Trade talks break down
The deal fell apart though because of two prospects. The Rockies wanted relievers Craig Hansen (career 4-9 record, 6.34 ERA, 70 strikeouts, played on and off for four MLB seasons) and Manny Delcarmen, who eventually played for the Rockies in 2010 after being traded for a minor league prospect. The talks broke down from there and Monfort released the players that were included in the talks for Helton, which upset the Red Sox management and further soured the relationship between the two clubs. Helton was to remain a Rockie and there were never as serious of trade speculation again for him as there were after the turn of the 2006-07 offseason.
For that proposed trade, the Rockies came out much further ahead. If it would have been executed, it’d be the worst trade in franchise history. Even with the savings the club made on the contract, they showed no signs of spending. But it was reported that the Rockies wanted to pick from a top-tier list of a couple of prospects. Those players included Jon Lester, Craig Hansen, Jacoby Ellsbury, Daniel Bard, Manny Delcarmen, and Clay Buchholz. The Red Sox didn’t want any part of that and for good reason. It was top-tier prospects or bust for the Rockies.
If the team got Lowell and Tavarez along with Lester, Ellsbury, or Buchholz, would you make the trade? Even with the strong possibility that those players would have never reached the level they did if they had played in a Rockies uniform? All we know is that Helton stayed a forever Rockie as he marched into the most magical season in franchise history. Ironically, and as no Rockies fan needs reminding, the Sox beat the Rockies in Game 4 with Lester on the mound in the 2007 World Series.
But if that trade happens, the Rockies may have never made the playoffs in that decade. Sure, Helton deserved more hardware and accolades and maybe he could have achieved it somewhere else. But for a franchise and a fanbase that had been forever longing for validation and success, Helton couldn’t have been in a better place at a better time.
We are forever thankful that number 17 played for the Rockies for 17 years. Here’s to the memories. Thank you Todd.