Rockies Continue Overhaul With Guthrie Acquisition




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The Deal
The Orioles dealt No. 1 starter Jeremy Guthrie to the Rockies for a pair of big league righthanders, starter Jason Hammel and reliever Matt Lindstrom. Baltimore had failed to come to terms on a 2012 contract for the arbitration-eligible Guthrie prior to the trade, though he quickly settled with Colorado for $8.2 million (after asking for $10.25 million from the Orioles). The Rockies already had contracts in place for Hammel and Lindstrom that will pay them a combined $8.35 million this season, and both pitchers remain under club control for 2013 as well.

In the 11 seasons since Mike Mussina split town, Guthrie stands as the Orioles' top starter, and a hypothetical rotation for the post-2000 period in Baltimore could also include Erik Bedard, Rodrigo Lopez, Daniel Cabrera and Sidney Ponson. A shrewd waiver claim by the Orioles in January 2007, Guthrie made an immediate impact as a 28-year-old rookie that year, logging 175 innings for a 91-loss club and going 7-5, 3.70. Baseball-Reference's adjusted-ERA metric pegs Guthrie as the 30th most effective starter (107 ERA+) over the past five seasons (counting only those with at least 750 innings). However, only Bronson Arroyo, Ted Lilly and James Shields have allowed more home runs than Guthrie's 133 in that time, and that could pose problems in Coors Field.

Judging from offseason dealings, new Orioles general manager Dan Duquette will show little loyalty to young Baltimore pitchers such as Brian Matusz, Chris Tillman and Jake Arrieta who have largely struggled in the big leagues. Duquette added Hammel (essentially a league-average starter over the past three seasons) and Dana Eveland in trades and also signed veteran lefties Tsuyoshi Wada and Wei-Yin Chen from the Japanese major leagues. Righties Tommy Hunter and Alfredo Simon and lefty Zach Britton also figure into a crowded rotation picture.

The Rockies have experienced even more turnover than the Orioles. Colorado will feature at least one new starting pitcher this season (Guthrie, but also possibly Tyler Chatwood, Guillermo Moscoso or Josh Outman), a new right fielder (Michael Cuddyer), a new second baseman (Marco Scutaro, acquired from the Red Sox in a payroll-paring move), a new third baseman (Casey Blake) and a new catcher (Ramon Hernandez).
 
Orioles Acquire
Jason Hammel, rhp
Age: 29. Remaining Commitment: 1 year, $4.75 million, then arbitration-eligible for 2013.
Contract details courtesy of Cot's Baseball Contracts.

Club (League) YEAR W L ERA G GS SV IP H R ER HR BB SO WHIP
Colorado (NL) 2011 7 13 4.76 32 27
1 170.1 175 100 90 21 68 94 1.43
3-Year Totals 27 30 4.63 96 87 1 524.2 579 291 270 56 157 368 1.40
 
Matt Lindstrom, rhp
Age: 31. Remaining Commitment: 1 year, $3.6 million, then 2013 club option for $4 million.
Contract details courtesy of Cot's Baseball Contracts.

Club (League) YEAR W L ERA G GS SV IP H R ER HR BB SO WHIP
Colorado (NL) 2011 2 2 3.00 63 0 2 54 52 21 18 3 14 36 1.22
3-Year Totals 6 8 4.36 175 0 40 154.2 174 82 75 13 58 118 1.50
 
Rockies Acquire
Jeremy Guthrie
Age: 32. Remaining Commitment: Arbitration-eligible for 2012; eligible for free agency in offseason ($5.75 million salary in 2011).
Contract details courtesy of Cot's Baseball Contracts.

Club (League) YEAR W L ERA G GS SV IP H R ER HR BB SO WHIP
Baltimore (AL) 2011 9 17 4.33 34 32 0 208 213 113 100 26 66 130 1.34
3-Year Totals 30 48 4.39 99 97 0 617.1 630 326 301 86 176 359 1.31

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