With July just around the corner, Major League Baseball’s rumor mill will crank into high gear. With the Colorado Rockies chasing the National League West pennant and in good shape for at least a Wild Card spot in the postseason, there will be plenty of thoughts out there about what the Rockies should or shouldn’t do when it comes to the trade deadline.
Rockies fans remember well the rumors that have floated out there year after year, especially in the last couple of seasons with names like Carlos Gonzalez and Charlie Blackmon being among the most mentioned. Colorado fans will also remember the 2015 trade that sent Troy Tulowitzki to the Toronto Blue Jays for Jeff Hoffman and others, including two players who are no longer in the Rockies system. Did the Rockies win or lose that trade? We asked that in this article.
So what will happen at the 2017 trade deadline? Honestly, no one knows. With the Rockies in the hunt for the postseason, it’s a logical thought that Jeff Bridich and his crew would pull some trades to power up Colorado for the season’s stretch run and beyond.
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But here’s the question of the day: What if Colorado is quiet at the deadline and does absolutely nothing?
It’s a thought that may seem silly but it’s also one to consider. At 47-34, the Rockies have posted their best-ever record through 81 games (the first half of the 162-game schedule). Heading into Thursday’s action, the Rockies sit 6.5 games ahead of the Chicago Cubs for the second Wild Card spot. Despite the current eight-game losing streak, it’s clear to see that the personnel who have contributed to the Rockies this season have been a cumulative success.
Also, consider some of these facts as you think about the second half of the schedule.
The Rockies currently have starting pitchers Jon Gray, Tyler Anderson and Chad Bettis as well as outfielders David Dahl, Carlos Gonzalez and Gerardo Parra on the disabled list. All except for Anderson, Bettis and Dahl we know will be back by, at the latest, the end of July (and Bettis is working hard to return from his battle with testicular cancer and could well be back by then as well). Anderson will likely be back in August and Colorado manager Bud Black is hopeful that Dahl will still play in 2017.
A returning Gray, Gonzalez and Parra will strengthen the rotation and the starting lineup/bench, especially if CarGo can find his form from previous seasons. But is that enough? If you take the first 81 games of the season as an overall sample rather than just focusing on the last eight games, the answer could well be yes. It has pushed the Rockies into their current position.
Are there areas where the Rockies could improve? Absolutely, especially in the middle of the bullpen. But is Colorado willing to give up some of its minor league talent in order to bring on a relief pitcher who can help them win now? It clearly depends on the asking price.
We discussed Johnny Cueto being a potential trade target to boost the Colorado rotation in this article. It’s an interesting thought but are the Rockies willing to pay the price to make a move like that?
Think back to 10 days ago. Think back to when the Colorado offense was clicking and the rotation was doing its job. That could well be the measuring stick for potential trades when the deadline comes around, not the funk we’ve witnessed over the last eight games.
Could Colorado simply play its current hand, rely on a history-making team performance and chemistry from the first half and keep all of its future assets to keep the building the team for future playoff runs? Absolutely. It’s a possibility Rockies fans need to remember as rumors and possibilities start to fly.
Note: This is the first of a series on potential trade deadline sequences for the Colorado Rockies. We’ll be examining other ideas in the coming days, including potential trades, teams who might be willing to trade with the Rockies and players who might be untouchable in a proposed trade. Keep watching Rox Pile for these stories as July heats up.