The Colorado Rockies have been working to acquire a new catcher this winter, once again reflecting some odd dissatisfaction with incumbent Chris Iannetta, and now they're bringing in free agent Ramon Hernandez on a two-year deal while shipping out Iannetta to the Angels, according to Troy Renck of the Denver Post. Renck adds that starting pitcher Tyler Chatwood appears to be coming to Colorado in exchange for Iannetta, boding with previous reports naming him as a possible Rockies target.
Hernandez will be receiving a two-year deal from the Rockies, as reported by Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. The 35-year-old was expected to be able to command a starting gig this winter, and it appears that he's gotten it. Over the 2010-2011 seasons, he hit a combined .290/.353/.437 over 680 plate appearances for the Cincinnati Reds, so he's shown more than enough pop to play regularly behind the plate despite his advancing age.
The Rockies also have reportedly traded Iannetta, a good player that's been in and out of favor with Rockies management over the years, to the Los Angeles Angels. This is presumably great news for Angels fans, who no longer will need to see Jeff Mathis play (hopefully ever again).
As for the Rockies, they get Tyler Chatwood in return according to the reports. He didn't put up great numbers last season, including the worst K/BB ratio of any pitcher with more than 140 innings pitched, but he throws hard (fastball averaged 93 MPH last year) and he's not even 22 yet. There's some upside here, and the Rockies understandably are seeking young, MLB-ready pitchers to fill their roster.
In the end, you have the Rockies replacing Iannetta with Hernandez, and adding Chatwood to the back of the rotation. For a team that just couldn't quite commit to Iannetta as an everyday player for some reason, replacing him with a solid veteran while adding some young depth to the starting rotation is an understandable move. Expect there to be mixed opinions, though, as many would presumably argue that Iannetta has loads of upside as a regular given his offensive ability.
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