I’ll admit, just a few days ago when Patrick Saunders reported that the Colorado Rockies had no plans to trade Trevor Story before the All-Star Game, I didn’t think that was smart at all. My thinking was very much in line with our site co-expert Noah Yingling’s thoughts. But, in the midst of a doubleheader in New York, all of that changed. Now the Rockies would be crazy to trade him prior to then.
The Rockies made the following announcement on Saturday via Twitter:
This injury situation drastically changes the conversation regarding the best time to trade Trevor Story. It no longer makes sense to trade Story as soon as possible for multiple reasons.
For starters, one of the benefits of trading Story earlier rather than later would have been giving guys like Brendan Rodgers more playing time. With Story on the IL, that’s no longer a worry. We should now get more opportunities to see what Rodgers can do in an extended run in the lineup. That’s obviously with the assumption that Rodgers stays healthy himself (which has been an issue in his brief time in the majors). But there’s no longer a roadblock for a young guy like Rodgers to get more playing time so the Rockies can more properly evaluate him.
Second, one of the perceived benefits (if you want to call it that) is that, without Story in the lineup, the Rockies are much more likely to lose ballgames and better their draft positioning. You may not be on Team Tank and still want to see the Rockies win as many games as possible, but this team’s chances of making the playoffs this season (and making any type of noise if they miraculously happen to get there) are pretty much null and void. FanGraphs is projecting the Rockies to finish with a record of 65-97 with their chances to make the playoffs sitting at 0.0%. They started the season at 0.1% and those odds dropped to 0.0% on April 5. They’ve had a couple of days since then where it ticked up to 0.1% again, but they’re currently back to 0.0%. This team is going nowhere in 2021 and there’s no reason to do anything other than give your young guys an extended run.
More from Colorado Rockies News
- A Colorado Rockies Thanksgiving
- Colorado Rockies: Charlie Blackmon out for the season
- Colorado Rockies: Injuries shift look of roster ahead of Dodgers series
- Colorado Rockies: 3 things we appreciated from Tuesday in San Francisco
- What Bill Schmidt’s comments mean for the Colorado Rockies in 2023
Third, Story’s health needs to be a priority and there’s no reason to rush him back. He’s already dealt with this injury in late 2018. If he injures himself further, then that elbow tightness will turn into either a UCL sprain or tear. The latter would require Tommy John surgery and is good for no one.
Whether you’re thinking about Story’s individual future or his trade value, him staying as healthy as possible needs to be the priority for everyone. If the Rockies rush him back too early, they risk not only valuable assets they could get in return for him, but it could also jeopardize his career as a whole. Take your time and let him heal properly. It’s best for everyone in this case.
Finally, trading Story while he’s on the IL will obviously decrease his value. Where you traditionally can get great value at the trade deadline by getting teams to make more of a panic move, teams are going to be much more likely to use a “wait and see” type of approach with Story here. As outlined above, you don’t want to rush him back disingenuously. But trading him prior to the All-Star Game would potentially mean they’re rushing him back. These sort of elbow issues don’t always go away quickly so taking it slower would be fine. Use every second you can to build up more leverage and let him be as close to 100% as possible before you pull the trigger on a deal.
I won’t lie. The conversation around trading Trevor Story sucks. He’s been an awesome all-around Rockie and I can’t think of a single way to view him negatively. He’s a top three shortstop in baseball since 2018 and any team would be lucky to have him … but we’re at a point where he must be traded for both the sake of his career and for the Rockies.
With the latest injury news, trading him any time before the All-Star Game would now be a mistake. Let’s hope that Greg Feasel, Dick Monfort, and everyone else who will be involved in this decision see it the same way.