Rockies Pursuing Ian Snell?

I hate to tap from the same well twice in a row, but I felt the rumor at the bottom of Jake from Bucco Blog’s post deserved it’s own mention.  Jake writes,

"Lastly, are the Rockies going to go after Ian Snell? One NL exec thinks so.. and hard.

I was surprised when I heard this one knowing the Rockies have a pretty solid core of young pitchers in their farm, but if Dave Holliday does come to work as player development or scouting director, well…"

A lot of teams come off World Series trips with a truckload of veterans and the need to rebuild.  The Rockies are not one of those teams.  In fact, with the added confidence of a pennant (and World Series?), I wouldn’t be surprised if these now-seasoned youngsters kept competitive with the Diamondbacks up-and-coming talent over the next few years; however, they will need more starting pitching to do so (’07 starters had a 4.58 team ERA), especially if the Diamondbacks are focusing on upgrading a rotation consisting of Brandon Webb.  So let’s look at Ian Snell as a fit.

Snell can dominate.  He was arguably the Pirates best starter this year (3.76 ERA, 177 K in 208 IP), edging out Tom Gorzelanny in everything except Wins.  He will turn 26 this Tuesday and just completed his second tour of duty.  He is slated to make near-minimum in ’08, and becomes arbitration eligible in ’09-’11.  Free agency is 5 years away.  For that reason, it seems unlikely a rebuilding franchise would trade this cornerstone.  Still, Jake from Bucco Blog doesn’t consider him untouchable.

And now let’s speculate on the Rockies:  They have one of the deepest farm systems in the game, a key that will keep them competitive in the NL West.  Troy Tulowitzki has got to be untouchable.  But Ubaldo Jimenez and Manny Corpas may be at their respective pinnacles of value.  Chris Ianetta, a promising catching prospect, Ian Stewart, Franklin Morales, Jeff Baker… the list of major league ready prospects goes on.  If one team could persuade the Bucs to deal Snell, perhaps it’s the Rockies.  Thoughts?



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