The Colorado Rockies are reportedly waiting until after this year’s All-Star Game to listen to any trade proposals for players like Trevor Story, C.J. Cron, Jon Gray, and others. That’s a big mistake.
According to Nick Groke of The Athletic (subscription required for this article), the Rockies are sitting back until after the 2021 Major League Baseball All-Star Game, to be held in Denver at Coors Field, to continue or start any discussions with other teams regarding players who might or might not be available before the July 30 trade deadline.
Here’s why this trade deadline strategy is a problem for the Colorado Rockies.
When Trevor Story was announced as a participant in this year’s Home Run Derby, the consensus was that the Rockies were highly unlikely to move the two-time All-Star shortstop before the Derby. After all, Story representing anyone other than the Rockies in a high-profile event such as the Derby at Coors Field would be another public relations disaster for a franchise that is still smarting from the national media aftershocks following the Nolan Arenado trade.
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So Story being off the table before the All-Star Game can be explained and likely understood. But the team waiting to engage in discussions regarding Cron, Gray, Daniel Bard, Mychal Givens, and other players who are not participating in the All-Star Game makes no sense.
It’s clear from Colorado’s 37-49 record that the team will (or certainly should) be sellers at the trade deadline. Only Pittsburgh and Arizona have a worse record heading into Wednesday’s play than the Rockies, so the thought of Colorado jumping into any kind of postseason contention in 2021 is a fantasy.
With Story, Gray, Cron, and Givens having their contracts expire at the end of the season, it makes sense that the Rockies would listen to every phone call before July 30 as potential trade packages that could help the team in 2022 and beyond. Shutting the phones off as other teams are starting to look for help and make trades seems to fly in the face of maximizing the opportunities the Rockies have to dig out from the rubble of the Arenado trade fiasco and look ahead to how they can … dare I type it … rebuild.
While Colorado’s focus will be on the MLB draft and All-Star Game (all happening in Denver over the next six days), other teams are focusing on what they need to do to contend for the 2021 World Series. If they can’t talk to Colorado about acquiring a player, they’ll quickly move on to another team. It’s the business of baseball, and it’s not good business for the Rockies, a franchise that desperately needs to ace the business it conducts this trade deadline.
Additionally, every day that passes is one less day a contending team can use a new player. It’s also another day that lessens the value of what that player can bring in a trade.
There are deals that can and should be made to help this franchise contend again. Those deals can only happen when the lines of communication are open. Apparently for the Rockies, in a head-scratching move, that’s on July 14 or later, once the Midsummer Classic and the eyes of the baseball world have left the Mile High City.