Regular readers to The Soap Boxers know that I am a die-hard Colorado Rockies fan. I have rooted for the franchise since December of 1992, several months before they played their first game. I have stuck with them through thick and thin. Mostly thin – but it’s easier than it seems, since I was a Cubs fan prior to my reformation.

I have enjoyed watching a lot of Rockies players over the years, from the Big Cat, Vinny Castilla, and Larry Walker in the early years, to Todd Helton suffering with me through the lean years, and finally the current crop including Troy Tulowitzki and Carlos Gonzalez.

It always pains me when I see a good player leave town. It was a foregone conclusion that Matt Holliday would be traded because the small market Rockies couldn’t afford him. This wasn’t a consideration with Jimenez, as he was locked up at a very reasonable price through 2014 – $2.8 million this season, $4.2 million next year, $5.75 million team option in 2013, and $8 million team option in 2014 (Jimenez can – and likely will – void the 2014 option if traded). In other words, this was a great starting pitcher, cost controlled for another 3.5 years, and we still let him go.

Still, I’m OK with the deal. This is why?

  • We got a good deal. When the rumors of Jimenez being on the trade block initially surface, most observers felt that this was simply Dan O’Dowd gauging interest – with little interest in actually making a deal. Some also felt that this was a bad time to trade Jimenez, since he had struggled down the stretch in 2010 after a 15-1 start and had also struggled to start this year, However, Jimenez had been pitching much better since the start of June, and had been downright dominant on the road all year. A number of American League playoff contenders were rumored to be interested. Drew Pomeranz is one of the best pitch prospects in baseball, and Alex White and Jason Kipnis were the 1st (White) and 2nd (Kipnis) round picks in 2009. It’s a nice haul.
  • It addressed needs. It’s no secret that the Rockies have struggled to get production out of the second base spot since … um, have we ever had a decent offensive player at second base? Adding two quality young arms should also add depth to the rotation in future years. Pitching injuries seem to be a rite of passage in Denver; you can never have too many starting pitchers. All three players are also quite young (Kipnis is 24, White and Pomeranz are 22) and should still have several years of improvement ahead of them.
  • It could screw the Yankees. I have positive feeling for the Indians, and wouldn’t mind seeing them make the playoffs. If they happen to face off against the hated Yankees in the playoffs, I wish for them to have every possible weapon at their disposal. If Jimenez was going to be traded, Cleveland is a good spot for him.

You won’t see the name of Pomeranz in the official record of the transaction. Draftees must have been under contract with their team for a full year before becoming eligible to be traded. This is an odd little rule baseball enacted after the Pete Incaviglia trade in 1986. A stupid rule, but a rule nonetheless. Instead, you’ll see a Player to Be Named Later … and on August 15, that PTBNL will become Pomeranz.