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So with Gonzalez being the more likely trade target, let’s look at some potential partners the Rockies could link up with to move the outfielder.
The first is the largest and most likely suitor, the New York Mets. The Mets are in the market for outfielders, they were in on Cuddyer prior to the qualifying offer being extended, and they have what the Rockies want in return: young pitchers.
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The Mets’ farm is full of young pitching prospects and although Matt Harvey and Jacob deGrom are completely off limits, Noah Syndergaard is likely not. The young right handed pitcher was the number 16 prospect in baseball prior to this season and the Mets, with Harvey, deGrom, and Wheeler already on staff, have depth in the position to move him.
New York’s senior circuit squad won’t be alone in their pursuit of Gonzalez. The Boston Red Sox and Washington Nationals are also potential suitors. The Red Sox have numerous pitchers who are major league ready, including lefty Henry Owens, and they were rumored to be heavily interested in Miami’s Giancarlo Stanton earlier this season.
The Nationals may be even more likely to move for Gonzalez. Washington won its second division title in three seasons this year but were eliminated for the second time in the NLDS. This leaves the team coveting an outfield piece, a piece Gonzalez expertly fills. Three of the Nationals top five prospects are pitchers and any one of them could be a key piece in a trade that brings the Venezuelan to D.C.
For Tulo, the Rockies will have to be ‘wowed’ to move him. There’s really only one team that could wow the Rockies and also desires a shortstop: the St. Louis Cardinals.
The Cardinals came up short in the NLCS this year but their farm is loaded with pitching prospects, including hometown kid Marco Gonzales, who pitched on the postseason roster this season. If the Rockies want pitching, the Cardinals have plenty of it.
If the Rockies are to trade either of their superstars, they cannot do it out of desperation. The rival Arizona Diamondbacks showed the entire league how easy it is to lose all of the upper hand when moving a superstar two years ago. It’s very easy to let a team take advantage of you in a trade because of desperation.
Whatever the result, this appears to be a brand new direction for the organization, one that may finally be focused on building a winning team.