fourths of the price. I just don’t get Sabean’s philosophy when it comes to trades but then again, he has a World Series ring and I don’t so maybe I should shut my mouth. (Of course, when he overpays to keep Beltran this winter, I’ll be sure to open it again.)

– It took a while, but teams are finally starting to stay away with Braylon Edwards. At 6’3” and 214 pounds, he certainly looks the part of a No. 1 receiver. But his inconsistent hands coupled with the fact that football isn’t real high on his priorities list makes teams stay away. He’s on the verge of signing a one-year deal with the Cardinals because the receiver market is essentially dried up. Considering he’s only 28 and once caught 80 passes for 1,289 yards and scored 16 touchdowns in one season, he shouldn’t be accepting one-year deals. But teams aren’t stupid and know he’s a huge risk.

Follow the Scores Report editors on Twitter @clevelandteams and @bullzeyedotcom.

Report: Yankees on the verge of acquiring Lance Berkman

Lance Berkman (17) April 28th, 2010; Cincinnati Reds vs The Houston Astro's in Minute Maid Park, Houston Texas. The Astro's lost 6-4.

While an official announcement isn’t expected to come until Saturday afternoon, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports writes that the Yankees are on the verge of acquiring first baseman Lance Berkman from the Astros. (Joel Sherman of the New York Post posted the same report on his Twitter page.)

With Mark Teixeira entrenched at first base, Berkman would become the Yankees’ new DH for the stretch run. He would still have 24 hours to cancel any deal because he has a full no-trade clause in his contract, but one would assume that he would waive it in order to join a contender for the final two months of the season.

It’s unclear at this point what the Yankees would have to give up in a deal for Berkman, although prospects David Adams and Ivan Nova have each been mentioned in other trade scenarios. (Adams’ name was mentioned in the Cliff Lee deal before talks with the Mariners broke down.)

One interesting thing to note is that Alyson Footer, who is the Astros’ Sr. Director of Social Media, writes via Twitter that Berkman does not want the new team to pick up his $15 million option for 2011. It would appear as though he wants to return to the Astros next season.

Update: Sherman now says the deal is completed – Berkman is a Yankee.

Astros trade Roy Oswalt to Phillies for J.A. Happ, two prospects

July 18, 2010 - Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States of America - 18 July 2010: Houston Astros starting pitcher Roy Oswalt (44) delivers a pitch to the plate during the National League game between the Houston Astros and the Pittsburgh Pirates. The Pirates Paul Maholm.

According to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports, the Astros have traded starter Roy Oswalt to the Phillies for J.A. Happ, and prospects Anthony Gose and Jonathan Villar. Oswalt had to waive his no-trade clause in order for the deal to go through, which he obviously did. (Or else, you know, there wouldn’t be a story.)

Here are some details for the y.o.u.:

The Astros also agreed to pay $11 million of the more than $23 remaining on Oswalt’s contract, which runs through 2011, so the Phillies will owe him about $12 million for a season plus two months. They also can exercise their end of a mutual option in an effort to keep Oswalt for 2012.

Some teams were reluctant to pursue Oswalt, who turns 33 on Aug. 29, in this trade market due to injury concerns. He has been on the disabled list three times since ‘06 with back or hip issues, including each of the past two seasons.

As Rosenthal points out, exactly one year ago, the Phillies traded for Cliff Lee and they went on to appear in their second World Series in two years. Will they strike magic two years in a row? Tough to say. They were six games above the Marlins in the NL East at this date last year and now they’re chasing the Braves by three.

That said, a three-game deficit is nothing with a starting rotation that features Oswalt, Roy Halladay and Cole Hamels. The key is whether or not the offense will come around, which it looks like it may.

Oswalt is having his worst career as a pro record-wise at 6-12, but he’s pitched better than the numbers suggest. He should be re-energized by re-joining the pennant race and should be a welcome addition to the Phillies’ rotation. It’s time for him to step up now, though.

Phillies have deal in place for Roy Oswalt

08 Mar 2002 : Roy Oswalt of the Houston Astros during the Spring Training Game against the Kansas City Royals in Haines City, Florida. The Astros won 11-0. DIGITAL IMAGE. Mandatory Credit: Andy Lyons/Getty Images

Did you think the Phillies were just going to lie back and let the Braves take the NL East from them? You did? Well then you, my friend, were wrong. Dead wrong.

According to FOX 26 in Houston, the Phillies have a deal in place for Astros’ starter Roy Oswalt and are waiting for the pitcher to sign off on it. He needs to waive his no-trade clause before any deal goes through, but unless he really, really likes the Beer Can House (it’s made of cans! Cans, I tell ya!), then there’s little doubt that Oswalt is on his way out of Houston.

Apparently the two sides have agreed on the amount of money that the Astros will take back in the deal and the two teams have agreed on the players that the Phillies will have to give up. Who those players are nobody knows, but J.A. Happ is probably one of them.

Speaking of Happ, it was rumored yesterday that he may have been involved in a deal that would have sent him to the Cubs in exchange for Ted Lilly. But obviously if the Phillies acquire Oswalt, Lilly would be dropped from Philly’s plans like a (insert clichéd line here).

More on this story as it develops.

Trading within the division: Advantageous or to be avoided?

July 18, 2010 - Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States of America - 18 July 2010: Houston Astros starting pitcher Roy Oswalt (44) delivers a pitch to the plate during the National League game between the Houston Astros and the Pittsburgh Pirates. The Pirates Paul Maholm.

While things change by the hour around this time of year, the latest trade rumors involving Roy Oswalt have him eventually landing in St. Louis. And based on recent reports, it sounds as if he wouldn’t mind wearing red and white at some point this season either. (Who could blame him? He pitches for the Astros, who dodge being the butt of jokes only because the Pirates have yet to climb out of the suckhole they fell into during the early 90s.)

Money (he’s owed $16 mil next season) and compensation (the Cards may have to part with top prospect Shelby Miller) remain the biggest hurdles in any trade involving Oswalt and the Cardinals, but the question of whether or not teams should trade within their division is relevant in this scenario as well.

Should teams avoid trading within their division? Is it wise for a general manager to either trade for, or deal a star that could come back and haunt them in the future? It still happens of course, but it’s always a topic of discussion when the trade deadline nears.

This may be a simplistic take on the subject, but isn’t the purpose for any GM to help their team win (either presently or in the future)? Isn’t that what a trade boils down to in the end?

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