Down on the farm, the Colorado Rockies have no shortage of prospects to use in potential trades.
The Rockies are buyers, just two games behind the Los Angeles Dodgers in the National League West and a game and a half out of a Wild Card spot. But even after winning 15 of 19 games, the Rockies could use more consistent pitching (both rotation and bullpen) and another big bat to add depth. Just today, Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic and FOX Sports reported the Rockies are scouting a trio of Baltimore Orioles pitchers: Zach Britton, Dylan Bundy and Colorado-native Kevin Gausman.
So — at the risk of turning this into a reality show — who should go and who should stay as the Rockies search for trade targets?
Let’s take a look at some ideas…
The (Nearly) Untouchable
The Rockies’ number-one prospect, Brendan Rodgers, is cruising through Minor League Baseball. Since being drafted in the first round in 2015, the 21-year-old Rodgers is developing into the slugger the Rockies envisioned. He seems primed to replace second baseman DJ LeMahieu at some point next season.
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Playing this year for the Double-A Hartford Yard Goats, Rodgers is slashing .276/.340/.504 with 17 home runs. On July 19, he had two walk-off hits in one day (tantalizing for those who believe in the “clutch gene”). He’s also developing as a baserunner; he’s stolen 12 bases this season, as many as his previous three years in the minors combined. One would think Rodgers is untouchable in the Rockies organization.
But did the organization show its hand with some recent moves?
Despite his expected arrival in 2019, Rodgers remains in Double-A. Meanwhile, the Rockies called up Garrett Hampson to replace LeMahieu, who will likely spend significant time on the disabled list. Though it’s a mistake to overreact over two games of good hard contact and a few stellar defensive plays, Hampson looks more than capable of playing second base (he’s also an attractive trade target himself).
The Rockies would throw a wrench in their succession plan by trading Rodgers. But let’s say the Rockies want to land an ace like Jacob deGrom. Giving up Rodgers might be the only way to make that deal happen.