The Rockies are reeling.
Eight straight losses in July will do that to a team. While the Rockies aren’t officially out of anything right now, they will have to have another miracle turn around and play-off run like they had in 2007 to make the playoffs.
But this team isn’t 2007. The 2007 Rockies had better starting pitching and one of the best defenses in the history of major league baseball. Where this team features base-running errors, fielding errors and a high strike out rate for its hitters.
So the Rockies find themselves in a very different spot now before the trade deadline than they were a week ago. Now, the Rockies look to be sellers, hoping to unload some pieces and maybe bring back a few younger players that could help the Rockies in 2011.
The list of reports saying the Rockies suddenly became sellers is pretty lengthy. Steve Foster of Inside the Rockies follows up on Ken Rosenthal report of the Fox Sports on the Rockies as sellers. Armstrong and Renck of the Denver Post , take a more middle ground .
I think the Rockies are done for the season. I also think the Rockies SHOULD be sellers now at the trade deadline as well as this off season. I’m not saying this team needs to be blown up, but like a backyard pool in the spring time, a layer of debris needs to be removed to get to a more promising team mix.
A look at those now holding up “For Sale” signs on the Colorado Rockies:
Cook as been terrible this season, and just Wednesday night failing to get out of the third inning giving up five runs on six hits. The Rockies would love to move Cook. However, Cook has another year on his contract at $9 million and if traded would get an additional $1 million. Cook's performance and contract is so bad, that the Rockies would have to include a prospect along with Cook, just for another team to consider taking Cook off the Rox hands. Cook would clear waivers and would be available post deadline trade.
Cook's name has come up with the Cardinals and Phillies who are both looking to add another starting pitcher.
Jeff is coming off a terrible shoulder injury. He has one more year on his contract that would pay him $7 million dollars next year unless the Rockies buy out his contract. $7 million isn’t bad for a starting pitcher, but a starting pitcher that has performed like Francis has over the last three years is a bit much. Francis would be a type B free agent. He might actually have some value on the trade market.
Jorge De La Rosa
Jorge has been hurt much of the year. Last year JDLR had his break out season, and was more than a small reason the Rockies made the playoffs. The Rockies would like to re-sign him and actually think that his injury might keep his salary down to levels the Rockies could afford. However, of all three of the Rockies starting pitchers available, JDLR has the best stuff, and is last two outings have both been improvements, so it looks like he’s coming back to form after his long injury layoff which means he would have the most value and get the biggest return on a trade.
The Rockies can’t trade all three of these starting pitchers as they will have to have someone start games the next two months, but they could move two of the three. Moving either Francis or Cook, and replacing either one with Jhoulys Chacin actually improves this team right now.
A veteran lefty out of the ‘pen and a solid consistent pitcher all around that is on a one year contract. A lot of teams could use him. The Rockies could replace him for the rest of the season with Franklin Morales. Expect Beimel to be traded. He also comes with cool bath robes and the best walk-in music of all time.
Has another year left on his contract. His ERA is now at 4.50, he has improved over the last couple of months. He was hurt and very sick battling the flu earlier in the season. The fact that he’s a veteran arm in the pen and with another year on his contract makes him very desirable to teams that are contending.
He has one more year to go on his contract which has two additional option years. Corpas has been erratic his last two years. He spent a brief moment as the Rockies “closer” this year with Street hurt. I’m not sure he has value, but he’s got a Red Tag Sticker.
Yeah, there is no way with his physical situation and his contract anyone touches him with a 10-foot pole, but if some one was crazy enough, the Rockies would move the Todd-Father.
Barmes is due to make about $5 million in his final year of arbitration. That’s pretty high for a guy that is looking to be a utility player for the Rockies next season. There are replacements at second in the organization right now, ready to play at a major league level, including Jonathon Herrera who has batted over .300 this past two months, Chris Nelson who tearing up Triple-A and is former first round draft pick and Eric Young Jr. who is finishing up his rehab assignment.
It’s doubtful the Rockies would go another year with Barmes to arbitration which makes him very trade-able right now. However, back up utility infielders that fade in the second half of the season aren’t in high demand, but he would help several contenders out there.
One of the main reasons this team has failed to live up to pre-season expectations is the disappearance of Brad Hawpe. He’s only had six homers on the season this year with a slash line of .259/.337/.439/.776. He has an option on his contract next year that the Rockies won’t pick up. If Hawpe is traded that option becomes mutual. However, it looks like he will be a Type-A free agent which would bring back to draft picks, which might be reason enough for the Rockies to hang to him till the end of the year as that might be more value than another team would give.
Hawpe’s name has come up with the Chicago White Sox, and the Detroit Tigers, as well as the San Diego Padres. The level of interest to me is a little surprising, but the more I hear, the more I expect Hawpe to be gone.
Ryan Spilborghs: Spilly’s name is out there. I’m not sure why. Spilly is a nice fourth outfielder type and a great locker room guy. He loves Denver, and whenever he’s on FSN’s Rockies All-Access he talks about Denver, like it’s his home. He has one more year on his contract that will pay him about $1 million dollars which is a bargain.
With Matt Miller in Triple-A leading all of the Rockies organization in hitting, Spilly might be forced out for Miller. Spilly could be of interest for teams needing outfield depth and a right handed bat.
Eric Young Jr
I’ve not seen or heard his name listed as a trade candidate, but it’s looking more and more like EY2 doesn’t have a future with the Rockies. Squeezed and passed in the organization at second by Herrera and Nelson, EY2 is very expendable. He’s got a good bat, and amazing speed which gives him value, but he’s average to below average glove at second, and terrible defensively in the outfield which means the Rox have no idea where to play him.
The Rockies signed Mora this year to a one year deal. He’s not really a utility guy, and he’s struggled moving around to the various positions. He’s one the Rockies would give away. He’s not helping the Rockies right now, and won’t be here next year, even if Tracy is playing him nearly every day.
Not So Bold Prediction
The Rockies want to clear out the chaff and some payroll off next years team. But really, do contending teams want chaff for their playoff runs? Look for the Rockies to move one of their starting pitchers I’m predicting Jeff Francis, and one or two of their bullpen guys, particularly Joe Beimel. The Rockies would like to move more, but that might have to wait until the off-season for the tree pruning to happen.
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