Originally posted on The Outside Corner  |  Last updated 1/16/12

The consistently under-appreciated outfielder Seth Smith has finally been granted his freedom from the grips of an undefined role in Colorado.  While Smith always showed promise, the Rockies maddeningly appeared hesitant to grant him a full time featured role in their outfield.  In 2011 Smith hit .284/.347/.483 with 32 doubles, nine triples and 15 home runs.  While Smith's lifetime numbers away from Coors Field are dramatically worse, he seemed to hit no matter where he was in 2011, perhaps illuminating his continued progression toward becoming an everyday player.   

In return for Smith's services the Athletics have sent Guillermo Moscoso and Josh Outman to Colorado.  The 28 year old Moscoso has bounced around the AL West in his brief major league career, but proved to be a valuable starter for Oakland in 2011.  Moscoso posted an 8-10 record with a 3.38 ERA across 128 innings and stabilized the back end of the A's rotation which effectively kept them in the AL West race longer than they should have been.  Outman is a 26 year old southpaw that has posted solid numbers (3.75 ERA across 151 IP) when given the chance in Oakland. 

The Rockies continue to stockpile future pitching talent without eating away at the core of their team.  Ubaldo Jimenez was dealt to Cleveland last season in a trade that brought in top pitching prospects Alex White and Drew Pomeranz, and Chris Iannetta was sent to the Angels in return for Top 100 prospect Tyler Chatwood.  Perhaps Colorado envisions the inevitable present/future of the NL West being dominated by pitching (see D-Backs, Giants rotation).  As for the A's, after the trading of Gio Gonzalez and Trevor Cahill and the signing of Bartolo Colon, I'm not exactly sure what their angle is.  It almost seems like they are rebuilding while desperately attempting to remain a respectable after-thought in the AL West.  Whatever the case, this seems like a good deal for both clubs.  The Rockies created more pitching depth (you can never have too much of that) while the A's have landed a solid everyday outfielder. 

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This article first appeared on The Outside Corner and was syndicated with permission.

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