Three Rockies are all-stars. But it was the guy from Colorado not in purple pinstripes who was hard to ignore. Jesse Crain is one of baseball's top setup men. The Rockies sorely need another trusted bullpen arm, given the failures of Wilton Lopez.
Crain is available, his team, the White Sox, holding a silent auction yard sale on several players.
Crain, a former star at Boulder's Fairview High School, has thought about it. He can't help it, even though his focus is healing a sore shoulder that should be ready to allow him to return from the disabled list next week.
"I was thinking about all the trade stuff before I got hurt," Crain said. "Now, I am just looking forward to getting back out there. I am happy to represent the White Sox, the team that helped get me here."
The idea of Crain as a Rockie is hardly farfetched. Colorado has interest, though the White Sox's price is understandably high. The 32-year-old right-hander has a 0.74 ERA and hasn't allowed a home run this year. Crain will be a free agent at season's end.
When he was in that situation after the 2010 season, he nearly accepted the Rockies' deal. They offered him a two-year contract. He did more than mull it over. After all, his parents still live in Boulder, and he owns a home in the area.
"Actually I was really close to taking it. The White Sox came in with a three-year deal, and it was really hard to turn it down," Crain said. "Who knows what will happen in the future? But it might be a good opportunity and a place to play because of the history I have there."
Crain, who winters in Houston, where he attended college, returns to Colorado during the winter and hopes to be involved with a November fundraiser for the Knights' prep program. He remains close to coach Rick Harig — so close, in fact, he brought him to the All-Star Game as a gesture for the impact he has had on the right-hander's career.