Rockies pursue numerous pitching targets

Will the Rockies make a move for a proven starting pitcher at, before or after the non-waiver Trade Deadline on July 31?

Here’s what we’re hearing, according to those with knowledge of the possibilities:

The Rockies are not considered prime contenders for the Marlins’ Ricky Nolasco, but it’s not impossible that they’ll talk to the Marlins. Nolasco is in the final year of his three-year, $26.5 million deal. With many clubs around baseball, including National League West contenders the Giants and the D-backs, being mentioned as possible trading partners, the question is whether the asking price will be too high in terms of prospects or Major League-ready players.

Another possibility is the Brewers’ Yovani Gallardo, who is 6-7 with a 4.20 ERA, but in his last four starts is 2-1, 1.08. His last one was a clunker (eight hits and five runs, three earned, in four innings of a loss to the Cubs). Gallardo’s usually impressive stuff was so ordinary at the start of the year — he faced Colorado on Opening Day — that Rockies scouts are going to have to be convinced if the team is to pursue him seriously.

A sleeper team in the mix is the White Sox, who are willing to deal pretty much everyone but left-hander Chris Sale and slugger Paul Konerko. Expect the Rockies to pay attention to lefty John Danks, who had season-ending left shoulder surgery last August and has returned to make seven starts (1-5, 4.68 ERA). His last start was a good one – three runs, one earned, in 7 1/3 innings of a start against the Mets on Wednesday. Danks struck out seven, gave up seven hits, and didn’t walk anyone.

The Denver Post also includes Cubs starter Matt Garza among those the Rockies are “aggressively scouting,” and are taking a look at reliever Kevin Gregg. The Rockies have pursued Gregg as a setup man in the past.

Don’t forget, however, that the Rockies are always looking for bullpen help, and are taking a look at White Sox righty Jesse Crain, who is 2-2 with a 0.52 ERA in 36 appearances covering 34 2/3 innings. Back in 1999, Crain was Colorado’s high school player of the year at Fairview High in Boulder.

Thomas Harding

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