MLB Trade Rumors: You've been working for the Denver Post since 2002. How has your job changed in the last seven years?
Troy E. Renck: The immediacy of the internet has changed everything. There are times I feel like a wire service because you write a story, then produce a write-through for online and a final for print. But at The Denver Post, breaking news has always been a priority so in that sense it's not a big change. It just happens much faster now.
MLBTR: What are your thoughts on the Rocky Mountain News shutting down? Does that mean you and Thomas Harding of MLB.com are the only two beat writers in the clubhouse?
Renck: As someone who played sports my entire life, I enjoyed the competition. It's unfortunate that a lot of good people lost their jobs. I was at Broadband Sports as a national NFL columnist when it went under, and it was a helpless feeling. Thomas and I are the primary beat writers covering the team and traveling. Thomas is a good friend. We can compete on the beat, then have dinner afterward. That's how it should be.
MLBTR: Did the Rockies get enough back for Matt Holliday in Huston Street, Greg Smith, and Carlos Gonzalez?
Renck: As it stands now, no. The key to the trade is Carlos Gonzalez. Everyone I trust in the game believes he will be a 20-home run hitter in the big leagues, while serving as an above-average corner outfielder. But he has issues that must be ironed out with his swing. He dives into pitches, cutting his swing off. Huston Street won the closer's job, but he will be a trade candidate this season if the team struggles. And Greg Smith, frankly, hasn't had a chance to show what he can do. He's got sick twice during spring, and is battling biceps tendinitis. They wanted him to be the fifth starter, but he won't be a factor in the big leagues until late May at the earliest. Again, Gonzalez is the key to the deal.
MLBTR: Do you see the Rockies attempting to acquire a frontline starter this summer, if the rotation is struggling?
Renck: Very little chance of that happening. In talking to owner Dick Monfort, he said there is no room in the budget for a midseason acquisition. That could change, though unlikely, if the team gets off to hot start and attendance spikes. They really need to get a return on Greg Reynolds or Greg Smith.
MLBTR: How do other teams perceive Garrett Atkins? Can the Rockies swap him for a quality arm at some point? Can you name any pitchers you feel would be a reasonable return for him?
Renck: Other teams like Atkins, but his defense concerns them at third base. The best fit would be in the American League, where he can play third, first and DH. I have always defended Atkins because he's dependable and reliable. Other than David Wright, no NL third baseman has put up better offensive numbers in recent years. Atkins should be able to land a starting pitcher, like a Dustin Moseley or a Nick Blackburn. That said, such a premium is placed on starters, they might have to look for a less refined Double-A prospect.
MLBTR: How about Jeff Baker? Why has the trade chatter around him seemingly died down?
Renck: Jeff Baker is a man without a role with the Rockies. He and Ian Stewart play the same positions, making it even more difficult to find him at-bats. Trade talk died down because the Rockies wanted a fifth starter. That's considered too high a price for a player viewed as a bench player. I would love to see what Baker would do with 500 at-bats, but that's not going to happen in Colorado.