NL West Notes: Butler, Rockies, Dodgers, Wright

The NL West makes a strong showing on Jim Bowden's list of the offseason's seven most underrated transactions (ESPN Insider account required).  The Giants and Dodgers combine for three of the seven moves, while the Diamondbacks find themselves on possibly the wrong end of one of the deals — Bowden believes the White Sox got the best end of the three-team Sox/D'Backs/Angels trade since Adam Eaton fills a big need in Chicago and Bowden doesn't rate Hector Santiago too highly.

Here are some more items from around the NL West…

  • The Rockies didn't push harder for more fifth starter depth since they didn't want to block right-handed pitching prospect Eddie Butler, according to Troy Renck of the Denver Post (Sulia link).  Butler, the 46th overall pick of the 2012 draft, pitched very well last season, including an 0.65 ERA in 27 2/3 Double-A innings.  If he continues to progress next year, the Rockies could call Butler up by late May or early June.  Juan Nicasio and Jordan Lyles are currently slated to battle for the fifth spot in the Colorado rotation behind Jorge De La Rosa, Jhoulys Chacin, Tyler Chatwood and Brett Anderson, though Anderson's health history will create a need for depth.
  • The Rockies added Raul Fernandez to the 40-man roster rather than risk losing him in the Rule 5 draft, as Colorado has been cautious about losing even low A-ball prospects to the Rule 5 draft since the Padres took Everth Cabrera from their roster in 2008.  Baseball America's Jack Etkin profiles Fernandez, who owns a 96-mph fastball and projects as a back-end reliever.
  • Jamey Wright signed his first Major League contract since 2005 when he agreed to a one-year, $1.8MM deal with the Dodgers last week.  Fangraphs' Mike Petriello looks at how Wright has revived his career by adding a cutter to his arsenal, which led to more strikeouts and more success against right-handed batters.
  • Right-hander Javy Guerra has become little more than a minor league depth option for the Dodgers, and Steve Dilbeck of the Los Angeles Times opines that Guerra could become trade bait.  Guerra (who is out of options) emerged as the Dodgers' closer in 2011 but hasn't been nearly as effective since, pitching in just 10 2/3 Major League innings in 2013.


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