Rockies shrewdly stockpile young arms

Drew Pomeranz is one among a bevy of young arms acquired by Rockies GM Dan O'Dowd. Andrew B. Fielding/US Presswire

Since taking over as general manager of the Colorado Rockies on Sept. 20, 1999, Dan O’Dowd has had his share of good trades as well as outright stinkers. But count his latest trade among one of the better ones of his tenure.

On Monday, O’Dowd sent fourth outfielder Seth Smith to the Oakland A’s in exchange for two back-of-the-rotation starters, Guillermo Moscoso and Josh Outman. Smith hit .284/.347/.483 with 32 doubles, 15 home runs and 10 stolen bases in 2011 while playing half his games at Coors Field. Smith, 29, is expected to play left field for the A’s. The under-the-radar trade adds to the store of young arms O’Dowd has collected in the past six months.

O’Dowd has learned throughout the years that overpaying for free-agent pitchers rarely works out and that even second-tier free agents don’t want to pitch at Coors Field. Therefore, the Rockies must either draft them or for trade for them, and O’Dowd has done an excellent job since July stockpiling an inexpensive bevy of young arms.