Though he does not hit for a high batting average or bash many home runs, the 36-year-old Venezuelan is still a scrappy, valuable asset to have. He offers defensive versatility, decent extra base hit power and a keen eye at the plate.
Who they get in return is 23-year-old Culberson, who was a supplementary first round draft pick in 2007. Though he has shown solid power and speed in the minor leagues, he is also a free-swinger—his career-high in strikeouts, to date, is 129—with a dangerously low on-base percentage (.310 career mark) and a less-than-stellar batting average (.258).
He has the potential to be respectable, for sure, but considering his flaws already made evident in the minors, one has to wonder—could the Rockies have gotten more for Scutaro?
Baseball fandom may agree: “Culberson isn’t a steep price,” notes a user of one baseball forum, with another saying, “I doubt his ability to be an everyday [major leaguer].”
Scutaro, of course, has been an everyday major leaguer since 2004.
Since then, he has hit .272 with a .338 on-base percentage and a .730 OPS. From 2004 to 2011, he averaged 26 doubles, 66 runs scored and only 57 strikeouts a season.
Defensively, he has shown the ability to play second base, shortstop and third base with aplomb—in 2004, for example, he led qualifying American League second sackers in fielding percentage with a .995 mark.
Though just a temporary lodger with Colorado, he hit .272 with only 35 strikeouts in his short time with the team—numbers right in line with his career averages.
So yes, the Rockies could have gotten more for Scutaro. The question then becomes how much more?
It’s just an armchair GM opinion, but they could have rightfully asked for another mid-level prospect, like 26-year-old starting pitcher Justin Fitzgerald or fellow infielder Bobby Haney.
Fitzgerald is 7-7 with a 3.74 ERA in 22 starts for the Giants' Double-A team this season, while Haney, 23, is batting .323 with the same squad.
And those are just two of the many players the Rockies could have asked for and potentially received—but instead, they walked away obtaining less than they deserved.