Things are sinking fast for the Colorado Rockies. Having had to already perform some roster jujitsu over the past couple months, mostly because of some bad luck with injuries, the team has seen a lot of players and therefore had the chance to bettwe understand some opportunities for improvement long-term, whether they wanted to or not.
Here, in no particular order, are some things we have learned:
- The Rockies have really talented outfielders
- The Rockies do have decent starting pitching depth. Yes you read that right – the fact is that this team stayed afloat for longer than it should have and that things didn’t really fall apart on the starting pitching side until we got to like the 9th or 10th starter used
- The Rockies have a horrible bullpen. It is truly atrocious.
The third thing is simply an observation. The first two, however, nudge the Rockies in the direction of a couple moves between now and July 31st…if they have the stomach to make them.
What I would like to do here is lay out a plan for the Rockies that involves trading Michael Cuddyer and Jorge De La Rosa between now and the end of the season (in Cuddyer’s case, it would likely be after the non-waiver deadline because of his injury). I want to be clear that the fan in me does not like that plan one bit. De La Rosa, in particular, has been one of my favorite Rockies for sometime now. And who doesn’t love Michael Cuddyer?
But the fact is, both guys carry big price tags and are free agents at season’s end. The Rockies have been rumored to have a plan in place to issue qualifying offers to both guys at season’s end, but that is a risky proposition. The best bet to get value, as things stand right now, might very well be to plunge into the trade market.
Because here’s the thing: everybody thinks they are still in the playoff race. For example, the Philadelphia Phillies still think they are alive. For another example, I suggested that the New York Mets should sell in a piece last week and was met by multiple fans who disagreed, going so far as to say that the Mets should be buyers. The Mets! Shoot, even the Tampa Bay Rays aren’t ready to cash this season in beyond the inevitable trade of David Price.
The thing is, the Rockies could deal both of these beloved veterans and not have their season fall apart. With some good health the starting rotation would not get markedly worse. Depending on how highly you regard Corey Dickerson‘s bat, the outfield might actually get better. The most obvious scenario for the Rockies to sell is if they continue their plummet to irrelevance, but they might want to consider these deals regardless of any (unexpected) success in the next month.
In short, trading these two makes complete sense if the Rockies are bad, but it also makes sense if the Rockies are good (still a remote, albeit unlikely possibility).
If the Rockies did take advantage of a seller’s market, and if you’ll indulge the fantasy land where Rockies’ players are actually healthy, you could have this lineup in August (or later, if you want to be a stickler about the timetable on injuries):
And how about this rotation? To be clear, I’m just writing down the five best guys in my opinion.
And with Jon Gray still lurking, either at the end of this season or the beginning of next. You can live with that, right?
The Rockies might not necessarily get a huge haul for Cuddyer or De La Rosa, as health concerns loom for the lovable outfielder and effectiveness concerns will trip up potential De La Rosa suitors. But in a context where teams are so reluctant to sell, couldn’t the Rockies beat teams to the punch with a proactive approach?
They won’t, of course. The Rockies are methodical and loyal. And maybe that isn’t so bad, because I will never complain about watching De La Rosa or Cuddyer in a Rockies’ uniform. But you really do wonder at this point if the Rockies haven’t seen that they have capable, cheaper options on the roster that won’t make them markedly worse and will allow them to get some pieces for their farm system.
Even with the Rockies still dealing with injuries well into the summer, they could afford to trade these two guys. They should at least consider as much, even if it makes them feel sad.
Tags: Colorado Rockies