Colorado Rockies trade talk: Which prospects should the Rockies move?
By Colin Gaiser
The Big Chips
As Roxpile’s Kevin Henry pointed out, Raimel Tapia is making himself a valuable trade asset for the Rockies.
I know the idea of trading Tapia is a punch to the gut. I love his attitude and the “con mucho swagger” mantra. His July 20 pinch-hit grand slam is a top-10 moment of the decade. If Tapia is sent packing, Rockies Twitter will start a virtual riot. But he might be the trading chip the Rockies need to swing a deal.
Tapia is clearly not intimidated by Major League pitching (though he could use more plate discipline), slashing .280/.329/.407 in 230 plate appearances with the Rockies. He deserves to be a starter. But unfortunately, this is an outfield crowded with lefties, more so when David Dahl returns. And Tapia struggles with the massive outfield at Coors. It pains me to write this, but Colorado might not be the place for Tapia.
Speaking of Dahl, could the Rockies send him away in a trade? Dahl’s injury history is a concern, but let’s say an American League team (like the Orioles) needs both a corner outfielder and a bat with pop. The designated hitter option could help Dahl be cautious with nagging injuries.
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Then there’s Ryan McMahon. It’s been a bizzare season for the 23-year-old infielder. McMahon has nothing left to prove in the minors, yet hasn’t made a splash in the majors as the Rockies limited his playing time. He is slashing just .211/.283/.337 in 106 plate appearances. He was clearly improving as a hitter before the Rockies sent him back down, but McMahon’s potential could make him part of a lucrative trade package.
Finally, for a team that needs a promising pitching prospect, Peter Lambert is another trade chip. He was fantastic in Hartford, with an 2.57 ERA, 79 strikeouts and just 15 walks in 18 starts. He was assigned to Triple-A Albuquerque on June 30 and is off to a decent start at one of the most hitter-friendly parks in the minor leagues.
However, I’d strongly advise against dealing Lambert. I know the Rockies rotation seems crowded at the moment, but the complexion could change dramatically by next season. Chad Bettis is struggling with both injury and performance while Antonio Senzatela and German Marquez are worryingly inconsistent. Lambert is an immensely talented, four-pitch guy who could be a valuable member of the rotation as soon as next season.