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December 4, 2008 5:43 PM

Will Rockies keep or trade Atkins?

Odds are better than 50-50 that 3B Garrett Atkins will be in a Rockies uniform come spring training.

After moving Matt Holliday, the Rockies demands in a trade for Atkins have become more specific, and so far teams have been reluctant to get involved in serious conversations involving a proven starting pitcher capable of moving into the No. 3 spot -- or higher -- in the Rockies rotation.

What's more, while doctors have said that Todd Helton's back surgery was a success, the true test won't come until Helton is put through a daily grind to see how his back responds, and that won't be until the final weeks of spring training, at the earliest.

And with the trade of Holliday, Atkins' right-handed bat in the middle of the lineup could be critical for keeping Troy Tulowitzki from having too much pressure as the only right-handed-hitting threat in a run-producing spot.

With Atkins two years removed from free agency, that adds up to the Rockies reconsidering the possibility of moving him.

Atkins provides an alternative at first base if Helton has physical problems, or even a day or two a week to help protect Helton in addition to playing third base. The presence of Ian Stewart to take over at third is a key reason the Rockies felt they could move Atkins, but they are convinced that Stewart has the athleticism to move to left field.



Discussion

  • December 6, 2008

    8:22 AM

    Warren writes:

    "Atkins provides an alternative at first base if Helton has physical problems, or even a day or two a week to help protect Helton in addition to playing third base. The presence of Ian Stewart to take over at third is a key reason the Rockies felt they could move Atkins, but they are convinced that Stewart has the athleticism to move to left field."

    That's nearly exactly what I have been saying. If Helton can't hold up this season, he is going to have to retire. That's all there is to it. If that happens, the Rockies need Atkins to become their 1B man. The production he provides at his salary level is a bargain in today's baseball. And I just don't see Joe Koshanski taking over.

    As long as Helton is healthy, keep Atkins at 3B and play Ian Stewart in Matt Holliday's void in left field. Start Carlos Gonzalez down in AAA for that additional year of minor league seasoning the scouts all said he needed before the A's thwarted him into an everyday role.

    Trade Wily Tavarez and Yorvit Torrealba to the Reds for a starting pitching prospect. Maybe include one of their great minor league infielders into the package, if the payoff would be Homer Bailey or Aaron Harang. Why not? It's not like Colorado needs Wily-T, Yorvit or Chris Nelson (with Tulo locked in for years). That woudl be a lot of great talent going to the Reds, addressing areas they have needs and they have pitchers to spare. Go get us Homer Bailey or Aaron Harang while their stock is low!

  • December 6, 2008

    8:24 AM

    Warren writes:

    "Atkins provides an alternative at first base if Helton has physical problems, or even a day or two a week to help protect Helton in addition to playing third base. The presence of Ian Stewart to take over at third is a key reason the Rockies felt they could move Atkins, but they are convinced that Stewart has the athleticism to move to left field."

    That's nearly exactly what I have been saying. If Helton can't hold up this season, he is going to have to retire. That's all there is to it. If that happens, the Rockies need Atkins to become their 1B man. The production he provides at his salary level is a bargain in today's baseball. And I just don't see Joe Koshanski taking over.

    As long as Helton is healthy, keep Atkins at 3B and play Ian Stewart in Matt Holliday's void in left field. Start Carlos Gonzalez down in AAA for that additional year of minor league seasoning the scouts all said he needed before the A's thwarted him into an everyday role.

    Trade Wily Tavarez and Yorvit Torrealba to the Reds for a starting pitching prospect. Maybe include one of their great minor league infielders into the package, if the payoff would be Homer Bailey or Aaron Harang. Why not? It's not like Colorado needs Wily-T, Yorvit or Chris Nelson (with Tulo locked in for years). That woudl be a lot of great talent going to the Reds, addressing areas they have needs and they have pitchers to spare. Go get us Homer Bailey or Aaron Harang while their stock is low!

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