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MLB Hot Stove: Rockies Interested In Wade Davis, Jeff Niemann?

It's common knowledge that the Tampa Bay Rays have a wealth of pitching depth, and that they are looking to fill some very specific holes in their roster this offseason (first base, catcher, DH). As such, I'm somewhat surprised that there haven't been more of these rumors on the hot stove yet:

Colorado has met with multiple teams, surveying the pitching landscape. Some don't make sense given the acquisition price (see John Danks and Rodriguez), and those teams with some common ground are letting the market breathe before determining if they will move a starter.

The latter applies specifically to Miami and Tampa Bay. The Rockies, eyeing a No. 3-type starter who can gulp quality innings, have interest in the Marlins' Ricky Nolasco and Anibal Sanchez and the Rays' Jeff Niemann and Wade Davis. (Troy Renck, Denver Post)

The Marlins seem likely an unlikely trade partner, as they appear intent on adding starting pitching this offseason and are unlikely to deal Sanchez. The Rays could be a good match for the Rockies, though, as both Jeff Niemann and Wade Davis are on the trade block and would be cheaper to acquire.

But who could the Rockies offer in return for Davis or Niemann? The Rockies don't have much position depth at first base and lack many young, impact hitters on their team outside of CarGo and Tulo. However, they do have an attractive trade chip at catcher: Chris Iannetta.

Iannetta fits the Rays in many ways, as he's undervalued due to his low batting average (.235 career). He hits for power, though, and walks around 14% of the time, and he's signed for a total of only $9 million over the next two seasons. The problem is that Iannetta could void his 2013 option if traded, so the Rays would likely want to talk with him before completing a deal and see if they could negotiate an affordable multi-year contract.

Even if the Rockies and Rays seem like a good fit, they aren't likely to complete a trade for another month. The Rays prefer to let the market settle before making any moves, and they will try and drive up the price on their starters as much as possible. So for now, all we can do is wait.

Photographs by, thelastminute, turtlemom nancy , fesek, kthypryn, justinwright, sue_elias, pointnshoot, and scrapstothefuture used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.