You’ve Spoken, And You Want The Colorado Rockies To Trade Carlos Gonzalez


Jul 11, 2015; Denver, CO, USA; Colorado Rockies right fielder C. Gonzalez (5) during the fifth inning against the Atlanta Braves at Coors Field. The Rockies won 3-2. Mandatory Credit: Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports

After voting in our poll about the outfielder, your voice is pretty clear on what the Colorado Rockies should do at the trade deadline!

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So we ran this poll about which member of the Colorado Rockies ought to be traded first a couple of days ago. You voted overwhelmingly for Carlos Gonzalez. You’re probably right. I don’t know if any trades will actually materialize (maybe we’d hear more rumors about it, but then again, maybe not), but you’re right to want to move CarGo ahead of, say, Troy Tulowitzki.

CarGo is owed $17 million in 2016 and $20 million in 2017; talk about a hugely back-loaded contract for a guy who’s been streaky his entire career. The Rockies signed CarGo to this deal (7 years, $80 million total) after his insane 2010 season when he won the National League batting title, but he hasn’t lived up to the deal since then, barely eclipsing .300 just twice in five seasons, and, well, we know all about the injuries.

CarGo’s had a weird year to be sure, but he’s actually doing the Rockies a favor if they do want to trade him now; he’s getting hot at the right time. He’s hit .321 with four home runs and seven doubles in his last 22 games (78 at-bats), which is nice — and it’s raised his season slash line to .258/.315/.455 — but there are still signs of trouble ahead.

For one, he’s not walking at all; just four in his last 22 games against 19 strikeouts, and on the season, CarGo’s only taken 27 free passes compared to 71 strikeouts in 341 plate appearances. He’s stopped running, too, at a time when other Rockies are running with reckless abandon; in his last 156 games (over two seasons), CarGo has just five stolen bases, after stealing more than 20 bases in each of four seasons before that.

Some of that focus away from stolen bases could be due to injuries (and/or age), but that plays right into the problem: CarGo isn’t the player he used to be. Surely, there’s a club out there who needs an outfielder. Think of the Royals, or the Mets, or anybody else who either (a) recently had an outfielder get injured, or (b) hasn’t had good offensive production from corner spots this year. I like the Angels for this; I’m not sure it’ll happen, but it’s worth a look if you’re Jeff Bridich.

Either way, CarGo himself has just acknowledged the trade rumors surrounding him, and that’s probably a good thing, because the rumors are going to swirl  for the next week. If he stays around in Denver, they’re going to swirl next season, too. Maybe it’s time to move him now, since the Rockies aren’t going anywhere, and you’d think his recent better play would entice some kind of team to give up a decent return for a guy who can at times be a very, very good player.

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