As we approach August 1, we will preview what each team is projected to do in advance of the non-waiver trade deadline. For a complete listing of our previews, click here.
Colorado Rockies: 47-51, 3rd in the NL West
Just a year removed from making a major trade deadline deal by trading franchise cornerstone Troy Tulowitzki to the Blue Jays, the Rockies have stayed surprisingly competitive in a top-heavy NL West. Led by stars Carlos Gonzalez and Nolan Arenado as well as rookie Trevor Story, Colorado has hovered around .500 for most of the season and sits just six games back of a Wild Card spot in the National League.
Those results are promising for a team that won just 68 games last season, especially with top prospects Brendan Rodgers and Riley Pint still in the early stages of their development. Aided by the return from the Tulowitzki deal, the Rockies have built a pretty strong system and could look to contend in the near future.
Despite these results, Colorado appears unlikely to make any moves as buyers this summer and appears to be one of the few sellers on a strong sellers’ market. While big moves may not be in the cards for the second straight year, the Rox will likely look to cash in on a couple of veterans before the deadline.
What moves have they made so far?
The Rockies have been quiet so far this year, with no major-league trades completed since the beginning of the season.
Colorado has begun a bit of a youth movement, with Story replacing embattled former Rockie Jose Reyes as the club’s shortstop at the beginning of the year. The Rockies are calling up outfielder David Dahl on Monday, and have seen strong contributions from young pitchers Jonathan Gray and Tyler Chatwood.
Are they buyers or sellers?
The Rockies are sellers, and have two key outfield chips that might be available in Carlos Gonzalez and Charlie Blackmon. In a market flush with outfielders, they may be smart to hold onto both of those guys until the offseason, though the promotion of Dahl, who projects to start in center in the near future, intensifies rumors.
Gonzalez is obviously the team’s major chip, but reports have been conflicting on him. Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports reported during the All-Star break that CarGo wanted out of Denver, but both Gonzalez and general manager Jeff Bridich denied that notion.
In addition to Gonzalez and Blackmon, the Rox could look to move some pending free agents. Lefties Jorge De La Rosa and Boone Logan are already drawing interest on the trade market, and Colorado may be able to get something back for De La Rosa despite his rough season (6.07 ERA). Ryan Raburn, Daniel Descalso, Mark Reynolds and Nick Hundley may also draw some interest from contenders in the next week.
Colorado designated outfielder Brandon Barnes for assignment to make room for Dahl, so Barnes is a likely candidate to be moved by the end of the month.
What moves could they make?
Gonzalez would draw interest from clubs around the league, though the most recent reports note that Bridich is not motivated to deal the outfielder at this time. The Cardinals and Giants were named as potential fits for CarGo, though those clubs may have to turn to options like Ryan Braun, Josh Reddick, Jay Bruce and Carlos Beltran.
The Nationals had been linked to Blackmon, but general manager Mike Rizzo went on the record to dispute that report. Blackmon is under control is under control for two more seasons, so the Rockies have less motivation to deal him now.
De La Rosa’s horrendous season doesn’t rule him out as a trade candidate, especially in a market with a staggering lack of available starters. The Royals and Orioles are reportedly in on the lefty, who has spent his entire career in Colorado.
Logan has drawn interest from the Giants amid a good season, and could draw interest from some other lefty-seeking clubs like the Marlins, Astros or Orioles. Fellow lefty Jake McGee has struggled in his first season in Colorado, but could draw interest as a buy-low guy as well.
The Rockies are a tough team to make predictions for simply because of their unpredictability last season. The Tulowitzki-to-Toronto deal was a shocking one, and came after reports (similar to those of this year about Gonzalez) that the club was not motivated to deal their franchise shortstop.
Colorado would likely be on the fence between buying and selling in a normal season, but would be smart to look to sell in what has turned into one of the strongest sellers markets in recent history. De La Rosa, Logan and an outfielder will probably get moved before next Monday, continuing the building of the farm system that was stocked primarily by the return in the Tulo deal.