The Colorado Rockies haven't done a whole lot to improve their roster after losing 98 games last season. In fact, the team appears to be dead-set on keeping many of the players who contributed to a second straight sub-.500 campaign.
And while there's been speculation that Troy Tulowitzki could be used as a trade chip to help rebuild a team that has lost 187 games the past two years, it's almost impossible to imagine the Rockies would move their franchise shortstop -- especially given his lengthy injury history and $150 million contract.
Fowler has been the subject of trade rumors for much of the winter, given that he's young (26), still under club control at a cheap salary ($4-5 million, depending on arbitration results) and coming off his best season yet (.300/.389/.474). The Atlanta Braves have been mentioned as a possible match, since they're still looking for another outfielder and have young arms, like Randall Delgado and Julio Teheran, that the Rockies covet.
It remains to be seen whether the Rockies will attempt to rebuild at this stage, but one thing is clear: signing 41-year-old pitchers like Miguel Batista to minor-league contracts isn't going to get it done.
"It's one thing to do nothing when you win 98 games. It's another thing to do nothing when you lose 98 games. In the choice between retool or rebuild, the Rockies chose relax, essentially pinning all the team's hopes on a scenario in which the various injured pitchers would simply turn it around, a risky scenario given that banking on injured pitchers is like buying lottery tickets instead of car insurance.
If the front office believed that the club had a reasonable shot at competing in 2013, it should have tried to bring in a starting pitcher or two, even if it required a bit of an overpay due to the high altitude of Coors Field. If the front office didn't think the team could compete, there's no reason for Rafael Betancourt or Michael Cuddyer to not be wearing different uniforms in 2013. Instead, for all they accomplished, the front office might as well have shut down for the offseason and avoided the cold Denver winter with a 120-day trip to Hawaii."