Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
For the record, I am not endorsing this course of action as I happen to be a huge fan of Charlie Blackmon, aka @Chuck_Nazty, and his play on the field, beard-wearing ability, and musings on “the Twitter.” That said, Charlie Blackmon is the most tradable of the guys vying for the starting gig in center field.
The Colorado Rockies have three candidates to play the spot previously occupied by Dexter Fowler. One of them, Drew Stubbs, is guaranteed a spot regardless of whether he is the starter or not. This is true because of his right-handedness, his athleticism, and the fact that the Rockies just traded for him this off-season. Corey Dickerson is not likely to be traded because of the tremendous upside he brings offensively.
That brings us to Blackmon, a solid though unspectacular outfielder. He is a big league player right now with a known ceiling. That ceiling is not high but Blackmon is versatile; he plays all three outfield spots, hits for average and steals bases. His on-base skills stand to improve slightly if he takes it down a notch in terms of his free-swinging ways, but you pretty much know what you’re getting with the 27-year-old Georgia Tech product.
Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports
During an update on the center field competition this week, beat writer Troy Renck noted the possibility that the Rockies might be open to trading odd man out in their three four-man competition.
"The Rockies have four outfielders competing for their center-field job, so there has been buzz about teams calling Colorado, such as Philadelphia and Detroit."
Consider the scenarios if different guys were to be traded. As much as I love Blackmon, he is not likely to play so well on a new team so as to make the Rockies look foolish. He is fully capable of going somewhere else and playing well, just probably not to the extent that we would watch in horror and wonder: “how could they have traded this guy?” On the other hand, Dickerson does have the potential to burn the Rockies that way, which is why it is highly unlikely that the front office would even entertain the possibility.
Can we reasonably envision a Dickerson/Stubbs platoon in center field? Yes we can, especially if you add in the possibility of using Stubbs as a defensive replacement late in games started by Dickerson. That might make sense, especially if Dickerson keeps mashing this spring. And if that makes sense then it also might make sense to engage trade offers for Blackmon.
The Rockies could just choose to keep everybody around to sit on some depth in the event of a not-unlikely injury to Carlos Gonzalez. But if they feel confident enough in guys like Barnes, they might get serious about a trade. If they do, I have to believe Blackmon becomes the outfielder most likely to be traded.