Troy E. Renck of the Denver Post has some quotes from Todd Helton that seem to indicate he'd at least consider approving a deal to the Yankees. Said Helton: "I have never said publicly that I wouldn't go to any team."
That technically puts the Washington Nationals in play. Just kidding. Renck then asked Helton specifically about the Yankees, and he replied: "They'd have to want me first." He makes a good point. But maybe the urge to play for a winner is getting to Helton; it seems like he'd go to New York if they could work something out.
Helton's contract remains among the worst in baseball. I don't know who Michael Moye is, but props to him for negotiating this beast. Helton makes $16.6MM annually through 2010. Then he makes $19.1MM in 2011 and gets a $4.6MM buyout in 2012. Or would Helton require the acquiring team to exercise the $23MM option for 2012 as compensation for allowing the trade?
Back in January, the Rockies wouldn't pitch in more than $36.6MM. At that point, Helton was owed $90.1MM through 2011 (that assumes no concession for waiving the no-trade). Based on the talks with Boston, the Rockies will pay off about 40% of this thing and not require much in the way of young players in return. The Rockies have already paid Helton about $7.07MM this season. So they'd still probably be open to kicking in $33MM toward Helton's remaining contract.
An acquiring team would be looking at $57MM for 4.57 seasons of Helton (if he is traded today). That equates to an annual salary just under $12.5MM. If Helton hit the free agent market after this season as a 34 year-old, could he get a four-year, $50MM deal? I believe he could. I'm starting to think a Helton deal may be reached this summer, as his contract is not ridiculous if the Rockies pay 40% of it.
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