Colorado Rockies: Charlie Blackmon or Trevor Story? You can’t have both

Major League Baseball’s offseason is barely a month old and there has already been a ton of debate on which direction the Colorado Rockies should move in the future.

Thanks to some horrible contracts, the Colorado Rockies have found themselves between the proverbial rock and hard place financially. One of the opinions has revolved around whether or not the Rockies should trade Charlie Blackmon to create some payroll flexibility.

Our own Noah Yingling recently took a look at if Blackmon is really a trade candidate? Noah stated that the likelihood of moving Blackmon is “slim to none.” I agree with him on his assessment that he won’t be traded this season. However, there is a big contract looming that may force some drastic action in the coming seasons: Trevor Story‘s contract.

The 27-year-old shortstop is in his second year of arbitration eligibility and is scheduled to become a free agent after the 2021 season. In his four seasons with Colorado, Story has hit .276/.341/.537 with 123 homers, 347 RBI, and 334 runs scored. He has also provided Gold Glove-caliber defense and some much-needed speed on the base paths.

In an interesting ESPN article, Jeff Passan suggested that the Rockies don’t have to trade Trevor Story but the clock is ticking.  His reasoning is that “the notion of the Rockies carrying two $30 million-plus players simultaneously is laughable.”

Story is not a $30 million-a-year-player yet. However, in two seasons when he is eligible to become a free agent, a contract approaching that number is not out of the question.

I disagree with Passan that the Rockies paying both Nolan Arenado and Story $30 million is laughable. However, paying $80-plus million with Blackmon’s contract included sounds far-fetched.

This may force the Rockies into making a difficult decision: Hang on to Chuck Nazty, who will turn 34 this season and has four years and $73 million remaining on his contract, or extend Story, who is entering the prime of his career.

Blackmon is a huge fan favorite but he has become a defensive liability and is no longer a factor on the bases as his stolen bases have diminished from 43 in 2015 to only two in 2019. The Rockies also have some highly touted outfield prospects waiting for their chance to prove themselves at the Major League level with everyday playing time (including Sam Hilliard).

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Passan is correct that the “clock is ticking” on the Rockies to make a trade move. However, he is wrong on which player is on the clock.

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