Rockies get Bigbie, may deal him again

By Jim Callis

July 29, 2005

Barely two weeks after acquiring Eric Byrnes from the Athletics, the Rockies sent him to the Orioles on Friday in exchange for Larry Bigbie. Bigbie may not remain with Colorado as long as Byrnes did, as there are reports that he may be headed to the Red Sox or another club in a follow-up deal before Sunday’s 4 p.m. ET deadline for trades without waivers.

Bigbie, 28, regressed in each of his last two seasons in Baltimore and was hitting just .248/.314/.374 with five homers and 21 RBIs in 67 games this year. He has average power and speed, but he strikes out too much and is weak against lefthanders (.633 OPS in 2005, .666 lifetime). He has a solid arm and covers a good amount of ground for a corner outfielder, though he doesn’t always get good jumps on fly balls. He’ll be arbitration-eligible for the first time after this season. Bigbie is a career .271/.335/.406 hitter with 31 homers and 134 RBIs in 352 games.

Byrnes, 29, hadn’t done much since arriving in Colorado, batting .189 in 15 games. Overall this season, he’s hitting .249/.325/.420 with seven homers and 29 RBIs in 74 contests. He’s an extremely aggressive player, sometimes too much so at the plate. He has some pop, mostly against lefthanders (.903 OPS in 2005, .896 for his career). He runs well and plays with reckless abandon in the outfield. He makes $2.2 million this year and will be eligible for arbitration again this offseason. He’s a career .267/.334/.453 hitter with 45 homers and 169 RBIs in 457 games.

The Rockies reportedly had agreed to send Bigbie to the Red Sox, who seek a lefthanded-hitting corner outfielder to fill in for the injured Trot Nixon. Boston would have sent catching prospect Kelly Shoppach and outfielder Adam Stern to Colorado, but pulled out of the deal.