Colorado Rockies general manager Dan O'Dowd spoke with the media on Sunday afternoon to discuss the Ubaldo Jimenez trade with the Cleveland Indians. O'Dowd told the media that he likely would have made this trade even if the Rockies were leading the NL West:
"If we were 10 games up and not 10 games back, (this) still would have been a difficult deal to pass up." He called the trade "a reloading deal" rather than "a rebuilding deal."
However, that could just be talk from O'Dowd to rationalize the trade. If the Rockies were 10 games up, Jimenez would likely have been pitching like he did in the first half of 2010, ending any fears of diminishing returns. But all we know is that O'Dowd did make the trade. So, I'm not sure how reliable O'Dowd's word is in this regard.
But that isn't to say it was a bad trade. It's just that O'Dowd is trying to cover any possible areas of attack. He did say that he was taught to make a deal before it was too late. And holding onto Jimenez for much longer could have ruined his trade value.
Apparently the workload Jimenez and other Rockies pitchers have put up did play into the team's decision, but that just opens up another cycle. If Jimenez's workload has ruined him, then eventually the prospects he received, Alex White and Drew Pomeranz, will also overwork themselves and be traded before their value plummets.
And as O'Dowd mentions at the end of the article, those two pitchers will make or break the deal.