5 Fits for Rockies Star Trevor Story as MLB Trade Deadline Inches Closer

Zachary D. Rymer@zachrymerMLB Lead WriterMay 27, 2021

5 Fits for Rockies Star Trevor Story as MLB Trade Deadline Inches Closer

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    David Zalubowski/Associated Press

    Trevor Story is still a member of the Colorado Rockies, but that's bound to change.

    According to Patrick Saunders of the Denver Post, the Rockies "have no plans" to trade their two-time All-Star shortstop before Major League Baseball's 2021 All-Star Game at Coors Field on July 13.

    Once that event comes and goes, however, Story will be as good as gone. With the 19-30 Rockies living up to low expectations and the 28-year-old's club control due to run out at the end of the season, Colorado is all but certain to deal him ahead of the July 30 trade deadline.

    For the time being, let's discuss Story's value and five teams that might acquire him this summer.

Trevor Story's Value and Potential Dark Horses

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    Frank Franklin II/Associated Press

    From 2018 to 2020, Story was arguably the best shortstop in baseball by way of his .292/.355/.554 batting line, 83 home runs, 65 stolen bases and 15.8 rWAR.

    His .256/.320/.428 line this season might make it seem like he's taken a step backward in his sixth year with the Rockies. But in theory, he's been hit especially hard by bad luck.

    Whereas Story has only five home runs to go with his seven stolen bases, Statcast posits he ought to have 11 long balls. That's bound to track with Rockies fans who remember long drives off Story's bat that somehow found leather, including this one, this one and this one.

    Assuming Story's luck comes around between now and July 30, Jim Bowden of The Athletic potentially undersold it in stating the Rockies could nab "a top-five and a top-15 prospect from an average farm system, along with a major-league 'second-division-type' starting player," in a trade.

    Though not many contenders have a need for Story at shortstop, dark horses for him might include Atlanta, Cleveland and even the Los Angeles Dodgers if Corey Seager has issues recovering from a broken right hand.

    Otherwise, we're on to the five teams we think could actually make a run at Story, ranked according to how likely they are to do so.

5. Toronto Blue Jays

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    Bo Bichette
    Bo BichetteWinslow Townson/Associated Press

    Record: 24-23, 4th in AL East

    The Toronto Blue Jays have an exciting offensive shortstop in Bo Bichette. He's played 122 games since 2019 and put up a .293/.336/.518 line with 25 homers and 15 steals.

    The 23-year-old's fielding, however, has been and remains suspect. His five errors in 2021 are tied for the most among shortstops, and his defense has been below average according to both ultimate zone rating and outs above average.

    Since Toronto's defensive deficiencies go beyond Bichette, the club has at least one reason to have an eye on Story, who was a Gold Glove Award finalist as recently as 2019. His upside at the plate would likewise only boost an offense that already leads the American League with 71 home runs.

    But at least while there are three teams ahead of them in the AL East, the Blue Jays' putting all their chips on a two-month rental is a long shot. And if there's a good time to move Bichette off shortstop, it's surely not smack in the middle of only his third big league season.

4. St. Louis Cardinals

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    Paul DeJong
    Paul DeJongAssociated Press

    Record: 27-22, 1st in NL Central

    Because a trade of Story became all but inevitable when the Rockies dealt fellow star Nolan Arenado to the St. Louis Cardinals in February, it would be all too appropriate if Story also ended up with St. Louis.

    It's indeed that much easier to speculate about the possibility while incumbent shortstop Paul DeJong is on the injured list with a fractured left rib. And even after DeJong returns, the Cardinals perhaps shouldn't be wedded to him as their everyday shortstop.

    After all, his offensive output has steadily declined since his debut season in 2017. And while he was a Gold Glove finalist alongside Story in 2019, his metrics—especially according to outs above average—have since plummeted.

    Granted, it isn't necessarily likely that the Cards will seek to upgrade despite DeJong's issues. But if the Chicago Cubs and Milwaukee Brewers refuse to fall back in the race for the division title, perhaps a deal for Story will gradually become a priority.

3. Cincinnati Reds

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    Eugenio Suarez
    Eugenio SuarezDavid Zalubowski/Associated Press

    Record: 21-25, 4th in AL Central

    Elsewhere in the NL Central, the Cincinnati Reds are looking up at the Cardinals, Cubs and Brewers in part because they didn't bother to create a tenable situation at shortstop.

    The Reds moved Eugenio Suarez from third base, but he's now back at the hot corner after struggling mightily both at the plate (.555 OPS) and in the field (minus-11 outs above average) in 28 games.

    Kyle Farmer has played short since May 7. His defense has been an improvement, but he's hit just .258/.303/.355. All told, he and Suarez have combined for an NL-low minus-0.7 rWAR at the position.

    The Reds therefore have a big enough need to justify digging into their 15th-ranked farm system for shiny trade chips. Nevertheless, the catch here is obvious: Unless the Reds make up significant ground between now and July 30, going all out for a rental wouldn't make much sense.

2. Oakland Athletics

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    Elvis Andrus
    Elvis AndrusAssociated Press

    Record: 29-22, 1st in AL West

    Upon losing Marcus Semien via free agency in January, the Oakland Athletics promptly acquired Texas Rangers mainstay Elvis Andrus.

    At his peak, the 32-year-old Andrus was a defensive wizard who could hit for a high average with plentiful stolen bases. He's simply not that player anymore, particularly at the plate. His first 48 games with the A's have yielded an ugly .197/.238/.248 line.

    Thus have the A's gotten an MLB-low minus-1.0 rWAR at shortstop. They therefore need Story more than any other team, and their position atop the AL West hypothetically gives them further incentive to call the Rockies.

    But since the A's only have MLB's No. 27 farm system, it's uncertain as to whether they even have what the Rockies would be looking for. Because their pockets are infamously shallow, Story's $18.5 million salary presents another complicating factor.

1. New York Yankees

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    Gleyber Torres
    Gleyber TorresAssociated Press

    Record: 28-20, 3rd in AL East

    Story to the New York Yankees isn't exactly a new idea. You might have heard it from B/R's Abbey Mastracco in February or perhaps from Joel Sherman of the New York Post in April or ESPN's Buster Olney earlier in May.

    Regardless, the implication has consistently been that the Yankees can't rely on Gleyber Torres as their everyday shortstop. This might seem odd considering he's a two-time All-Star and has also been hot of late with a .348 average since April 27.

    Defensively, however, Torres has been stuck in the red in outs above average. And after going deep 62 times in his first 267 games, his power has mysteriously vanished. He has hit only five long balls in 81 games since the start of last season.

    Because the Yankees could move Torres to second base and free up DJ LeMahieu to serve as a roving infielder, they need not worry about how Story would fit. And with him, their chances of winning the AL East and making it to their first World Series since 2009 would be that much greater.


    Stats courtesy of Baseball Reference, FanGraphs and Baseball Savant.