ESPN’s Buster Olney makes a point to say that this trade idea is pure speculation rather than anything he’s heard. Still worth discussing. Here it is:
If Colorado eventually turns the page on 2008, the Indians and the Rockies could match up well in a deal built around Garrett Atkins. The Rockies have a third baseman waiting in the wings, in Ian Stewart — although he is not faring well so far — and the Indians, as they look for ways to improve their offense, are flexible at first and third base.
Back in March, Ken Rosenthal suggested that Atkins was one player the Rox may not try to sign long-term. There were no talks in the 2007-08 offseason.
Atkins, 28, is a .274/.344/.446 career hitter away from Coors. Dismissing him as an average hitter is unfair – he’s at .289/.363/.496 on the road since the start of the ’06 season. Hard to say exactly where he’d settle in as an American Leaguer, but he’d probably be above average. Atkins’ glovework does leave something to be desired though.
Atkins is under team control through the 2010 season. He could earn close to $20MM during his last two years of arbitration eligibility.
What would it take for the Indians to acquire Atkins? Adam Miller would be too much. Would Aaron Laffey and Josh Barfield be enough?