I start this post with just a couple hours left until the trade deadline. I say this because, given how close we are to the deadline, something could happen while I’m writing this post.
Then again, I’m on top of the rumors just like you probably are, and will be refreshing mlbtraderumors.com. There’s a good chance that someone will be traded while I’m writing this post, in which case this is all moot and you’ll never see it.
As things stand now, though, the Colorado Rockies are in the midst of yet another quiet deadline. Honestly, what they’re doing (or not doing) doesn’t make a lot of sense to me. In particular, I’m shocked that the Rockies haven’t traded an outfielder yet and don’t seem to be close to a deal.
One thing this team has is a surplus of big-league ready outfielders: from Carlos Gonzalez to Corey Dickerson to Charlie Blackmon to Drew Stubbs to Brandon Barnes to currently injured Michael Cuddyer, the Rockies have six guys who can help a contender down the stretch. First, I’ll cross a few of those guys off the list. A big trade involving CarGo doesn’t make sense, at least not now, because he’s banged up and clearly not at his best. The off-season might be a better time to explore trading the star outfielder, if ever.
I’ll also cross off Barnes, because he seems to be the type of player that Walt Weiss values more than anyone else. Nobody’s going to trade anything significant for Brandon Barnes. That leaves Dickerson, Blackmon, Stubbs, and Cuddyer, who probably have the most to least trade value respectively. Why haven’t the Rockies traded at least one of these guys?
It’s not like there hasn’t been interest. Last week, my colleague referenced an offer the Seattle Mariners made for Stubbs. It doesn’t look like anything came for that. In Dickerson in particular, there is clearly a lot of interest. We talk again and again about “young, controllable pitching.”
Well, every team likes young, controllable pitching, and thus it is not cheap. To get an asset like that, you need to pay. Dickerson might just be that asset. It would hurt to trade a 25-year-old who seems well on his way to being an elite hitter, but he would fetch a lot in a trade. Many teams are power-starved, and Dickerson has power. Why not test the market, painful as it is? It’s not hitting the Rockies need, it’s pitching.
Then there’s Blackmon, who cooled off considerably after his amazing start but is still hitting above .300 with 14 homers and 20 steals. I’m sure the Rockies could find a team that needs his services more than they do, especially for the stretch run this season. Again, he’s relatively young and cheap, but that’s what makes a good trade asset.
The other two, Stubbs and Cuddyer, are in a different boat. I could understand why the Rockies wouldn’t want to trade Dickerson or Blackmon. But I see no reason to hold onto either Stubbs or Cuddyer, because they are set to hit free agency soon. Stubbs has a final year of arbitration before becoming a free agent after 2015, while Cuddyer is a free agent after this season.
Cuddyer, in particular, needs to be traded. The Rockies might value his clubhouse presence, but he, like LaTroy Hawkins, likely won’t be a part of the next contending Rockies team. They aren’t going to get a lot for Cuddyer, but they might as well get something while they can (once they can reasonably trade him) instead of deciding to overpay him in free agency.
It would be foolish of the Colorado Rockies to spend the next hour and change watching the action around them without taking part in the frenzy. They are clear sellers in a seller’s market, and now is the time they’ll get the most value. Teams need hitting, and the Rockies have hitting in droves.
Why don’t they take advantage of the market and trade some of their outfield for, and I keep coming back to it, young, controllable pitching? And yet, even with a trade making all the sense in the world, a trade seems unlikely. So, and you can throw this away if a trade actually happens, I’m disappointed in the Rockies front office, and you should be too.