Rockies and Jason Jennings
The Colorado Rockies traded their best starting pitcher, Jason Jennings, to the Houston Astros for centerfielder Willy Taveras and pitchers Taylor Buchholz and Jason Hirsh.
Jennings will be a free agent after this year. He has earned, and will get, a big contract. Neither Taveras, Buchholz nor Hirsh will be free agents any time soon. They are young players with potential. Most importantly, they are cheap.
Rockies General Manager Dan O'Dowd says this is just a coincidence. O'Dowd claims, "This is a trade we would've made whether Jennings was a free agent at the end of the year or signed for two more years."
There is a technical, legal term for statements like that: Bullcrap.
The Rockies pay lip service to developing young talent for the long term. In reality, they have become the Montreal Expos of the new millenium. They groom young players, let them play for a few years, then let them ago when they become eligible for market value. The Expos, of course, are now defunct.
The Rockies are just irrelevant.