Rockies deal Seth Smith to the A's

The Colorado Rockies have traded outfielder Seth Smith to the Oakland Athletics. The writing was seemingly on the wall for Smith to be moved once the club brought in Michael Cuddyer. The move comes shortly after the Rockies agreed with Smith on a $2.4 million salary for 2012. 

In exchange for Smith, a platoon outfielder who crushes right-handed pitching (.290/.364/.518 career line vs. RHP), the A's sent RHP Guillermo Moscoso and LHP Josh Outman to Colorado.

Smith had a good year in 2011, hitting .284/.347/.483 and stealing ten bases in 147 games. He was deemed expendable by the front office after bringing in the more expensive Cuddyer. Perhaps they valued Cuddyer's ability to hit left-handed pitching as Smith holds a career line of .202/.269/.319 against southpaws in only 239 plate appearances. In his five season career with the Rockies, Smith has faced a right-handed pitcher in 84% of his plate appearances. He should be able to hold down the right side of a platoon in the Oakland outfield, though he also carries an unsettling career home and road split (.925 OPS at Coors Field, .750 OPS on the road). 

Here is the updated list of pitchers in contention to be in the Rockies Opening Day rotation: Jhoulys Chacin, Jason Hammel, Juan Nicaso, Jorge De La Rosa, Drew Pomeranz, Alex White, Esmil Rogers, Clayton Mortensen, Kevin Slowey, Tyler Chatwood, Christian Friedrich, and now Moscoso and Outman. Now, it's fair to note that Nicasio and De La Rosa are coming back from injuries and aren't on track for the Opening Day rotation, although Nicasio is already throwing off a mound. Still, does it look like the Rockies want to run out of pitchers again this year? It looks to me like Dan O'Dowd is tired of watching Kevin Millwood pitch. The club has also offered 49-year-old Jamie Moyer a minor league contract. The Rockies have 14 players on their 40-man roster currently that weren't born when Moyer made his MLB debut on June 16, 1986. 

Moscoso, like another pitcher acquired in trade this offseason Slowey, is just a terrible fit for Coors Field. I mean, if you thought Slowey was a bad fit, wait until you see this guy's numbers. Moscoso was the premiere fly ball pitcher in all of baseball last year. In 128 innings pitched last season, he surrendered a fly ball on an astounding 55% of the time. This mark was the highest in baseball of pitchers who threw at least 120 innings, 6.5% higher than the Rangers' Colby Lewis. Lewis is still a good pitcher—yes, even in Texas—because of his dominance of right-handed hitters and strikeout proclivity, skills that Moscoso doesn't posses. Moscoso had a pedestrian 5.2 K/9 and uninspiring 2.6 BB/9 last season as a 27-year-old rookie. 

Outman was just getting his feet wet with the A's in 2009 when he had to be shut down to undergo Tommy John Surgery. He returned to the mound with Oakland in '11 and showed the same raw stuff he had prior to his injury while racking up 58.1 IP and a 3.70 ERA. Durability is still potentially an issue, but this lefty could work out of the bullpen if starting doesn't take. 


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