The Colorado Rockies were one of a number of teams who were interested in relief pitcher Jesse Crain before he signed with the Houston Astros this week. In a 2013 season that was cut short due to injury (bicep tendinitis), Crain was extremely effective (0.74 ERA in 38 games).
Whichever team signed Crain would just have to wait for him to complete his rehab and return. While this does not seem to be a significant issue, Troy Renck of the Denver Post reports that the Rockies, who have shown interest in Crain for a while now, were wary of signing Crain because of the injury and a subsequent surgery in October.
Crain was a top target when the offseason began. But I was told in early November that we were cooling on the idea. The reason became clear when Crain signed with the Astros. Crain, who was an all-star last year with the White Sox but never pitched for Tampa after getting traded, underwent surgery in October.
While this only accounts for the Rockies, it is reasonable to wonder if that surgery caused other interested teams to pause in their pursuit of the reliever. Crain has strong ties to the Houston area (he attended the University of Houston and now lives there), but given the state of the Astros, they are not a prime free agent destination.
Maybe Crain would have landed with Houston regardless, but you wonder if other teams’ interest cooled in a manner similar to what happened in Colorado.