Saturday, August 11, 2012

Rockies Move Payton; Florida Could Contend

Colorado Springs has done the seemingly unthinkable, trading premier slugger Mark Payton to Florida for 3 young pitchers: Asdrubal Azocar, Miguel Urbina and Eduardo Lopez.

Payton was taken 13th in the Season 12 draft, and has slammed 312 HR's in his 6 ML seasons.  He took the NL Rookie Of The Year in Season 14, has 2 Silver Sluggers, and has made 4 All-Star appearances.

All 3 of the pitchers the Rockies obtained were products of the international market; Urbina took the top bonus (of the 3) at $16.4 million last year.  Azocar got 34 starts as a rookie last year, and compiled an 8-14 record with a respectable 4.31 ERA.

We were able to contact both owners immediately after the trade was announced to get their reactions.

World ML: What does this mean for the Rockies this year?
perdue12:  "The organization at all levels is very weak in pitching.  No Ace, just middle of the pack throughout the rest of the rotation and 'pen. I try to build my organizations around pitching. I also have a few guys at AAA who are big league ready and will get their opportunity."

'I am not expecting them to replace Payton, but I am expecting them to contribute. I feel we can compete this year, I am not going in to a full fledged rebuild mode.Just felt I needed an upgrade at Pitching. Kind of taking the Tampa Rays approach (the real Rays) to some levels."

World ML: Looks like you've moved into contention with the big Payton deal. What's your outlook for the Marlins this year?
jaikatis:  "Contention: that's flattering - I was worried about hitting the 55 win mark! Other than our rotation and COF, most of the talent is in the minors. If Fasano-Davis-Payton can carry the offense, I think we'll be ok. Depending on how the division shakes out, we have the pieces/finances to be pretty effective buyers OR sellers - I like having that flexibility."

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