The Rockies need a few things at the trade deadline but will they be able to address them all within the next 13 days?
Anthony Castrovince of MLB.com was on MLB Network’s morning show, MLB Central, on Monday and he listed his top five most pressing needs for teams in baseball. At number three was the Rockies. You may think that he said pitching because it’s no secret that the Rockies need some veteran starting pitching and desperately need bullpen help but this, surprisingly, was not it. He said that he believes that the “most pressing needs” for the Rockies are a catcher and and outfielder. We’ve discussed getting an outfielder multiple times before but a catcher? That’s not something we’ve discussed.
In 2017, the Rockies have had four different players catch a game (Tony Wolters, Ryan Hanigan, Dustin Garneau, and Tom Murphy) and, offensively, they are 22nd in the majors in batting average (.227), 17th in on-base percentage (.306), and 29th in slugging percentage (.301).
Defensively, they have not been better as they have a -13 Defensive Runs Saved according to Baseball Reference.
Part of the reason that we haven’t discussed upgrades at catcher is that there aren’t many on the market.
Jonathan Lucroy of the Texas Rangers would have been on the trade market but the Rangers have clawed themselves back into a wild card race as they are 2 1/2 games behind the New York Yankees for the second American League wild card. Another option is Welington Castillo of the Baltimore Orioles. His offensive turn out has been a little bit below league average as he has 9 home runs, 26 RBIs, a batting average of .265, an on-base percentage, and an OPS+ of 97. but his defense leaves something to be desired as he has a -4 DRS, according to Fangraphs.com. According to Baseball Reference, his rDRS (which is the same as DRS but the numbers vary per site) is -9. Castillo’s overall WAR (Wins Above Replacement) is 0.6.
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Castrovince, during his appearance on MLB Central, mentioned another possibility for the Rockies: Alex Avila of the Detroit Tigers. Avila’s played in 68 games and he has 57 hits, 11 doubles, 11 home runs, 29 RBI’s, 42 walks, 69 strikeouts, a .292 batting average, .420 on-base percentage, a .518 slugging percentage, and a 151 OPS+. His advanced offensive metrics show his great season as, according to Fangraphs, Avila has a 153 wRC+ (weighted Runs Created Plus), a .400 BABIP (Batting Average on Balls In Play). Defensively, Fangraphs has his DRS at -1 and Baseball Reference has it at 0.
Avila would only be a rental option as he’s only signed through the rest of the season. He’s not owed a ton of money either (relatively speaking) as he is owed a little more than $850k for the rest of the season.
As also mentioned by Castrovince, he believes that the Rockies need an outfielder. With Carlos Gonzalez scuffling and David Dahl possibly not returning this season, you can see why he believes this. He mentioned, as we have here at Rox Pile, J.D. Martinez is another Tigers player that the Rockies have been linked to in discussions.
A Possible Blockbuster?
I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Rockies get Wilson, Avila, and Martinez in one trade. Considering that Avila and Martinez are only signed through the end of the season, it wouldn’t take a ton to acquire all three.