Rockies could be spectators at MLB trade deadline
The Rockies have likely already made their big trade delay statement — without trading anyone.
On Saturday, they signed 37-year-old close Daniel Bard to a two-year, $19 million contract extension. Bard was on track to become a free agent at the end of the season, and general manager Bill Schmidt said “legitimate playoff teams” had contacted the Rockies about Bard.
“We asked Daniel, ‘Do you want to hunt what’s over there, or do you want to be here?’ “Said Schmidt. “He was open to being here, so we looked to see how we could make it happen.”
As usual, the club marches with its own drummer.
Although they have several players nearing the end of their contracts, led by veteran shortstop Jose Iglesias, they could all still wear Rockies uniforms when the trade deadline ends at 4 p.m. (MDT) tuesday.
“We don’t know what’s going to happen in the next (72) hours,” Schmidt said Saturday. “There could be a few things there, but I don’t think anything major, probably.”
Schmidt, however, left the door slightly ajar.
“Things can change,” he said. “I was around (former managing director) Dan O’Dowd a year and he made two trades with 30 minutes before the deadline. I sat there and watched him do it and said : ‘Wow!’ You don’t know what will happen, if we see ways to improve the club, we will think about it.
The conventional thought is that the Rockies could — or should — trade right-hander Alex Colome, starter Chad Kuhl or Iglesias. If the Rockies don’t move them, those players could leave at the end of the season without the Rockies getting anything in return.
Teams also inquired about All-Star first baseman CJ Cron, who is under contract with Colorado next season for an affordable $7.25 million.
The philosophy behind moving any of the aforementioned players would be that the Rockies could supply their agricultural system with prospects. The organization’s throwing depth is slim, especially with left-hander Ryan Rolison and right-hander Peter Lambert facing uncertain futures with arm injuries.
Going into Monday night’s game in San Diego, the Rockies, who are coming off three of four games against the Dodgers at Coors Field, were 45-56 and missed 9½ games in the final wildcard spot in the National League.
Still, the Rockies could get away with it very well. But Schmidt and manager Bud Black adamantly reject the idea that the Rockies need a teardown, followed by a rebuild.
“We have to play baseball better than we have, but we have people who want to be here,” Schmidt said. “We have to keep growing.”
Black added: “There are teams and organizations taking a step back, right? Because they need it. Because it makes sense to them at that time. We haven’t done that for the past two years. »
Certainly not last year. In All-Star shortstop Trevor Story and right-hander Jon Gray, Colorado had two top players heading into free agency. But they clung to the two of them until the end of the season and watched them walk away.
The Rockies issued a qualifying offer for Story, who rejected it and became a free agent, eventually signing a six-year, $140 million contract with Boston. As compensation for losing Story, Colorado received the 31st overall pick in last month’s draft and selected University of Florida corner fielder Sterlin Thompson.
Last summer, when the Rockies didn’t trade Story, Schmidt explained the decision this way: “I think we can find a good player in the draft, so we’re not just going to give away players. If people are interested in our players, that’s good. But if you want someone, make us a good offer.
As for Gray, he expressed a strong interest in re-signing with the Rockies, but he eventually signed a four-year, $56 million deal with the Rangers. Colorado received no compensation for Gray after deciding not to make him a qualifying offer.