I must be missing something about Hirsh. While his minor league numbers are good, they don't scream superstar. Maybe the Rockies really like his low home run rate. But his K and BB rates are good, not great.
If the Astros can sign Jennings long term, I think it's a fair trade for both teams.
In a trade that sparked immediate criticism from rival executives, the Astros parted with three players Tuesday -- including top pitching prospect Jason Hirsh -- to acquire right-hander Jason Jennings from the Rockies.
The Astros exchanged Hirsh, right-hander Taylor Buchholz and center fielder Willy Taveras for Jennings and right-hander Miguel Asencio -- a steep price, considering that Jennings is a free agent after this season.
"I wouldn't have traded Hirsh for Jennings straight up," one executive said.
They need to make their plans before Pettitte, Clemens, Beltran or anybody else does it for them. In acquiring Jennings, a serviceable right-hander who was 9-13 with a 3.78 ERA for Colorado last season, they take a step in that direction. The big concern, though, is Jennings is free-agent eligible following the 2007 season, and Hirsh, Buchholz and Taveras will be a steep price to pay if the Astros don't keep Jennings.
Jennings had a VORP of 50.8 last year, the highest on the Rockies' pitching staff and indeed one of the highest in the majors. A lot of his value comes from the high number of innings he will log, but don't believe all these dismissive reports about his being "only" a third or fourth starter.Most conversation that I can see this morning is focused on an extension for Jennings, who can walk after 2007 as it stands right now. In their story yesterday, Purple Row had said that they were "expecting that the Astros must have a contract extension already mostly finished."
Which rotations are these that have three better starters than Jason Jennings? The Rockies are going to have a very difficult time replacing Jennings. Jason Hirsh is a big-deal prospect, but he's not going to be a 50 VORP player in his first full year in the bigs. Besides, there is absolutely no telling whether Hirsh will be one of the multitude of pitchers who simply can't make the adjustment to Coors Field. Buchholz, whose best pitch is his curve, is an even likelier candidate for Mike Hampton syndrome.
Now the official site tells us that, well, "'the Astros hadn't discussed an extension with Jennings yet, and Jennings said he hadn't thought about his contract since hearing the news that he'd been traded."
Excuse me, but isn't that, I dunno, negligent? Isn't that kind of bush?
We paid way too much for Jennings, but never mind that. If this deal has any hope of ever appearing on the positive side of the ledger for the Astros, Jason Jennings has got to be good, and good for many years. Jennings needs to be an Astro in 2007, and well beyond. Right now, we have no insurance. Right now, Jennings could have a nice year in '07--and then Astros fans could watch a gleeful JJ play the sure-to-be-absurd '08 free agent pitching market and a) fleece us or b) walk.
Because he's from Baylor means he wouldn't leave Houston?
Everyone is assuming an extension's been done, but T-Purp tells us it hasn't even been discussed. Either I'm way off base here, or something is very, very wrong.
I'm not one of those who feels that Purpura is just a puppet. Sure, McLane makes all the big calls, Clemens/Bagwell type stuff, but I've gotta believe that Tim orchestrates everything else. And to call a major league GM "stupid" is laughable; you know these guys are sharp.
But I think we as Astrofans need some explanation.