Written by: Tre LyDay – Staff Writing Intern (@trelyday03)
The Colorado Rockies have been an interesting yet irrelevant team since their last playoff appearance. They went from a cinderella team, by making it to the World Series when it looked like they weren’t even going to have a chance at the playoffs. That Matt Holliday slide in the NL Wild Card tiebreaker game still resonates with Rockies fans, and myself to this very day. The Rockies would eventually go on to sell Holliday for none other than Carlos Gonzalez, AKA Cargo. The man who goes on these other worldly hitting binges. Eight years later the Rockies are faced with the same decision. Buy or sell?
The answer is both. The Rockies have an abundance of talent that they could sell, but they have to be selective of who they sell. With that abundance of talent comes plentiful outfield left handed bats. From Cargo down to Raimel Tapia, the Rockies have pieces they can move. The Rockies have one of the most potent offenses in baseball, but insufficient pitching to go along with it. Granted they play in a whiffle ball park, so it’s hard to stifle offenses, but they need at least a number two in their rotation.
Ever since Holliday was traded I’ve said it over, and over, and over again, the Rockies will not be taken seriously unless they get solid pitching. They’re working to that with John Gray, and number four overall pick Riley Pint, but now they’re sitting five games back in the Wild Card, and have a chance to get back in the playoffs this year. The Rockies don’t want to sell Gonzalez or Blackmon, because they’re so close.
One name that comes to mind, that I for one thought would be off the market by this time is Jeremy Hellickson. The Phillies could use some outfield prospects, to go along with Mickey Moniak, other than that they don’t have many, good, young left handed bats other than Odubel Herrera. The Rockies could definitely offer up David Dahl and/or Raimel Tapia for Hellickson. Now the only thing with this trade is that it would be a rental, and if they don’t make the playoffs it would be all for not, because they can’t extend a qualifying offer to Hellickson.
Another route they could go is a package deal for Jake Odorizzi and Steve Pearce. Now Pearce isn’t that fond of the thought of leaving Tampa Bay, but obviously if he’s traded he doesn’t have a choice. Odorizzi on the other hand is up for arbitration next year which makes it easier for the Rockies to resign him to a multi-year deal. Right now Odorizzi is 5-5 with a 3.88 ERA, which is enough for the Rockies. Like I said, the Rockies need at least a number two guy for their rotation.
Unfortunately for the Rockies, even though they have the assets to acquire a guy like Chris Sale, they don’t want to give up those assets. A Chris Sale trade would require them to give up a Charlie Blackmon or Carlos Gonzalez. There are mid-tier guys like Hellickson, and Odorizzi would be exactly what they need.
The Rockies have done an outstanding job rebuilding the team ever since the Matt Holliday trade. From Nolan Arenado all the way down to Riley Pint, the Rockies have primed themselves for success. Whether they make the playoffs this year or not, the Rockies are well on their way. They may not be good enough to win their division yet, the Wild Card is up for grabs, and because the Rockies have the added advantage of hitting in Denver. Well, let’s just say they’re not a mile away from the playoffs.