The Rockies are "expected to continue measuring trade interest" in hard-throwing pitchers Felipe Paulino and Franklin Morales, reports Troy E. Renck of the Denver Post. At least one NL Central team has expressed interest in Morales, he adds. Both pitchers are out of options, so the Rockies can't demote them without exposing them to waivers.
Paulino, 27, was acquired from the Astros in November for Clint Barmes. He throws hard and gets strikeouts, but allows tons of hits and plenty of walks and home runs. He's relieving now, but has 34 career starts to his name. Paulino missed a good chunk of 2010 with a shoulder injury.
Morales, 25, was considered the eighth best prospect in all of baseball prior to the 2008 season, according to Baseball America. He has a higher profile than Paulino, having made a couple of playoff starts in '07 and served as the Rockies' closer at times. There might be five or six lefties in the Majors who throw harder than Morales. However, he's prone to flyballs and walks and has also battled shoulder injuries. Paulino and Morales are projects, so they make the most sense for non-contenders.