Saturday, January 27, 2007

a rocky road out of town.

The Rockies are looking to unload the last tie with any aspirations of being a winning franchise, and rumor has it that first baseman Todd Helton is headed for the Red Sox, of all places (they need to amass more talent like I need a hole in the head; Boston fans, your baseball team is acting like the fucking Yankees).

(Note: originally, the opening sentence noted Helton was a tie with the Wild Card team, and that's been corrected, as he was drafted in '95 but didn't play until '97.)

Helton is probably still what Denver fans think of when they think of the Rockies (which is probably barely, and when they don't think "losers" and "fuck Coors" for overpricing every concession in the damn stadium.) Outfielders Larry Walker and Dante Bichette were the other two (and more famous) of what local announcers commonly called the "Blake Street Bombers", but Helton was the home-grown deal for a new franchise; a University of Tennessee alum (fun fact: he was the Vols' QB pre-Peyton) brought up from Triple A in the Springs. After that season, Helton was one of the few reliable hitters, always in the All-Star discussion if not the team's sole rep each year while Bichette and Walker fought injury (Walker was dealt to St. Louis and Bichette gave up the ghost; I think I still have a "Bichette Happens" T-shirt in a box somewhere -- not one of my prouder moments) and the team suffered while giving up millions to pitchers who saw their ERAs inflate at Coors Field (e.g., Mike Hampton, Denny Neagle.)

If and when he is dealt, the Rockies will officially become the NL's version of the Royals, or, more accurately, les Expos nouvelles (I'm guessing on the French) -- a team consisting of castoffs and young players that will be poached or sold off at the earliest opportunity, and it's sad to see a team that I had good times with fall into that sort of drudgery, especially in a very weak division.

18 comments:

One More Dying Quail said...

"Boston fans, your baseball team is acting like the fucking Yankees."

Fuck you, STN. Fuck you...

*dissolves into tears*

I hate the Yankees! Why do the Red Sox have to become Yankees Lite?! Why God?! WHY?!




I'm okay now. I think. Talk to me in October. Or November.

Signal to Noise said...

Really, I never thought I'd see the day when Boston was spending money like it was going out of style and the Yankees were trading overpaid veterans out of town.

You had better hope Daisuke works out.

One More Dying Quail said...

Daisuke doesn't worry me as much as J.D. Drew does.

They spent like four years trying to unload one contract that was too big for other teams to take on (Manny Ramirez), only to go out and do it again.

Signal to Noise said...

Signing J.D. Drew will be remembered as Theo Epstein's "I'm Keith Hernandez!" moment.

Anonymous said...

Uhh...what about if Boston doesn't actually add any payroll? Since the Lowell/Tavarez/Prospect deal would essentially be replacing $10MM with $10MM, while filling a hole for next season...which would have had to be filled anyway via trade or FA...

Signal to Noise said...

The trade is and would be smart by financial standards, but it's still Yanks Lite behavior in the sense of sacrificing farm prospects for what isn't a guaranteed fix -- Helton's numbers have dropped over the past few years with an injury-prone back, and we are talking about a career NL player switching leagues.

Now, the switch isn't as severe for hitters as it is for pitching and Helton will have the short right field in Fenway at his disposal, so it's ten times better than the Drew signing.

It's not so much a payroll thing -- if this trade gets done, the Rockies will likely have to pick up a fair amount of the tab.

Anonymous said...

Fair enough, though I still think it depends on the deal. Last I checked, trading a single prospect along with some veteran talent for a star player doesn't exactly constitute a 'selling the farm' type of move. Granted, Boston's financial flexibility in the future is what makes this a feasible option, but this still seems more then a little different from the way Boston and New York operated in the past. This ain't exactly Jeff Bagwell: The Sequel.

Of course, I'm assuming it's only a single prospect, and not an elite one at that. Boston has a surplus of hard throwing right-handers who project to be solid MRs...giving up one of the lower tier versions wouldn't be a huge deal.

Soxfan said...

Ah, so the Red Sox went from being the Yankees to being Yankees Lite. What's next in the regression, "Not the Yankees"?

It might serve you to do a little math before making a Helton-to-the-Sox deal a player purchase. Depending on the talent involved and the salary assumed (of which we know very little -- hell the deal isn't even real necessarily), and the salaries involved, this may be nothing but a net-zero add for the Sox' payroll. I don't see how this makes the Red Sox into the Yankees, who at last check still spent the equivalent of two or three team payrolls more than the Red Sox.

That's not to cry poverty, but the meme that the Sox and the Yanks are exactly the same is tiresome. They may not be as different as they were two, three, four years ago, but only exaggeration makes them into carbon copies of each other.

Signal to Noise said...

Craig Hansen and Manny Delcarmen don't sound like lower-tier, if ESPN is to be believed and the Red Sox think these guys are deal-breakers. The article reads that both are off-limits, but given the need for a first baseman with glove skills, I'd bet the deal probably gets done if the Rockies ask for one and not both.

Anonymous said...

"The article reads that both are off-limits, but given the need for a first baseman with glove skills, I'd bet the deal probably gets done if the Rockies ask for one and not both."

Bud...Boston has a 1B with glove skills. Youkilis was one of the best fielding 1B in the AL last season, (per Dave Pinto's fielding metrics.) Trust me here: They are under NO pressure to get this done. Further, the Herald already reported that the Rox have more or less been doing all the talking; Boston is listening, but they definately aren't the ones driving the conversation.

And Hansen should be off-limits, but Delcarmen should at least be considered, particularly if the Rox take half Helton's salary. I don't think he projects to be much more than a 7th inning guy.

Signal to Noise said...

Isn't Youkilis a 3B by trade? I remember reading this, and it seems the logical conclusion if this gets pulled off. Of course, the pressure is on Colorado to make this happen; they're the ones looking to do a payroll dump.

Anonymous said...

It's true that Youk played 3rd in the minors and in his first partial year in the bigs. At the beginning of the 06 season, they had signed JT Snow to act as a platoon partner with Youk. Thing is, by July Youkilis was a very, very good defender; that and his bat made Snow completely expendable. And he's already much better playing 1st then he's ever been playing 3rd.

If Helton comes, Youk can move to 3rd base and do a decent job. If he doesn't, Youk will stay at first where he's well above average defensively. Defensively, Boston's almost certainly better off with Lowell and Youkilis then Youk and Helton.

Anonymous said...

Nice opening sentence.

Helton's first year was 1997.

Anonymous said...

Yeah but he was drafted in 95.

Signal to Noise said...

Modified. Apologies.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 3:12, most people feel DelCarmen has come on stronger as of late. I mean, yeah, Hansen could be a pretty good 95 MPH fastball, good slider pitcher, but that's not really unique. Manny DelCarmen, meanwhile, has a High 90's fastball, a decent curveball, and a knee-bending curve. Also, before his thumb issues last season, he was doing fairly well in the bigs, while Hansen has done very little to distinguish himself.

As far as this trade, Lowell+Tavarez+Hansen would be acceptable, but I would prefer Lowell+Tavarez+any two of Kason Gabbard, David Pauley, Kyle Snyder, Lenny DiNardo, JC Romero, and Javier Lopez.

Marco said...

I love how the Yankees seem to have gotten smart (focus on prospects, get younger and cheaper), while the Sox have gotten dumb (JD Drew)

Anonymous said...

Whatever, Helton gets paid something in excess of $12 mil a season to hit 20 hrs and 80 rbis. ridiculous. As much as I like Helton, he's gotta go.

Also, it's not the producer of the beverages and food's fault that we pay $8 for a beer at coors field; it's the fault of the owners of Coors Field who charge Aramark or Sysco or whoever supplies the food and drink so much money to supply the food, who then charge us all that money for the concessions. So get your facts straight.