Rockies Trade Brings Family Reunion





DENVER—The offseason took a completely unforeseen turn for first baseman Chad Tracy. Not only was he traded by the Rangers, which was somewhat surprising, but they sent him to the Rockies, whose manager Jim Tracy is Chad's father.

Tracy, 26, was traded for righthander Greg Reynolds, 26, who was the Rockies' first-round pick and No. 2 overall pick in the 2006 draft. Tracy was drafted the same year in the third round out of Pepperdine.

Once Rangers general manager Jon Daniels told Tracy he was headed to the Rockies, Tracy experienced "almost like a nervous excitement, that feeling you get in the pit of your stomach where you're as excited as can be. But I'd be lying to you if it didn't cross my mind like, 'All right, this isn't a normal trade. I'm going to my dad's team.' So there's going to be some challenges that come with that."

Any misgivings began to fade quickly. The day after the trade, Tracy said, "It's starting to turn more just to excitement because I recognize the opportunity that's in front of me and it's a much better opportunity, a much better chance than I was going to have in Texas."

Tracy, who is expected to compete with Matt McBride and lefthanded-hitting Ben Paulsen for the first base job at Triple-A Colorado Springs, hit .259/.339/.475 last year at Triple-A Round Rock in 134 games.

Drafted as a catcher, Tracy left that position during the 2008 season. He has played left field in addition to first base, where his range and hands are works in progress. His arm improved over the course of the 2011 season as he got further out from shoulder surgery in August 2010 to repair a labrum and no longer hurts. The bottom line is his production at the plate will determine Tracy's future.

"Power righthanded bats are tough to come by," farm director Jeff Bridich said. "I think he's excited for a lot of reasons. He should be."

ROCKY ROADS

• Tracy also joins younger brother Mark Tracy, a 22nd-round pick out of Duquesne in 2010, in the Rockies system. Mark played first base for low Class A Asheville last season and batted .256/.304/.421 with nine homers in 297 at-bats.

• The Rockies have traded three former first-round picks this winter: Reynolds, third baseman Ian Stewart (2003, 10th overall pick) and reliever Casey Weathers (2007, eighth overall).