Chris Nelson‘s situation with the Rockies was fluid from the start of the season. Despite former prospect Ian Stewart‘s intimation that the team did not give him a fair shake (via Purple Row), the team gave Nelson a chance to seize an everyday role this season and in seasons past. He beat Nolan Arenado out for the job with a more consistent spring and therefore had the chance to show the team that his strong second half in 2012 was a sign that he was here to stay. They could have more aggressively pursued a trade for Nelson at the time and chose not to do so.
And like when Chris Nelson had other chances to prove that he was an everyday player, whether at second base or third, he just did not quite do it. It seems that his popularity in the clubhouse has somewhat obscured the fact that Nelson was on about his 5th chance with the Rockies. It was time to move on.
That does not mean Nelson cannot help a big league club. He definitely can, and if not for mounting baggage and a glut of infielders, he might still have a place on the Rockies as a versatile infielder. Even if he did not back it up this season, we are talking about a player who posted a .301/.352/.458 in 2012. Consistency continues to be an issue, but ability is not.
That brings us back to the New York Yankees. It would be overly optimistic to assume that he could effectively step in and be the everyday third baseman, even during Kevin Youkilis‘s time on the disabled list. Still his versatility and athleticism could plug some holes for the banged up Yankees, whether in spot starts or off the bench. As MLBDailyDish notes, he would at least be an upgrade over players like Jayson Nix (former Rockies great) and Eduardo Nunez.
It remains to be seen if the Rockies will be able to get anything in return for Nelson or not, but with at least a little bit of success and lots of teams in need, there should be at least a decent chance.