Before Major League Baseball's trade deadline (July 31st), the Colorado Rockies shipped 27 year-old pitching ace Ubaldo Jimenez off to the Cleveland Indians for four prospects. In a similar move this past season, the Nuggets traded away 27 year-old Carmelo Anthony for a cast of young faces in hopes of re-tooling their roster on the fly. Shipping off proven talent for potential is a gamble and one that some fan's struggle to see the logic in.
For those paying attention, the difference between Jimenez and Melo couldn't be more night-and-day. Jimenez, like Melo, had only known one team prior to his first trade. The former Rockies draft pick had been scouted in his home country of the Dominican Republic and was a source of pride for the organization's scouting department after finding such a talent in the tricky world of baseball scouting. Conversely, Melo was a no-brainer pick for the Nuggets after starring for Syracuse in their championship run on a national stage.
Jimenez was a loyal player for the Rockies. His mother, Ramona Jimenez, moved to Colorado to be with her son and Ubaldo signed a team friendly extension in 2009 that would hit just $8 million in the last season of the deal in 2014. Compare that to Red Sox pitcher (newly signed) John Lackey, who at 32 years-old is making $15.9 million in the first year of his deal in Boston ... and he's not even the ace. Jimenez didn't go to the organization and demand a trade or from the looks of things he didn't seem very happy to be leaving his former club.
Rockies fans are left to wonder why their ace had to be traded.
In come the new guys. Three pitchers and a utility man - the experts are saying that two of the pitching prospects could be top of the rotation guys and help rebuild the Rockies staff. So, minus Ubaldo the Rockies will hopefully get his replacement and maybe a No. 2 guy as well. Seems like a steep price to pay.
When the Nuggets traded Melo they had to deal some other pieces as well, most notably Anthony Carter -- err Chauncey Billups. Actually, the departure of Billups was probably more in line with the loss of Jimenez than a comparison of Melo, in terms of a guy not wanting to leave the organization. In return, the Nuggets received a cast of new faces from the Knicks in Raymond Felton, Timofey Mozgov, Kosta Koufos (via the Minnesota Timberwolves), Wilson Chandler, and the prize - Danilo Gallinari.
Gallo is supposed to be the guy who comes in and helps rekindle the Nuggets team. The Melo replacement, as he's the small forward, and the young guy in the deal at just 22 years-old. Felton has already seen his last days in Denver as he was traded on draft day for Andre Miller and the draft rights to Jordan Hamilton. The deal also gave the Nuggets some versatility with Chandler and two young seven-footers.
The difference between Jimenez and Melo is that Anthony wanted out of town - as evidenced by his wife's (Lala Vazquez) announcement the day after the trade that the couple would be getting a reality showed based in New York.
But you can play, "he wanted out - he didn't want out" all you want. The fact of the matter is both teams saw an opportunity to make a move, at a high-price, and decided to take the gamble. When the Rockies return home the crowds at Coors Field might tell an immediate reaction to the trade, but it'll be awhile before a winner or loser will be able to be awarded.
Both the Rockies and Nuggets have made big time moves in hopes of rebuilding on the fly and time will tell how well those gambles paid off.
To the links ...
An ode to Shark Week - Discovery.com
A couple bits about shark conservations as well as some tidbits about sharks as well. Get those DVRs rolling!
NBA Lockout: A breakdown of the owners', players' proposals - Jeff Zillgitt, USA Today
A nice breakdown of each side. Get to talking already!
NBA Lockout: Next meeting Monday, what are the issues? - Jeff Zillgitt, USA Today
Are the owners dragging their feet? Is Zillgitt earning his paychecks this weekend ... you bet!
Marion turns down spot on Dancing with the Stars - Kurt Helin, ProBasketballTalk.com
The Dallas forward has a reality show coming out starring his mom and sisters -- so those who want to see him, dry those eyes, he'll be around soon.
Chinese League may put in rules to limit NBA player influx - Kurt Helin, NBC Sports.com
Hey, our league might get a ton of attention for a little while and some big time players ... we should try to ruin that ASAP.
NBA scouts not allowed to attend college practices due to lockout - Kevin Esteves, I am a GM
The thinking here is that the scouts could run into current players at these events. Maybe David Stern should make his employees all stay home for the duration of this thing. Maybe not allow them to eat either and send them texts when they are allowed to take a breath.
Twitter: Nate_Timmons https://twitter.com/#!/Nate_Timmons