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In 2013 he was nearly an All-Star. A week ago he was removed from the 40-man roster. Today, Rex Brothers was traded to the Chicago Cubs in a move that signifies that the Colorado Rockies are focused more on building the farm system then fielding a winner at the big league level immediately.
The Rockies received 19-year-old right handed pitcher Wander Cabrera in the deal. The Cubs farm-hand posted a 2.34 ERA with a 4-3 record for the Cubs Dominican Summer League team, the highest level that Cabrera has pitched at.
Brothers, a former first round draft pick, struggled with command after a phenomenal first half of 2013. He spent the majority of the 2015 campaign in Triple-A, and when he was at the big league level, he seemed to walk every batter that he faced.
The move shows some of general manager Jeff Bridich’s plans. He is more focused on acquiring minor league depth with arms that can contribute in years to come rather than trying to maximize the talent of the guys who are already on the roster. For Brothers, the control issues were something that could be fixed, but the Rockies aren’t in a position to fix him at the big league level when they could get someone for him that might be a contributor at the big league level in the future.
The argument could be made that the Rockies contributed to Brothers’ downfall by constantly tinkering with his mechanics. The lefty could touch 98-MPH with his fastball, but was told by the club to dial it down in order to maintain control. From that point, it seemed that Brothers began to aim the ball instead of simply pitching.
With a change of scenery, it would be easy to see Brothers make a strong turn in his development and be a strong contributor to a Cubs team that already was four wins away from a trip to the World Series.
The Rockies are tipping their hand. This is a team that is going to build up as much depth in the minor leagues and try to develop it in an attempt to slowly gain momentum and become a true contender in the National League West. It might take away the talent at the big league level immediately, but it will ultimately solidify and make the farm system stronger. At least that is what the Rockies have to be hoping for.