We’re still more than six weeks away from the Major League Baseball trade deadline, so all that’s really happening at the moment when one General Manager picks up the phone and calls another is some small talk and back and forth with a few, “what ifs?” tossed in. Hard to imagine many situations where significant trades get made before the 10th or 11th hour.
With the advent of the additional wild card playoff spot, more teams will consider themselves still in contention and “buyers” come late July than ever before. Fewer “sellers” will have a significant impact on the trade market to be sure.
The Colorado Rockies as currently constructed are not one of those teams in contention for the 2022 postseason. They’re going to be sellers.
Right now, the Rockies front office is very likely already examining the current roster and deciding which of their players – if any – they absolutely won’t part with, regardless of the offer. Do the Rockies have any “untouchables” on this roster?
For starters, it’s 99.9% certain that former MVP Kris Bryant, in his first (injury-plagued) season in purple pinstripes isn’t going anywhere. Huge seven-year contract (including a full no-trade clause) and he’s barely seen the field this season. He’s untradeable at this moment. But after that…?
Slugger C.J. Cron – who signed a two-year, $14.5 mil contract in the off season – has lived up to his deal, and it’s very possible that a contender would covet his bat to beef up their line-up. Would the Rockies – again, out of playoff contention and able to play Connor Joe or Bryant at first base – listen to deals that could net them a highly rated prospect or three? What about newly acquired Randall Grichuk? He’d also be worth something on the trade market. Is he a player Colorado can’t do without moving forward?
They won’t move Charlie Blackmon for obvious reasons. And Ryan McMahon just signed an extension – and has struggled much of the first two plus months. None of the Rockies catchers have done enough to be part of any trade. These guys aren’t “untouchable” in the true sense, but they aren’t getting traded, either.
Well-traveled veteran shortstop Jose Iglesias could be valuable to a team in need of an injury replacement come late July. He’s played well and with young Ezequiel Tovar waiting in the wings, he will be available.
The other outfielders to be considered include Yonathan Daza and Sam Hilliard. Would the Rockies make these young players – each with their better days in front of him – available in a trade package? And does utility man Garrett Hampson have trade value at this point? Unlikely.
Among the position players, only second baseman Brendan Rodgers really comes close to being in the “untouchable” category. He was recently named National League Player of the Week, so his play is now matching his potential. He’s young and inexpensive and someone to build with. They won’t consider trading Rodgers unless the return is too great to pass up…which isn’t likely.
As far as the pitching staff, the “young” starting rotation isn’t that young anymore, and if the right deal was offered for 2021 All-Star German Marquez or native son Kyle Freeland, the Rockies front office would and should likely strongly consider it. Austin Gomber arrived as part of a trade and would have some value too. A healthy Antonio Senzatela is certainly not untouchable. Newly minted staff “ace” Chad Kuhl isn’t costing the Rockies much, salary-wise, so they won’t look to trade him, but again, if the right offer was presented…
Closer Daniel Bard is most definitely a player other teams may ask the Rockies about, along with set up man Tyler Kinley. As poorly as the Rockies season has gone to this point, they’d be waaaaay worse off without these two, who have been stellar. But “untouchable” for a team looking to beef up the roster with younger players? Probably not.
As the deadline approaches, only Rodgers should feel like he’s certain to be here when the calendar turns to August.
The Rockies phone lines are open.
Be sure to catch Mark Knudson and Manny Randhawa on the Park Adjusted Rockies Podcast each week, available on all major Podcast platforms.