Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic recently proposed a mammoth trade between the Colorado Rockies and Los Angeles Dodgers.
The chances that the Colorado Rockies trade one of Nolan Arenado or Trevor Story to the Los Angeles Dodgers are slim-to-none but in an even more surprising idea, Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic (subscription required) recently did something that might break Rockies fans hearts if it did come to fruition: trade both of them to the Dodgers.
Obviously, if the Rockies did trade both of them to the Dodgers, they would have to get a massive return, and Rosenthal does recognize this but, essentially, he says that teams think creatively to get big-name players and that has been proven true time and time again throughout the history of baseball.
Rosenthal specifically mentions that World Series MVP Corey Seager would be the centerpiece of the deal. Essentially, that would be a one-for-one swap with Story as both of them are elite shortstops who have one year of control left before hitting free agency. For Arenado and his possible salary (assuming he doesn’t opt-out), the Rockies would take on Joe Kelly‘s salary.
The 32-year-old right-handed reliever is owed slightly more than $8.8 million in 2021 and he has a team option for $12 million for 2022. The Rockies would likely use him in a set-up role in their bullpen, a bullpen that was one of the worst in baseball in 2020. Kelly, in the last four seasons, has pitched to a 3.79 ERA (3.60 FIP) in an average of 48 games a season (he only appeared in 10 games in 2020 due to the shortened season and his suspension for his famous pouting face to Houston Astros shortstop Carlos Correa).
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The Dodgers, in Rosenthal’s words, would have to also include “a number of prospects” as well as figure out more financials, particularly with Arenado. However, one person who isn’t a prospect that is mentioned by Rosenthal but not in regards to this possible trade is someone that the Rockies should look at catcher Will Smith.
If, and all of it is a big if, the Dodgers were to sign catcher J.T. Realmuto, the Dodgers would likely have to move Smith to third base, where he spent some time in minor leagues. If the Dodgers don’t re-sign Justin Turner and trade for Arenado and Story and sign Realmuto, there’s really no room for Smith. The Rockies desperately need help behind the plate and have for years.
If Seager, Kelly, Smith, maybe another MLB-ready player that doesn’t have a clear spot on the Dodgers since they have a ton depth but would be an everyday player or MLB pitcher on the Rockies since they have no depth (e.g. Edwin Rios, Gavin Lux, some more pitching help), and a few prospects, that’s a deal that Rockies fans might actually be fine with. Sure, fans wouldn’t like trading away Arenado and Story but if they do get a massive haul like that, the Rockies would likely be in a better position to spend money on other players. It would definitely hinge on whether or not they would get top prospects and/or MLB-ready players or not, though.
As much as Rockies owner Dick Monfort and GM Jeff Bridich get hounded on (and, often, rightfully so), they have shown that they are willing to spend money. The moves (except for Arenado) just have not panned out. Hence, the Rockies are where they are right now: a team that is nowhere close to being a contender. However, making Arenado and Story into players four or five major leaguers and a few prospects might bring them closer to contention than they currently are.