How the Colorado Rockies may have doomed trade returns for years to come

Sep 8, 2018; Denver, CO, USA; Colorado Rockies owner Dick Monfort reacts to a quick end to the top of the first inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Coors Field. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 8, 2018; Denver, CO, USA; Colorado Rockies owner Dick Monfort reacts to a quick end to the top of the first inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Coors Field. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports /
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Trevor Story of the Colorado Rockies
Jul 5, 2020; Denver, Colorado, United States; Colorado Rockies shortstop Trevor Story (27) during workouts at Coors Field. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports /

The trade tides have turned a lot in the past few seasons.

Less than three years ago, the Tampa Bay Rays found a team that was ignorant enough to acquire a below average major league starting pitcher for MLB.com’s 8th overall prospect (entering 2016) and the 17th and 76th overall prospects (entering 2017). That trade ended up blowing up in the Pittsburgh Pirates’ face, as expected the second after the trade was announced, and, as a result, it cost their GM his job (and rightfully so).

Now, the Pirates are, arguably, a worse team than the Rockies as of this publication. And you wonder why they haven’t won their division since 1992, when Barry Bonds was still on their team.

The Rays, who have one of the lowest payrolls in the sport year-in and year-out, got to the World Series last year and won 96 games the year before because two of those three players. In 2019, they were third and sixth on the Rays in WAR and the guy who was sixth (Tyler Glasnow) missed 20 starts in 2019 due to injury.

Teams learned from that trade and, perhaps, partially due to the pandemic, the pendulum has swung in the opposite direction.

Rockies shortstop Trevor Story is a free agent next offseason. Say that the Rockies play like how they are constructed (despite Monfort’s believe that they are an “extremely talented” team and Rockies GM Jeff Bridich saying that the team is “certainly not a total tear down and rebuild”) and are one of the worst teams in baseball and they decide to trade him before the trade deadline.

Why would a team give the Rockies anything of value when they have shown that they will trade for five, lower level prospects and give the receiving team of the best player in Rockies franchise history more than $50 million?

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