Colorado Rockies: Could the Cleveland Indians be a trade fit for Trevor Story and Jon Gray?

DENVER, COLORADO - APRIL 25: Trevor Story #27 of the Colorado Rockies celebrates with Jon Gray #55 after hitting a grand slam home run against the Philadelphia Phillies in the fourth inning at Coors Field on April 25, 2021 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)
DENVER, COLORADO - APRIL 25: Trevor Story #27 of the Colorado Rockies celebrates with Jon Gray #55 after hitting a grand slam home run against the Philadelphia Phillies in the fourth inning at Coors Field on April 25, 2021 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images) /
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The Colorado Rockies have a few different players on the trade block right now as the team is out of playoff contention. The Cleveland Indians, who were just two games back of the Chicago White Sox in the American League Central and 1.5 games back in the AL Wild Card race two weeks ago, have hit a wall and now find themselves five games back in the Wild Card race and six back in the AL Central.

They are in desperate need of reinforcements on offense and in their starting pitching staff.

The Cleveland Indians could use Colorado Rockies shortstop Trevor Story

The Cleveland Indians have one of the worst overall offenses in all of baseball, as they have a 86 wRC+, which is 27th in baseball.

Their shortstops have been one of the worst aspects of their team on offense as they have a 78 wRC+ on the season, which is 27th in baseball.

Amed Rosario, who has been Cleveland’s primary shortstop this season, has had the unenviable task of replacing Francisco Lindor there and hasn’t been up to par for them, as he has been well below average defensively and, at the plate, he has a wRC+ of 89.

The Colorado Rockies could trade shortstop Trevor Story to Cleveland to fill their need for the remainder of the year but they may not get the return that they would like for just Story.

As we discussed in this article recently, if we can learn anything from past mid-season trades for impending position player free agents, the Colorado Rockies are not going to get quality but they will get quantity in return.

Adding Jon Gray in a deal could benefit the Indians and Rockies

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However, including Jon Gray in the trade will help sweeten the pot for Cleveland and, also, help get the Rockies better prospects in return.

Cleveland’s starting rotation has been their strength for many years now as they have had one of their pitchers (or former pitchers) rank in Cy Young Award voting 12 times since 2014, including four wins. However, it hasn’t been a strength for the team in 2021 because they have had so many injuries.

Currently, their top three starting pitchers (reigning AL Cy Young Award winner Shane Bieber, Zach Plesac, and Aaron Civale) are all on the 10-day injured list.

As a result, since all three have been out concurrently, they have a starter’s ERA of 5.90, which is 25th in that span. When all three were pitching together (Opening Day through May 23), their starter ERA was 3.79, which was 9th in baseball.

Plesac (thumb fracture) is set to return for an abbreviated start before the All-Star Game but Civale (sprained finger) is likely going to be out for another month and Bieber (strained shoulder) has been out two and a half weeks and still has not resumed throwing, as of the last update on him last week.

The Cleveland Indians definitely have a need for Jon Gray and Trevor Story but also, their front office has been known to have a good relationship with the Rockies. The Rockies traded Ubaldo Jimenez to Cleveland ten years ago when Dan O’Dowd was the Rockies GM with, largely, the same front office personnel had then.

Rockies current GM, Bill Schmidt, used to be in the Cleveland front office with O’Dowd (who was an assistant GM with Cleveland before coming to the Rockies) and also, Rockies manager Bud Black. Black played for the Indians from 1988 through 1990 and again in 1995. After he retired with the Indians, he became a special assistant in their front office (1996-97, 99) and was their Triple-A pitching coach in 1998.

Next. Are the White Sox a fit for Trevor Story?. dark

Schmidt was the national crosschecker in the Indians scouting department from 1995 through 1999 before joining the Rockies front office.

There is definitely history and need for both teams but that won’t be enough, especially when Story and Gray will be hot commodities on the trade market in the next few weeks so that won’t be enough. The best trade return should be the winner for Trevor Story and/or Jon Gray.

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