With the loss of Mark Ellis in free agency to the Los Angeles Dodgers on Nov. 15, the Colorado Rockies are in the market for a new starting second baseman. There aren't a lot of quality second baseman in the major leagues that are available right now, but there are two players that I believe the Rockies should target.
Clint Barmes: Barmes is well-known to fans in Colorado, having played for the Rockies from 2003-2010. Much of that time was spent playing at second base, although he can fill in ably at shortstop. Barmes was a solid fielder, but streaky at the plate (.252 career average). I have always loved Barmes as a Rockies player since I met him after a game in 2005 and found him to be a great guy. I was disappointed when the Rockies traded him to the Astros a year ago, and I would love to see him return.
Martin Prado: The Atlanta Braves are open to trade offers for Prado, and if the Rockies can get him, they should. I love Barmes personally, but I believe Prado to be the better option at second. He's a much better hitter than Barmes, with a career .293 average. Because of that hitting ability and his solid glove, the Atlanta Braves moved him all over the field into different positions just so that he could stay in the lineup after they signed star free agent Dan Uggla last year. Prado spent most of last year in left field, although he did play some games at third base when needed. Prado's diverse fielding experience makes him an incredibly valuable utility player, something that the Rockies could use.
As long as the price isn't too high, I would support a trade for Prado. He's just as capable as Barmes in the field, but he gives the Rockies a more consistently productive hitter in the lineup. As a Rockies fan, I'm giddy with the idea of a solid hitter like Prado batting right before Troy Tulowitzki and Carlos Gonzalez.
However, the Rockies aren't usually big players in the free agency market when it comes to acquiring starting position players. If the Braves get greedy and ask for multiple prospects, this trade could go south in a hurry. If it does, then I'd be happy with having Barmes back at second and hoping that another infielder prospect will emerge from the minor leagues eventually.
Julie has rooted for the Colorado Rockies since she moved to Denver in 2001. She believes that not only are the Rockies the best professional franchise in Colorado, but the stadium experience at Coors Field is one of the best in Major League Baseball.