Colorado Rockies roundtable: Analysis of the trade deadline
Ryan Ladika’s analysis
Arguably, the most exciting time of the regular season has come and gone, and many teams made moves in efforts to improve their rosters as they ramp up for a final push for the playoffs. To the disappointment of many Rockies fans, Colorado’s front office was one of the silent ones on July 31. After acquiring RHP Seunghwan Oh from the Toronto Blue Jays early Wednesday evening, Rockies GM Jeff Bridich has shown that he is content with where the club stands post-4 p.m. ET, making no additional moves since the deal with Toronto.
Granted, the Rockies have completely turned things around since their abysmal June, winning 19 of 25 games since June 28. They are back in the thick of both the NL West race and the NL Wild Card chase, sitting only one game out of first place and one half game out of the second wild card entering play on July 31. The club still should’ve been more proactive at the deadline.
While this season presents one of the best opportunities the Rockies have ever had to win their first NL West division crown, the two teams they’re chasing also got better. The Diamondbacks acquired the MLB leader in doubles, Eduardo Escobar, from the Minnesota Twins, an old friend, Brad Ziegler, from the Marlins, and Jake Diekman from the Texas Rangers. Ziegler owns a 0.64 ERA in his last 28 appearances, per The Athletic’s Zach Buchanan. The Los Angeles Dodgers landed superstar SS/3B Manny Machado from the Baltimore Orioles, as well as an upgrade over Logan Forsythe at second base in Brian Dozier from the Twins. Neither team is going away.
The areas of need for Colorado? Starting with the bullpen, the Rockies only have two left-handed relievers on the active 25-man roster: Jake McGee and Harrison Musgrave. Neither option is confidence-inspiring for a team about to embark on a push for the playoffs. Catcher is also a position of need for Colorado as well, and the Phillies were able to acquire Wilson Ramos from the Tampa Bay Rays in exchange for a player to be named later or cash considerations. Additionally, the Rockies could benefit from upgrades at their corner outfield positions as well. Gerardo Parra has been a fine option in left field when looking at traditional stats, but his -0.3 fWAR and 81 wRC+ prove that the Rockies could be doing better, and they don’t even need to make a trade!
David Dahl was optioned to Triple-A Albuquerque after being reinstated from the DL. He already owns a positive fWAR (0.1) and higher wRC+ (95) than Parra, and he’s only played 32 games for the Rockies this season.
Overall, I would grade the Rockies trade deadline as a B- because they did recognize that they needed help in the bullpen but there were other deals to be made and they simply weren’t.
As far as the winner of this year’s trade deadline, I’m picking the Chicago Cubs. They had a big question mark in their pitching staff in Tyler Chatwood and were able to acquire Cole Hamels from the Rangers to shore up their rotation, as well as Brandon Kintzler and Jesse Chavez to add depth to an already strong bullpen. They’re locked in a fierce battle with the Milwaukee Brewers for the NL Central title, and these moves should help distance themselves from their rivals.