Colorado Rockies: Evaluating the Quiet Trade Deadline

Mandatory Credit: Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports /

Welcome to a special trade deadline edition of Purple Monday. There was a lot of smoke but, in the end, no fire for the Colorado Rockies.

The Rockies, rumored to be sellers for the weeks and buyers the day of the deadline, ended up being neither. There were quite a few deals made with Carlos Beltran and Jonathan Lucroy heading to the Rangers, the Dodgers and Giants both making trades, and Jay Bruce on his way to the Mets. So let’s look into the Rockies’ possible thought process behind the lack of deals.

Sitting just five games out of the wild card and playing the best baseball they have all season has led to a lot of excitement from the Rockies’ fan base. Everyone, including myself, who had thought that the Rockies should be sellers were suddenly thinking maybe they can compete this year and started thinking GM Jeff Bridich might actually be on the buying side of things. The rumors swirled and one earlier this morning labeled the Rockies as potential “buyers.”

In the end, the reports concerning the Rockies all dried up and we were left with no changes to the team. The Dodgers added Rich Hill, Josh Reddick from the A’s and Jesse Chavez from the Blue Jays while the Giants added lefty reliever Will Smith from the Brewers to go along with recently acquired Eduardo Nunez. They also made a splash right at the deadline getting Matt Moore from the Rays.

The Marlins already have made a couple of trades getting Andrew Cashner from the Padres but today traded Colin Rea back to the Padres after he injured his elbow in his first start, a very confusing situation. The Pirates nabbed starting pitcher Ivan Nova from the Yankees. The Cardinals, like the Rockies, did not make much noise at the deadline. But clearly, some of the wild card competition when out and made themselves better today. So why didn’t the Rockies?

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While it was not the most exciting day for the Rockies, it was definitely a logical one. The price of being buyers is extremely high this year as was easy to see from some of the other deals that were made. The Giants had to give up Andrew Susac, a catcher who has battled injury but is highly regarded as a hitter, and Phil Bickford, who was their first round draft pick in 2015. The Dodgers gave up three pitching prospects for Reddick and Rich Hill. Frankly, I am glad they did not give up equivalents to what the Giants did to acquire one. That would be roughly similar to the Rockies giving up Tom Murphy, a major league ready catching prospect, and a guy like Mike Nikorak for a relief pitcher. That is a pretty steep price and one I don’t think the Rockies should make.

It is not an exciting road to take but the Rockies had made great strides by adding people they have drafted and developed and have a lot of these guys in Double-A and Triple-A … on the doorstep of the majors. They will be under club control and cheaper for more years than anyone we could have bought today. The rotation options also weren’t great considering the price tag, and there weren’t any options considerably better than Mark Reynolds at first base which is why I think Bridich decided not to make any such deals.

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As for why the Colorado Rockies did not sell, I do not have a strong explanation. I think it would have been wise to sell off a couple of pieces as rentals to further bolster the farm system. I mostly mean Boone Logan here who has turned himself into a valuable bullpen arm this year. Since he will be a free agent the Rockies wouldn’t be able to get a strong of a package as the Brewers did for Will Smith, but I would think they could have gotten a strong prospect.

It seems the Rockies essentially were a “buyer” here as keeping Logan for the year keeps a bullpen that has been performing reasonably well fully intact. It is also possible Logan could be willing to sign an extension with Colorado as he voiced earlier this month he wanted to stay in Colorado through the deadline.

Aside from Logan, the Rockies did not have any obvious trade candidates as De La Rosa and Nick Hundley maybe were not going to get much of a return.

It would also be hard to break apart a team that is only five games back in the wild card, as the Rockies will be playing meaningful games in August for the first time in years. I am sure the players wanted to keep the team together and appreciate the faith from the front office that they can compete.

Next: What Will the Rockies Do With Jordan Patterson?

In the end, it is a sentiment to how well the Rockies have been playing that they all stayed together  and a refusal to mortgage future success for a small shot this year the left the Rockies out of the deadline fun.