Rockies and Reds discuss Huston Street-for-Edinson Volquez deal

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The Rockies might have less of a sense of urgency to get a deal done after acquiring Kevin Slowey from the Twins, but Troy Renck of the Denver Post reported this morning that they have had discussions about a possible deal that would send Huston Street to the Reds for Edinson Volquez.

Street has a solid 3.50 ERA and 170/33 K/BB ratio in 167 innings over three seasons with Colorado, but he’s on the trading block now that Rafael Betancourt has established himself as the closer. The 28-year-old right-hander is due a reasonable $7.5 million salary in 2012 and his contract includes a $9 million mutual option or $500,000 buyout for 2013, so he makes sense for a lot of teams, even with a number of free agent closer-types available. The Reds are currently on the market for a closer after declining Francisco Cordero’s $12 million option in late-October.

As for Volquez, he’s coming off a nightmare season in which he posted a 5.71 ERA and 104/65 K/BB ratio over 108 2/3 innings at the big league level. Still, he’s barely two years removed from Tommy John surgery and is only due a slight raise over the $1.6 million he made in 2011, so he’s an ideal buy-low target for a number of clubs.

There’s a pretty large gap in the salaries of the two players, so Renck notes that the Rockies would likely have to sweeten the deal by covering some of Street’s contract and/or including a prospect.

Astros talking to Justin Verlander, Gerrit Cole about extensions

Justin Verlander
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It’s extension season and Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports that the Astros — who already agreed to an extension with Alex Bregman — are discussing contract extensions with Justin Verlander and Gerrit Cole.

Funny thing about Verlander, by the way: when he got his current $180 million deal, most people fell into the “oh, there’s an overpay!” column. What’s more, this past winter, when everyone was talking about how bad it is to give guys big long term deals, Verlander’s name was notably absent in the conversation despite the fact that his deal has turned out to be quite good. I suppose that says something about how good the anti-long-term deal folks are at cherrypicking.

That being said, Rosenthal says “it would be an upset” if either Verlander or Cole signed extensions. I can see that. Verlander is locked up this year and has a vesting option for 2020, and a lot can happen in a year or two. Cole is a Scott Boras client and Boras clients tend to hit the market rather than sign extensions. Perhaps their former teammate, Dallas Keuchel‘s, terrible experience on the free agent market this winter will alter that calculus. Hard to say.