Colorado Rockies: DJ LeMahieu and the future at second base
By Aaron Hurt
After making two great stops in the first and another in the second inning of Friday night’s game, it got me thinking about second baseman DJ LeMahieu and his future with the Colorado Rockies.
For the last six-plus seasons, the now-30-year-old LeMahieu (Happy Birthday, DJ!) has been the model of consistency at a position that had been a revolving door in Colorado for quite some time before his arrival in 2012. Unfortunately, the 2016 NL batting champ, two time All-Star and two time Gold Glove winner may be running out of time in a Rockies’ uniform.
The Rockies no longer have control of LeMahieu as he signed for $8.5 million in his final year of arbitration this past winter. With no control over his rights, DJ’s play has him in line for a hefty payday from the highest bidder in the offseason.
The assumption has been that the Rockies would either trade DJ at the deadline or let him walk after the season and #1 prospect Brendan Rodgers, who is in Double-A Hartford and a natural shortstop, slide over and replace DJ at second next season. If Rodgers isn’t ready, another hot prospect who is in Triple-A Albuquerque, Garrett Hampson would take on the role.
But … recently, the Rockies have crept within a couple games of the playoff race and could possibly be buyers at the trade deadline. This team is set up to win right now. So would GM Jeff Bridich do the unthinkable and decide to use their prized prospect (Rodgers) as trade bait to reel in a big fish (such as a Jacob deGrom, Noah Syndergaard, or Chris Archer) to go for it all this year and maybe next?
More from Colorado Rockies News
- A Colorado Rockies Thanksgiving
- Colorado Rockies: Charlie Blackmon out for the season
- Colorado Rockies: Injuries shift look of roster ahead of Dodgers series
- Colorado Rockies: 3 things we appreciated from Tuesday in San Francisco
- What Bill Schmidt’s comments mean for the Colorado Rockies in 2023
This practically goes against everything the Rockies have ever done with their farm system as they hoard their prospects and hope they pan out in the end. But sometimes prospects don’t pan out and that could be the case with Rodgers, who isn’t a second baseman.
So could the Rockies dare do the unthinkable, part with Rodgers and try to strike a three- or four-year deal with a proven commodity that is LeMahieu? Obviously, the Rockies are looking to have enough payroll to re-sign Nolan Arenado but if they aren’t winning, Arenado likely won’t sign anyway.
Next: Which All-Stars could join the Rockies via trade?
Letting a huge prospect go may be hard but so is letting go a proven vet who has been a cornerstone in what has been one of the best defenses in Major League Baseball for the last few years. The dilemma is simple: Should the Rockies trade away the future for the possibility of winning now? Jeff Bridich is on the clock and time is running out on making that decision.