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Rockies acquire reliever Matt Lindstrom from Astros

Dec 23, 2010, 6:44 PM EDT

Cincinnati Reds v Houston Astros Getty Images

UPDATE: The swap is now complete, according to Astros social media director Alyson Footer.  Houston will receive minor league pitchers Jonnathan Aristil and Wes Musick in return from the Rox.

Aristil, a 24-year-old right-hander, had a 5.90 ERA and 1.63 WHIP over 71.2 minor league innings in 2010.  Musick, a 23-year-old lefty, posted a 4.05 ERA and 1.25 WHIP over 122.1 innings at Single-A.

5:18 PM: That was quick.

About an hour ago Buster Olney of ESPN.com tweeted that “the Astros are working hard on a possible trade of Matt Lindstrom today” and now Thomas Harding of MLB.com reports that the 31-year-old reliever has been traded to the Rockies.

Colorado has been in the market for right-handed bullpen help all offseason and dealing for Lindstrom allows the Rockies to fill that role without committing to a multi-year contract. Lindstrom is under team control for two more seasons as an arbitration eligible player and figures to earn around $3 million in 2011.

Harding notes that the Rockies first tried to acquire Lindstrom in the November trade that sent Clint Barmes to the Astros for Felipe Paulino, so they clearly like him a lot despite a rough second half that saw him post a 7.50 ERA and lose closer duties to Brandon Lyon. Lindstrom has averaged 96.3 miles per hour with his fastball over the past three seasons, which ranks third baseball, but all that velocity has never equaled great results and he has a 4.00 career ERA.

Huston Street remains the Rockies’ closer, but should he struggle with injuries again Lindstrom gives them a backup option alongside fellow setup men Rafael Betancourt and Franklin Morales.

  1. Old Gator - Dec 23, 2010 at 7:12 PM

    Feesh fans, such as they are, watched Lindstrom for several years while we waited for him to “live up to his potential.” He would have stretches of pure dominance – usually the first three or four pitches he threw to a given batter – and then lose focus and serve up a beachball, or suffer from some odd delusion that the batter was buried up to his hips and that the strike zone began an inch or so beneath the plate. Fortunately, walking the batter, and the next, and then giving up a line double usually snapped him out of it. All of this was happening at 96.3 MPH, mind you, so you had to pay close attention to follow what was going on.

    Colorado is a great place for Lindstrom. Since Branson has already won the X-prize, it’s too late for some of the dingers he’s going to serve up with a 5000-plus foot altitude advantage to qualify as the first private spacecraft in low earth orbit. However, just watching them overfly the back wall of the stadium should be even more exciting for Rocky Mountain Oysters fans than watching them bounce off the blue tarp in distant center field at Joeprodolsharklife Stadium where fans should have been sitting was for us.

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