Rockies drawing plenty of trade interest in Seth Smith

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Colorado has been shopping Seth Smith all offseason and now that the Rockies have signed Michael Cuddyer those efforts figure to increase, with Jon Morosi of FOXSports.com reporting that they’re getting interest from a handful of teams.

According to Morosi the Mariners, A’s, Braves, Mets, and Rays have talked to the Rockies about Smith, who hit .284 with 15 homers and an .830 OPS in 147 games this past season.

Smith’s raw numbers are inflated by Coors Field and he’s never really hit left-handed pitching, but the 28-year-old outfielder would help plenty of teams as a platoon player. He’s a career .292 hitter with an .881 OPS versus right-handers.

Morosi says the Rockies want pitching or infield help for Smith, who’s slated to make about $2 million in 2012 via arbitration.

Check out Minute Maid Park without Tal’s Hill

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During the offseason, the Astros finally got rid of Tal’s Hill in center field. It was a throwback to older stadiums, some of which had uneven topography — Crosley Field, namely. As unique as it was in the age of cookie cutter sports stadiums, most of us were holding our collective breaths hoping no one ruptured an Achilles or suffered another brutal injury trying to navigate the hill while attempting to catch a fly ball.

We saw what it looked like during reconstruction:

And now, via Julia Morales of ROOT Sports, we see what it looks like after all the work has been done:

The Astros are allowing fans with Lexus Field Club tickets to stand on the new warning track to watch batting practice and shag fly balls as well, Morales notes. Lexus Field Club is where Tal’s Hill used to be.

Good riddance, Tal’s Hill.

Jhoulys Chacin will start Opening Day for the Padres

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Jhoulys Chacin will start on Opening Day, April 3 against the Dodgers in Los Angeles, Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union-Tribune reports. It will be Chacin’s second Opening Day start, the other coming in 2013 with the Rockies against the Brewers. He’ll be the fifth different Padres pitcher in as many years to start on Opening Day.

Chacin, 29, inked a one-year, $1.75 million contract with the Padres in December. The right-hander spent the 2016 season with the Braves and Angels, compiling an aggregate 4.81 ERA with a 119/55 K/BB ratio in 144 innings.

Lin notes that Chacin will be followed in the rotation by Clayton Richard and Jered Weaver. It will be an interesting rotation, to say the least, as it will arguably be the worst in baseball.