Colorado Rockies trade tree: How a career minor leaguer got the Rockies Trevor Story

We’ve been looking at some trade trees involving the Colorado Rockies and there’s a short trade tree, but a very valuable one, that ends with Trevor Story.

Trevor Story is obviously one of the biggest guys that the Colorado Rockies will be relying on in 2020 and for good reason: he is one of, if not, the best shortstops in the game of baseball. This offseason, in fact, Story was named the best shortstop in baseball by “The Shredder” on MLB Network.

However, he might not even be a Colorado Rockie if not for a career minor league player named Anthony Jackson.

Jackson was drafted at the age of 22 in the 16th round of the 2006 Amateur Draft out of the University of the Pacific in Stockton, California. That round didn’t have a ton of major leaguers in it but future MVP candidate Tommy Pham was picked later in that same round by the St. Louis Cardinals.

Jackson, entering the 2011 season, had spent the last two seasons at Double-A Tulsa. While he was an everyday player for them (490 and 515 plate appearances), he wasn’t particularly great at the plate. In 2009, he hit .220/.301/.294 and in 2010, he hit .251/.351/.325.

Toward the end of the 2010 season, the Rockies and Dodgers decided to come together for a trade. You may think with them being divisional rivals, they may not trade with each other often but, they actually have a decent amount of trades. Most famously, the Dodgers sent the Rockies Pedro Astacio for second baseman Eric Young Sr.

The two teams actually hooked up for three trades in the decade of the 2010s. The first of which was trading for reliever Octavio Dotel for a player to be named later. It was a bit of an odd trade for a few reasons.

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First off, it was September 18. There were only 14 games left in the season. Secondly, with being traded in September, Octavio Dotel would not be eligible for postseason play. Thirdly, if the season were to end on that day, neither the Dodgers nor Rockies would have made the playoffs. Fourth, it was an inter-division trade. Fifth, the Dodgers and Rockies were actually facing each other the weekend of the trade so Dotel just had to go over to the other clubhouse to join his new team.

After acquiring Dotel, the Rockies (starting on his first full day with the Rockies, September 19), lost 13 of their last 14 games, which widened the one game differential between the third-place Rockies and first-place Padres considerably. Obviously, the Rockies would not repeat as a playoff team.

After the season, in November, the “player to be named later” was named and it was Anthony Jackson. The Rockies had to assume Dotel’s option for the next season but they opted out, which cost them $250,000. However, they would get a first-round compensation draft pick if Dotel is lost via free agency. Dotel signed with the Toronto Blue Jays so the Rockies got a first-round compensatory pick from them.

That pick would be the 45th overall pick in the draft. In a draft that was full of future All-Stars like Gerrit Cole, Trevor Bauer, Anthony Rendon, Francisco Lindor, Javier Baez, George Springer, the late Jose Fernandez, Sonny Gray, Mookie Betts, and Blake Snell. The Rockies would draft Tyler Anderson with the 20th overall pick in the draft but the 45th overall pick was Trevor Story.

Of the players listed above, only Betts and Snell were drafted after Story. Of the first-round picks, Story’s bWAR is the fifth-highest, only behind Rendon, Lindor, Springer, and Cole (in that order).

Next: How the Rox could benefit from a changed playoff structure

Even though it looked like a small trade that involved a career minor leaguer and a reliever that only pitched 5 1/3 innings with the Rockies, it may end up being the causation of the signing of the best Rockies in their franchise history.