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Indians acquire Kevin Slowey from Rockies for Zach Putnam

Jan 20, 2012, 4:16 PM EDT

Kevin Slowey Getty Images

Last month the Rockies acquired Kevin Slowey from the Twins and penciled him into their rotation, but after picking up more pitching in the Seth Smith trade with the A’s they decided Slowey was no longer needed.

Jon Paul Morosi of reports that the Rockies have traded Slowey to the Indians for pitching prospect Zach Putnam, which is a pretty solid move for Colorado considering he’s more highly thought of than the prospect (Daniel Turpen) they sent to Minnesota for Slowey in the first place.

Slowey gives the Indians some rotation depth in case Fausto Carmona‘s legal situation keeps him from being cleared to pitch (or the team tries to void his contract).

He struggled with the Twins last season, angering management by refusing to accept a bullpen role, but Slowey has generally been a solid mid-rotation starter with mediocre raw stuff and excellent strikeout-to-walk ratios. He’ll make $2.7 million in 2012.

Putnam, who was the Indians’ fifth-round pick in 2008, ranked 10th on Baseball America‘s list of Cleveland’s top prospects.

  1. WhenMattStairsIsKing - Jan 20, 2012 at 4:22 PM

    Can’t help but wonder a tiny bit if Slowey also pissed off Colorado somehow. Likely not, but with this guy’s rep, who knows. Maybe he punched Dan O’Dowd in the mouth when he traded for him.

    • trevorb06 - Jan 20, 2012 at 4:47 PM

      It’s not that Slowey had a bad attitude. Slowey and his agent both knew he still has it in him to be a mid-rotation starter. Minnesota had 6/7 starting pitchers and only 5 spots to fill. Obviously Slowey was the odd man out. By Slowey accepting a demotion to the bullpen he is essentially losing out on the millions of dollars extra he’d be making over his career as a starter. We all know servicable starters can still make quite a bit more bank than relievers.

      • trevorb06 - Jan 20, 2012 at 4:50 PM

        Good example of this, see Marc Rzepinski (spelling). Toronto had the same situation, 6/7 starters but only 5 spots in the rotation. Obviously I don’t keep up on Toronto specifics so I’m not sure if Rzep accepted his bullpen demotion willingly or went down fighting. He did get traded though.

      • cur68 - Jan 20, 2012 at 6:05 PM

        Scrabble was/is a good dude. He got some starts but was a very effective bullpen pitcher for the Beaver Men. All without complaining. Mind you Anthopolous did reward him with a trade to the Cardinals. Can’t complain about that trade, if you’re Scrabble.

      • byjiminy - Jan 20, 2012 at 9:45 PM

        Slowey may or may not be a jerk, I don’t know, and I don’t care. But it’s not as simple a story as saying that he just refused to pitch in the bullpen.

        My memory is the team announced an open competition for the five starting roles, picked the people they wanted early on, and strung Slowey along through spring training, sending him to the bullpen on the last day, even though he had a solid spring, in favor of guys like Duensing and Blackburn, who they never seriously considered benching, even though Duensing can only get left handers out, and Blackburn can rarely get anyone out, but has a big contract.

        His complaint, as I understand, was that he had never pitched from the bullpen in his life, and he had prepared all spring to pitch as a starter, and his body wasn’t ready.

        But he did in fact pitch in the bullpen, something that for some reason seems to get forgotten, and then got hurt, surprise surprise.

        Then the team pilloried him in the press for refusing to pitch in the bullpen, even though he was actually hurt. They basically called him a lazy selfish malingerer. Finally he got an MRI that PROVED he was injured.

        For some reason, that made no difference to the narrative at all. I have no idea why. Maybe because he’s a jerk. Fine. But you force a guy to pitch on short rest when his whole career he’s been conditioned to pitch on five days rest, he gets hurt, and you blame him? I never got that.

        Perhaps after that he did get an attitude and refused. Who knows. But even if true, that’s not the whole story.

        It is too bad he couldn’t make the adjustment, because his rep is he never makes it through the opposing lineup the third time, leaves after five innings, and wears out his bullpen. Maybe he could have worked harder to become a reliever. But the way to do that is sensibly, not rush it, cause an injury, and call him a whiner. If that’s how you’re treated when you do cooperate, why bother?

        Personally I’m rooting for him to do well in Cleveland. I’m a Twins fan, but I’m sick of them dumping players just because they don’t like them, and badmouthing them in the process. They used to be a lot classier.

  2. jwbiii - Jan 20, 2012 at 4:26 PM

    So Kevin Slowey climbs Mt. Kilimanjaro, acclimates his body to performing at altitude, and then gets traded to Cleveland (elev. 653).

    • Old Gator - Jan 20, 2012 at 5:59 PM

      Hey, first he got to climb Kilimanjaro with R. A. Dickey. Now, he’ll get to meet Howard the Duck.

  3. felser - Jan 20, 2012 at 5:19 PM

    Slowey has great control, but is a gopher-ball machine. He and Colorado never made sense.

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