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Todd Helton Trade Update

UPDATE: An official statement has been released: the trade talks are dead.  So many wasted words on papers and blogs.  Oh well.

UPDATE: The Rockies don't want to pitch in more than $36.6MM, so the Red Sox are reluctant to part with Delcarmen or Hansen in the deal.  And the Red Sox aren't happy with the Rockies' leaking of Tavarez and Lowell's names.  Of course, the Red Sox were the ones who pulled the plug on the Larry Bigbie deal of '05 at the last minute.

Let's see what's new in the Todd Helton saga.

First off, Josh Beckett admitted to watching Fever Pitch.  Ouch.  Michael Silverman indicates that the Red Sox still haven't seen an offer they consider serious.  Helton wants the deal done before spring training or not at all.  He'd be happy to play in Boston.

The Denver Post tells us that Rockies GM Dan O'Dowd returns today from family matters to resume trade negotiations.  The Post goes further than the before spring training thing, saying that Helton will veto any deal done after this week.  The Rockies still want one or two of Hansen, Delcarmen, and Ellsbury.  The Red Sox are more into the Tavarez/Lowell salary dump idea.

Buster Olney adds that the Rockies will make this trade if Delcarmen is included. 


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Once again, what use do the Rockies have for Lowell? And why would they want to bring on Lowell and Tavarez's salaries, when the whole point of the Helton trade is to get rid of his.

What do you mean? They want Lowell and Tavarez because after this season they will be off the books. It is a salary dump for the other 4 years of Heltons contract not this year.

This is such a bad trade all around for the Red Sox. Helton is hardly an upgrade over Lowell if you consider defense, age and cost. Why on Earth would the Sox be the ones giving up prospects? i just don't understand it. This is a clear salary dump for the Rox, how are they trying to get prospects. If somehow O'Dowd can get any of those prospects for Theo without adding Fuentes, the Red Sox are just completely insane.

of this trade is done and the Red Sox only have to give up one prospect, then i would count this as a win for the Sox. Pesky's Pole will definatly help him like Coors did. i think he will hit .300-.310 and hit 25-30 HR in Fenway and RBI depends on where he hits in the lineup. would he hit 6th.

So the Sox would rather include Clement than Hansen? You don't say. In other news, I'd rather sleep with Angelina Jolie than Rosie O'Donnell.

The Sox are including propects because they want the Rockies to include enough money (~$45M) that would make Helton a bargain, and thus the Sox _should_ give up something of value (i.e. prospects).

If the Rockies only included, say, $25M, then the Sox should not be expected to give up any prospects.

A trade doesn't have to be an all-or-nothing salary dump.

No way does Helton sniff 30 homers if he plays in Fenway...or anywhere. RF isn't as friendly in Boston as LF and it's just about as spacious as RF in Coors. If this trade goes down, I'd be suprised to see Helton break 20 homers. He'd be lucky to put up Wade Boggs numbers.

I forgot to mention that it's 2007 not 2001 and Todd Helton has been declining for FOUR YEARS! He's logged over 500 ABs a year since 1998, so its not like he hasn't been on the field the past few years. This could end up a total disaster for Boston.

Who cares if he only hits 20 Home Runs? If he has an OBP of 350 or more that should be well worth 11 mil a year and remember he does have a gold glove or 2. he should bat 2nd and get on base to let Manny/David hit him in. If the Sox don't give up prospects then the Rox eating 20-25 mil is fair. If they give up a couple of good prospects then 40-45 mil is fair. Its not rocket science.

Helton add a lot to the Sox. Remember that prospects are a gamble. There is no guarantee that they will ever pan out or be any more than midlevel every day players. More high prospects don't pan out than do. The Sox are getting a proven player. Last years numbers I think are pretty reflective of what the Sox are getting at Fenway. Plus remember he wont have to be the man in Boston.

I have no vested interest in either team so its just my pre tax 2 cents worth. I just think that adding Helton makes the Sox a much better team than without him. Worth giving up a prospect or two in my opinion for a 10 mil a year player.

Agreed - if they're paying ~$7M a year (as I showed in the other thread), they better be giving up both Hansen and Ellsbury.

What's important to remember here is that the Sox do not have any top corner infield prospects coming up to help out any time soon. Lars Anderson hasnt played professionally yet and could be easily four or five years away from being a MLB-ready player.

So after this season, when Lowell's contract is up, they'll have to go after either a 3B or a 1B. Given the price for such players, I'd rather pay Helton $8-$10M than go out and get someone who might not be as good all-around. Next year's free agent class for corner infielders looks pretty slim.

Delcarmen is the only one of these young players I'd be willing to part with. The Rox are dreaming if they think Buccholtz is available, and the Bard thing is laughable because he can't even be traded.

But, again, the Sox say they haven't seen a package that works for them, and I think they'll wait this out until there is one. The Rockies are desperate to get out from under this contract, and I think they will cave to get it done at a price that will work best for the Red Sox if this happens.

If DelCarmen is what is holding up this deal than the sox are dumb. They get to get rid of Lowell and Tavarez and get a solid player. Helton can be both underrated and overrated. He isnt a power hitter but he could easily hit .320+ with 40+ doubles a .400+ OBP and a whole load of runs scored. That has value.

He would make the offense better without sacrificing much on defense.

Remember DelCarmen's ceiling is a set-up man. Its not like you would have to include Lester or Papelbon, middle relievers have value but not that much. If this deal is Lowell, Tavarez, and DelCarmen then it is a solid deal for the Sox, at least for 2007.

I don't know whats worse, reading multiple posts on Randy Johnson or reading multiple posts on Todd Helton. Two former superstars making more money then most of us will ever see. Sickening.

Kyle, agreed.

If they are getting rid of Lowell and Clement and getting Helton and $45M, they are utter fools for not trading DelCarmen.

And the Rockies would be dumb for making that trade, even with DelCarmen.

Last year's free agent class for corner infielders is actually almost completely barren. (We aren't counting A-Rod, assuming he opts out) Best 3B that I can find, per mlb4u? Lowell, and...umm...Corey Koskie? Cesar Izturis? OK, how about 1B? Mark Sweeney...Shea Hillenbrand...Doug Mientkiewicz...Sean Casey. So Helton at $8-10MM and a prospect looks just a little bit better then the alternatives, I would say.

If Delcarmen gets it done and the Rox still throw in $40MM, I say do it. Sure, Boston's pen sucks right now and needs all the help it can get...but Manny was never going to be The Answer, and Helton would give that offense yet another big boost...at least for the next 2-3 years.

PS: Pretty sure Clement's not going anywhere. I think it'd be Lowell/Tavarez/Delcarmen for Helton + $40-45MM.

It's harder for the Red Sox than one would think. The Sox traded away Cla Meredith, a player with a similar ceiling, and he was one of the best set-up men during the second half of last season. The Sox are snakebitten when it comes to giving up young players, so they're going to justifiably proceed with extreme caution when young players start being talked about in these trades.

PS: Pretty sure Clement's not going anywhere. I think it'd be Lowell/Tavarez/Delcarmen for Helton + $40-45MM.

Slightly better I guess.

If we say Lowell and Tavarez are each overpaid by about $2M and they include $45M, then the Sox will be paying a little over $8M per year. Still a good deal, and still worth more then DelCarmen, IMO.

I think the break even point is at about $11M a year for Helton.

I'll give DelCarmen a value of about $5M. I have no idea if that's accurate. You could argue that taking on Lowell and Tavarez offsets the value of DelCarmen.

So for the Sox to pay ~$11M a year, the Rockies should include about $35M.

Just for reference for the cubs fans out there, the difference between Lowell and Helton is about the same difference between Izturis and Tejada. Kinda puts it all in perspective.

While I neither seek to denigrate Helton or get flamed by Boston fans... I really just don't get the acquisition at all. He's an upgrade, I get that. You guys were average offensively, and that's just not good enough... I get that. But Youkilis, Crisp, Manny, Papi, Lowell, Lugo, Drew, WMP, and Varitek should be enough.

C'mon Boston, you don't thwart Dark Helmet with Spacebucks... you gotta use the Schwartz.

Lets not get blown away by Heltons high altitude hitting, his numbers in the AL will be similar to his road numbers - perhaps .290 with .390 OBP and 15-20 hrs (respectable and worth having at the right price). Trading Clement and Delcarmen or Tavarez would be enough Im sure if Rox pay 1/2 Helton.

This leaves an odd man out. Why not move Hinske and keep Youk who was a class guy playing 1b, 3b and lf last year. He's solid on and off the bench, thus the sox could have GG caliber Defence at the inf corners. Youk could then go to 3rd when Lowell's $$contract expires.

If the Sox get the Helton of last year, they'll get a .260ish hitter with a sub .800 OPS....if they get the Todd Helton of 2005 they'll get a .280ish hitter with a .850 OPS, neither seem all that good, and I have a hard time believing that he's going to get back to his pre 2005 form.....

This is Rockies idea, not Boston's. They want the payroll flexibility of being rid of Helton. Just like the Abreu deal of last year they will make the trade on our terms or not at all. Hansen, Delcarmen, Ellsbury aren't on the table. Lowell, Clement, for Helton and 30 million or no trade I say.

"Lowell, Clement, for Helton and 30 million or no trade I say."

That's close. I think around $25M is fair, but it's close. I think they feel like they need some prospect to appease the fans. I highly doubt Delcarmen is holding up the deal - contrary to what's reported I think they're either haggling over money or the inclusion of other prospects.

I'd consider adding Murphy to the deal and then let Colorado try and work something out with the Marlins for him, but thats the highest I'd go.

Seems reasonable.

yo, i thought todd's "decline" was a result of AAAA guys in front and behind him since the start of '05. wouldn't a return to a lineup like boston's be a return to his pre-'05 numbers? i would think so.

Return to pre-'05? No. I think Helton can be a .400 OBP player even away from Coors, but it doesn't seem plausible that batting in a solid lineup will inflate his numbers as much as the Coors factor. His away OPS over the past three years has been exactly 200 points lower than his home OPS, with roughly an equal number of at-bats home and away. Away from Coors, I think you're getting a high on-base guy with power numbers that represent a slight upgrade for the position.

I think that Helton's pros outweigh his cons on a subsidized contract, but pre-'05 numbers are very optimistic.

I'll be honest, as a Yankee fan this deal scares me a little.

At seasons end I was celebrating the fact that it looked like Boston would trade Manny and their starting pitching looked iffy.

Now they have kept Manny, added Lugo, Drew and possibly Helton and they're no longer the team of the past 2 years where you just had to get by Ortiz/Manny and you could beat them.

The only thing that doesn't scare me is history. As a Yankee fan, I've seen what happens when you bring in big name high salaried players from other teams to be your starters. They have a period where they first have to adjust to the team and the city and don't perform and if the team struggles during this period, negativity can spiral toward the new acquistions. I mean, if Helton, Lugo and Drew struggle and Dice K takes his lumps learning the league, this will turn into an ugly season in Beantown with the expectations they've set. Not to mention they still have no closer.

I remember when acquring Giambi, Sheff, RJ and Arod was supposed to mean the rest of the league should go home and not try and look at how that worked out.

Adding Helton to the mix makes this lineup deeper and fills it with guys who get on base. It could be great or it could be a disaster.

To me, the teams that are winning of late (including the 2004 sox) are teams that have been through the shit together for a few seasons and finally come together to win it.

The only thing that I can't believe is that the Sox would take on a 33yo guy with six seasons left on the contract. That's a NY Knicks kind of move. I don't see a 35yo Helton being worth the money even Boston will have to pay him and soon after they will have a 36-40yo sitting on their bench making significant dollars.

To me, it's a win now deal and if the Sox get him and don't win the division and AL next season, it's a bust.

It's a win now deal, yeah, but $9MM a year ain't exactly expensive. By year five, will Helton be worth that much? Maybe not. But through the first four? No, he isn't worth $90MM...but are you telling me that if he was a FA, a 5/$45MM deal wouldn't be a bargain? Even 5/$50? This is the market we deal with now. Of course, the intelligence of this trade depends entirely on its cost. But to simply write it off as a "Knicks move" before it even goes down doesn't make much sense to me.

PS: Every projection system I've seen predicts a pretty significant rebound, to the tune of a .315+ avg, .400+ obp, and .925+ OPS. This season, at least.

As a Sox fan, I hope the Sox don't include Clement.

The only way the Rockies should take Clement is if the Sox are playing for him, beacuse he possibly won't pitch at all, and If I am the Red Sox, and paying for Clement, I would just keep him and anything you get out of him helps you and not the Rockies. He could be capable in the bullpen towards the end of the year.

Rockies may get Hansen or Declarman, not both, and no starting pitching prospect or Ellsbury. It is not worth it for the Red Sox.

I can see this deal falling apart, because the Sox will not part with prospects.

i'm surprised Crisp hasn't been mentioned. The Rox like him, and have a need for him.


Deal has hit a large snag

This deal only gets done if its more a salary dump by the Rockies

Others have already said this, but if you can move clement and lowell, Lowell was shopped around last year and Clement is a bum, and all you have to do is add Delcarmen why the hell wouldnt you do it. Delcarmen might turn out to be ok, but nothing spectacular, and as other have said, Helton may not be what he once was, but he can still play the game better then the options that will be available soon. He has always been a high OBP guy who has a nice eye and will draw the walk. Why wouldnt you want this guy batting second in front on Papi and Manny? It seems like killing a few birds with one stone. Improve your offense, get rid of a couple of guys u dont want, and dont over pay for Helton. EM3, yeah thats true, the rox CF situation was pretty bad last year. I saw Choo Freeman, Cory Sullivan, and go knows who else making fools of themselves in CF. Crisp would be able to move back into his number 2 slot again, and if nothing else, can track some balls down in center that nobody could last year.

"yo, i thought todd's "decline" was a result of AAAA guys in front and behind him since the start of '05. wouldn't a return to a lineup like boston's be a return to his pre-'05 numbers? i would think so."

Maybe at some points he was in fact batting infront of and behind AAAA players, but not in 06. Atkins and Holliday both put up big years, Brad Hawpe had a decent year also. I still think Helton is a good ball player, and if I could get rid of 2 guys that my organization clearly didnt want, and one decent prospect i would do it.

Hey man, take it easy on the Knicks lol. No more big contracts for old guys. The knicks are an extremely young and deep team. They already improved ridiculously from the LArry Brown days. I thought Isiah was the biggest jerkoff ever, but now that easy eddy is becoming dominant, and all 4 out of 5 first round picks in the last 2 years are contributing, Steph is actually playing team basketball, and defense, a lot of NY knick fans are hopeful for the future

Didnt mean to say all 4 out of 5, that just looks retarded. My bad

"PS: Every projection system I've seen predicts a pretty significant rebound, to the tune of a .315+ avg, .400+ obp, and .925+ OPS. This season, at least."

Yo, isn't that in the NL West, playing half his game in Coors for the Rockies? I think he might be able to come close to that in Coors, for the Rockies, but playing in the AL East for the Red Sox in Fenway will hurt his numbers a good bit. He's been less than stellar away from home the past 2 years.

True, and Fenway will definately hurt his HR potential...but at the same time, no park inflated doubles more last season. Look at it this way: Helton hit 21 out of his 40 doubles at home last year, and 8 out of his 15 homers. Coors was neutral in doubles...Fenway had a factor of 1.368. Meaning Helton would end up hitting almost 29 doubles at home. At the same time, you can cut that homer total down to about 6. I'm not sure what effect this would have on his SLG...but I think it'd actually be an improvement. If he's the same kind of player; i.e, doubles power with a high average.

Thing is, Helton was sick all last season. The only way this swap makes sense is if they think he's going to rebound; the NL West projections are especially optimistic because of where he plays, but they still suggest good health and a rebound performance. I don't normally buy into the protection argument...but hitting 2nd in that Boston lineup would be a nice spot for him. For $9MM, I'd be perfectly happy with a LD-hitting, high-average, high-OBP first baseman. Which is why I also like Youkilis...I'd just like having them both around even better. (At the right price...)

No I get the $9mil high average, high OBP first baseman idea, but there's nothing close to a guarantee that he'll rebound, and if he did it would probably look alot like last year's numbers, not an overall improvement, due to the extreme park factor. I'd also like to know how he'd do in a high pressure environment, when regular season games in Yankee Stadium feel like a playoff game. He's spent his entire career on a crap team that never competes and plays on the West Coast which is basically forgotten by half the country. I think it's no better than 50/50 that Helton pans out for the Red Sox, which easily makes him a gamble. He's put up ehh numbers away from Coors for 2 years now, and looks to be in the downward slide of his career. Wouldn't the Red Sox just be better off and wait use the $9mil or so next off season and pursue Andruw Jones? Maybe they can afford both, I don't know, but if I had to choose between the two, I'm taking Jones.

First of all Helton at 10 mil a year is not going to to stop the sox from spending money next season. Also, I doubt the sox will be seriously pursuing Jones. Do you really think that if getting Helton meant the sox could not spend money next offseason this deal would be made?

Just throwing this out there so don't jump down my throat but has any of his production at Coors been hurt by the Humidor? I mean his numbers have dropped since they started throwing balls in the humidor. ERAs have dropped at Coors as well. So there may be something to that. Again just throwing that out there.

I know last year Helton was not 100%. If he is healthy and in Boston I think that he will be a decent OBP guy .385 probably closer to .400. I think he will see pitches and hit around .300. For 10 or 10.5 mil a year Delcarma and Lowell this deal should get done. As it has been mentioned who would you rather pay 10 mil a year to? Helton or Speedy McSucks Pierre and his sub .300 OBP?

As for Clement. I am torn. He can pitch as a very strong 4 starter and if he is locked up through 2008 why not keep him. I mean Gil Meche got what 55 over 4 years? I imagne he would be a 8-10 mil a year guy. Besides I am guessing they are recouping a good amount of his salary from insurance.

Just my pretax .02 cents worth.

I haven't read every comment since the beginning so I don't really know where we are in discussion but I'll offer my point.

The best possible deal for both teams would be:

Todd Helton ($40M paid)


Matt Clement
Manny Delcarmen
Mike Lowell

Reasons for success: It fulfills the Rockies demands by including a pitching prospect (namely Delcarmen) and the Red Sox required inclusion of Matt Clement. The Red Sox dump $9,000,000 for this year in Lowell, while freeing up space for Youkilis at third, and Helton at first. They lose Clement's money which figures to a total of almost $18,000,000. They pay $50M for Helton over five years, or the same rate as Jason Varitek. Subtract the $18M, giving the Red Sox a nice payment of $32M over five years for a guy with an on-base which could near .400 in a lineup with other high OBP guys. This helps the Red Sox lineup without adding on too much salary. The Rockies make a substantial dump of over $30,000,000 with this deal with no obligations beyond this season. From a salary standpoint, this works well for both teams.

Manny Delcarmen is going to be 25 years old this season. He has been a decent pitcher up to this point but he has not been stellar. The inclusion of him in this deal will NOT ruin the farm system, nor the bullpen of the Boston Red Sox. Pitchers on the current 40-man roster include (age in parentheses):

Craig Breslow (27)
Nick DeBarr (24) [Rule V]
Manny Delcarmen (25)
Lenny Dinardo (27)
Kason Gabbard (26)
Devern Hansack (29)
Craig Hansen (23)
Kyle Jackson (24)
Jon Lester (23)
Javier Lopez (30)
Edgar Martinez (26)
Hideki Okajima (31)
David Pauley (24)
Kyle Snyder (29)

To assume a 7-man bullpen featuring Timlin, Tavarez, Donnelly, and Romero, pick any 3 of them and the rest will go to the minors (exception DeBarr). trading Manny Delcarmen to upgrade our lineup by putting together a core of hitters 2-6, none of which had an OBP below .381 last year is not a horrendous decision.

This trade gives a good salary to each team considering the value they receive. It gives the Rockies a young pitcher they want and the Red Sox an excellent on-base guy who, despite being out of Coors, can probably put up good numbers as a Lefty in Fenway Park.

If the deal is on the table as I stated above, I make it, regardless of which team I am.

**The Matt Clement money listed above as $18M include Mike Lowell's salary, if I didn't make that clear.

I also forgot to mention Joel Piniero above, so if he's an assumed pitcherthen you have two spots left over. I personally would take Lester and DeBarr to satisfy the rule V. If DeBarr can't do it, then put in Hansen after giving him some good innings in the minors. Regardless of who is chosen, you have a starting rotation for AAA-Pawtucket and a full bullpen.

Manny Delcarmen is a good talent, but he's nearly insignificant to me.

Irrelevant, talks are now dead.

Manny Delcarmen is not any kind of impact talent, sticking on him makes no sense.

But Todd Helton looks like Scott Hatteberg these days, so...

DoctorCurveBall you are basically saying the Rockies would be saving 30MM but losing a solid 1B for 4 years and replacing it with Lowell for 1?

The 30MM savings you're suggesting won't even buy a league average 1B for 4 years. I don't see this being a mutually beneficial deal.

Hey the talks have stalled we all know that but I have been saying this for a few days now to my friends that I thought that the Rockies would pull out of the discussions(like they did) trying to holdout for prospects and in a few days later they would turn right back to the Red Sox to take Helton off there hands.
Lets face it the Rockies have zero leverage in any Helton deal because of many reasons such as the contract price,the declining numbers, only a few other teams in baseball that can afford his salary and that he is only willing to go three teams(red sox,braves and Cardinals) The Red Sox know they have all the leverage and are going to sit back and relax and if the Rockies don't budge the Red Sox are all set with there team if not they will approve there team(for this season) with a Helton trade.

It might be a gamble, but they might be tempted to keep him through 07 and trade him afterwards.

There's nothing out there left to acquire with this year's savings and if he could improve on last year's road numbers he'll fetch a lot more in the 08 market .

Kinda makes me glad I said I thought the talks could fall apart a few hours ago.

Fact is, Helton is not a massive upgrade over Lowell, the Sox don't exactly need a lot more prodcution out of the lineup, and its not worth trading away any of their bullpen, especially the young ones with a bright future. And certainly not trade any prospects.

Part of me would have liked to see Helton sign with the Red Sox because I think it would have given them a distinct edge over the Yankees. But, I'm a Braves fan first and I'm glad this trade didn't go through.

I think the Braves should make a play for Brad Hawpe. It is obvious the Rockies wanted pitching. The Braves could offer Kyle Davies, Joey Devine,Matt Diaz, and a prospect. The Braves could ask for another minor prospect in return. I like Hawpe and think he is a quality player. Heck, the Braves could even make a play for Holliday, but I don't see the Rockies getting rid of Holiday.

I read the Rockies owner, Monfort, giving some line of crap about they didn't want to trade Helton and that they were just looking to improve the team. BS! They were looking to dump salary. Why would they need Mike Lowell when they already have Garrett Atkins at 3B? I see Tavarez but why take on his contract? The Rockies were trying to pull a fast one on Epstein and he is way too smart for that.

The Rockies are stuck for the next five years with that contract. Even if he regains form and has another monster season in 2007, any team the Rockies negotiate with has the leverage because they will know the Rockies don't want that contract.

I wish the Braves could get him but at this point they simply cannot. Now, if the Rockies were willing to include Aaron Cook with Helton for Hudson, Diaz, and Devine perhaps there would be something to discuss. But, that will never happen so I guess there is no point.

I think everyone who has downed Helton will see that he is still one of the best but it won't help the Rockies and that asinine contract.

Banana Hammock!

Bleachedbuddha i get what your saying but I think they have been using the humidor for like 4 or 5 years now, it just became a big subject recently, why? Dont know

what the hell would he want to go to the Cards for???? What, is he going to platoon with Albert? Ha!

who were you talking too dunc?

This is what I was reffering to:

"Lets face it the Rockies have zero leverage in any Helton deal because of many reasons such as the contract price,the declining numbers, only a few other teams in baseball that can afford his salary and that he is only willing to go three teams(red sox,braves and Cardinals)"

by Kramerica Industries

I wonder if Helton can play CF? Maybe the Cubs should trade Jones for him...


Just had to add that for NRMAX.

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