Colorado Rockies: Is Charlie Blackmon really a trade candidate?

MLB Trade Rumors recently compiled their list of the 25 players who they think have the best chance of being traded this offseason and one of them was Colorado Rockies outfielder Charlie Blackmon.

As you probably know by now, the Colorado Rockies are at a bit of a crossroads this offseason.

They could sign some free agents and trade to climb their way up the NL West and put some of the best years of players like Nolan Arenado and Trevor Story to good use, trade away some of their best players and rebuild for a few seasons from now, or stand pat and hope that the issues that haunted the team in 2019 will alleviate themselves in 2020.

If the Rockies decide to go with option two, Charlie Blackmon could be one of those players to go.

MLBTR recently published their list of the top 25 trade candidates and #25 on the list was Rockies outfielder Charlie Blackmon.

As the authors Jeff Todd and Steve Adams say in their “pet theory”, trading Blackmon “represents the cleanest, most-achievable, least-painful way for the Rockies to relieve their payroll crunch.”

Would trading Blackmon alleviate their payroll crunch that has been apart of much of the talks of the offseason? Absolutely. After all, he is owed $21 million in both 2020 and 2021 and he has player options for 2022 ($21 million) and 2022 (a base of $10 million that could go as high as $17.33 million, including his signing bonus and depending on vesting plate appearances and MVP finishes).

The problem with trading that is finding someone who is willing to take on nearly $80 million for the next four seasons.

Additionally, in recent seasons and even with moving to right field in 2019, Blackmon’s defensive metrics are not very good, which points to him being traded to an American League team so that he could DH. That would obviously narrow the possible trade partners even more.

On top of that, what sign would that give to Rockies fans and Rockies players? They plan on punting the 2020 season, just two seasons after extending Blackmon and one offseason removed from extending Nolan Arenado?

Also, on the list of other names to consider, they have Jon Gray and Trevor Story and we have already talked about the case for Gray and, frankly, there is not a case for trading Story unless they are blown away by an offer that would give them multiple young, controllable MLB players that the Rockies could pencil in the starting lineup on Opening Day..

Under the “veterans on expensive, multi-year contracts” category of potential trade candidates, they list Wade Davis, Ian Desmond, Bryan Shaw, and Jake McGee. The problem is that most teams won’t want to take on their salary for sub-par performance or, at best, a “high-risk, middle-of-the-road-reward” player.

Overall, it just does not make much sense for the Rockies to trade Blackmon unless it is a case like Story: they are blown away by an offer that would bring them multiple players that they could pencil into their 2020 Opening Day lineup.

The chances of that happening? Slim to none.