Would the Colorado Rockies consider trading first baseman Justin Morneau this off-season? Here is the argument for them to make just such a move.
The Colorado Rockies have the resources to trade an impact bat. That puts them in a good position in an off-season in which teams want offense and have to pay a premium price to acquire it.
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The most logical move seems to be a trade involving one of the team’s many outfielders. This team rostered six outfielders to start the 2014 season and might seriously consider doing the same in 2015, save for a trade or some other move. Opposing teams would be cautiously interested in Carlos Gonzalez coming off knee surgery and they would likely be intrigued by Drew Stubbs and Charlie Blackmon after their solid 2014 seasons.
Oh, and teams will definitely want to trade for Corey Dickerson, but the Rockies should tell those teams to buzz off.
Besides their obvious surplus of outfielders, the Rockies have other position players they could trade. Wilin Rosario might garner interest if the Rockies decide to make him available, but he is not the big piece the Rockies could offer.
The potentially bold path the Rockies could follow would be to trade first baseman Justin Morneau.
When it comes to a potential trade involving Morneau or any other big name on the Rockies, consider this analysis from Patrick Saunders of the Denver Post:
"If the Rockies truly believe they have a lineup in place that can contend in the NL West (as Bridich and Weiss said at the winter meetings), then doesn’t it make sense to make a bold move or two and really go for it? For clubs like the Rockies, the window of opportunity is not very wide. If it means giving up a big bat and a prospect for an impact starter or reliever, I say they go for it."
Because teams are nervous about paying the asking prices for Carlos Gonzalez and Troy Tulowitzki, a package built around Justin Morneau very well might be the Rockies’ best chance to put together a bold trade this off-season.
The Miami Marlins have already expressed interest in Morneau and surely they would not be the only ones. Coming off a season in which he stayed healthy and won the National League batting title, Morneau would bring proven power to a number of teams looking for such.
Trading Morneau would make the Rockies slightly worse in terms of infield defense and in their lineup. But if they truly landed an impact arm in such a trade that would make them relevant, they could find a way to replace much of that production, especially if you assume some regression from Morneau next season.
The Rockies might be able to trade Morneau for the price of his 2014 production rather than his 2015 projections, and if that trade could be part of a bold move to make them relevant next season, that would be a move worth considering.
That is the argument for trading Justin Morneau.