There isn’t too much more analysis I can provide on this trade than I already did about the rumor. So go read that but, um, skip the last couple of sentences. New GM Jerry Dipoto made his first move Wednesday by dealing away 21-year-old pitcher Tyler Chatwood to the Rockies for 28-year-old catcher Chris Iannetta.
The move instantly adds offense to a position in which it was sorely lacking and boosts the line-ups overall On Base Percentage. Chatwood, as I noted, is still crazy-young and has a high ceiling but has struggled with command and seems unlikely to reach his potential. Dipoto focused on the difficulty of finding an offense capable catcher…
“It’s not easy to trade away a young pitcher like Tyler Chatwood,” Dipoto said. “You have to give to get, and catching is particularly tough to come by. If you’ve got (Jered) Weaver, (Dan) Haren, (Ervin) Santana, (Jerome) Williams and (Garrett) Richards, you’re not going into it empty-handed.
“Experienced major-league catching, a guy that’s in the top half of offensive performers from behind the plate, is tough to walk away from. … It (the trade) is a little more reflective of how difficult it is to find a major-league catcher with Chris’ ability than it is of Tyler’s development.”
Dipto politely failed to mention Chatwood’s similar 4.50 BB/9 (walk rate) and 4.69 K/9 (strikeout rate) scared the bejesus out of everyone, bar the Rox apparently. I’m not saying Chatwood will be a disaster in Coors Field, I’m not rooting against him, but don’t be surprised when he ends up in the bullpen.
While I’m at it, Iannetta isn’t without his faults. He’s not going to hit for a high average and get used to low BABIPs. Like most Rockies, he has a pronounced home/road split. For his career, Iannetta hit .262/.377/.492 at Coors and .208/.338/.369 everywhere else. His .338 road OBP still puts Jeff Mathis to shame but I think Iannetta is better than that. Iannetta never seemed to get the vote of confidence from the Rockies or manager Jim Tracy and I believe there is still room for improvement.
Dipoto looks like a winner in this deal especially considering the catching mess he had to clean up after the Mike Napoli-Vernon Wells trade disaster of the decade. I was hoping Dipoto had some kind of time machine to fix that trade but I can live with this.