***UPDATE: Jennings Officially Off The Board ...
Just a quick update (not a planned post) ...
Per Ken Rosenthal (link), Jason Jennings has been traded to the Astros along with Miguel Asencio for Willy Taveras, Jason Hirsh, and Taylor Buchholz. This fills the Astros' need/desire for a young, #2 starter behind Roy Oswalt (although whether Jennings stuff/track record is #2-caliber is debatable), while filling the Rockies' needs for a rangy center fielder and cheap, young starting pitching. This was the same package originally rumored to have pried Jon Garland away from the White Sox, however it is difficult to argue that Jennings is in the same class of pitchers as Garland. It is interesting to note that the reported deal was not contingent on an extension (or at least there has been no mention of one yet). Although I am not particularly high on any of the three Astros players involved, cheap high-ceiling talent is both valuable and hard to come by; we'll see soon if the Astros gave up too much.
At least for 2007, the Astros rotation now is as follows:
4-5) ??? (W. Rodriguez, Sampson, etc.)
Although my Houston friend, CAH-TOWN is high on Sampson, the current rotation is a far cry from the Astros' staffs of recent years. For next season, Jennings is downright affordable at $5.5 M, so excpect the Astros to go hard after the top remaining FA of their choice. I expect it will be Suppan (after all, I already got my first projection from yesterday's post correct). I will ask CAH-TOWN to write a post on the Jennings trade in the near future, so look forward to "the enemy's" point-of-view.
From the Cardinals' perspective, this only further limits the pitching options left available. Do not expect the addition of an unquestioned #2-type starter this offseason.