Colorado Rockies Rumors

Colorado Rockies trade and free agent rumors from MLBTradeRumors.com.

2016 Competitive Balance Lottery Results

The Reds have drawn the first competitive balance selection in the 2016 draft, as Cash Kruth of MLB.com reports. While the precise draft slots remain to be determined, Cincinnati will pick after the conclusion of the first round (including compensation choices).

Here is the order of the selections, which were determined by lottery between the clubs that fell among the ten smallest markets and/or the ten smallest revenue pools league-wide. Other teams that participate in revenue sharing are also eligible, but only for the second round.

Round A (selections occur after first round)

1. Reds
2. Athletics
3. Rockies
4. Diamondbacks
5. Marlins
6. Pirates

Round B (selections occur after second round)

1. Padres
2. Indians
3. Twins
4. Brewers
5. Orioles
6. Rays

These results mean that the Cardinals, Royals, and Mariners failed to receive a pick despite being eligible. With some restrictions, the picks can be traded — and increasingly have been in recent seasons. You can take a look at this year’s draft results and slot values to get an idea of the range of selections (and drafted players) that the most recent competitive balance awards ultimately represented.


Troy Tulowitzki: No Interest In Being Traded

Rockies shortstop Troy Tulowitzki says that he has no interest in being traded, as MLB.com’s Tracy Ringolsby reports. While the franchise star does not have the ability to block a deal, prior reports have indicated that his preferences (particularly if stated publicly) would have a highly significant influence on the willingness of owner Dick Monfort to permit a deal.

Tulowitzki has not played up to his usual standards this season, though he still cracked the All-Star roster and has been one of the most productive shortstops in baseball this year. The downturn (especially in defensive metrics) might not be as concerning had Tulowitzki not missed the second half of 2014 recovering from hip surgery. As things stand, though, his value is somewhat diminished, though teams would still line up for a chance to add him.

The biggest issue with Tulowitzki’s trade value, of course, is the combination of his notable injury history, age (nearly 31), and big contract. He’s set to earn $20MM annually not only this year but from 2016-2019, and will be promised at least $17MM thereafter for his 2020 guarantee and the buyout of a 2021 option.

Tulowitzki did couch his comments somewhat, but certainly did nothing to suggest that he’s going to campaign for a deal — far from it, in fact. “I didn’t sign my contract because I wanted to be somewhere else,” Tulowitzki said. “I signed my contract because I want to be with the Rockies.” He added that any trade speculation has “just been a lot of rumors,” so far as he is concerned.

While he obviously does not have the final say on the question whether he is dealt, it certainly does not sound as if Tulowitzki has had any conversations with the organization regarding a move. He expressed confidence in the team’s young talent — which includes at least two possible future replacements at shortstop in Trevor Story and Brendan Rodgers — an indicated that he has every hope of playing for a contender again in Colorado. “We have the makings of a team that can win,” he said. “To win here would be very satisfying.”

More generally, Rockies GM Jeff Bridich has played his cards close to the vest in the run-up to the deadline, as Patrick Saunders of the Denver Post reports. Saunders reiterates that he has heard no indication of a trade of Tulowitzki, though he notes that a move involving Carlos Gonzalez could make some sense. There are other theoretical candidates as well, of course — closer John Axford, outfielder Charlie Blackmon, and catcher/first baseman Wilin Rosario among them — but there have been few reports indicating which if any the Rockies are interested in parting with.


Injury Notes: Upton, Aoki, Lincecum, Stanton, Crawford, Morneau, Morrow

Padres outfielder Justin Upton sat out today’s game with left oblique tightness, but remains hopeful that he’ll avoid a DL stint, MLB.com’s Corey Brock reports. Needless to say, it’s not a great time for the injury to crop up: the team is perhaps taking a final shot at re-entering the postseason hunt before the deadline. And if it can’t, the pending free agent may be one of the most important players marketed this summer. Assistant GM Josh Stein said that Upton will likely miss “a couple of days,” but any absence beyond that may be rather concerning.

Here are some more injury notes from around the league:

  • The Giants expect to welcome back outfielder Nori Aoki in relatively short order, as Andrew Baggarly of the San Jose Mercury News reports. That’s certainly good news for San Francisco, as a successful return of Aoki (joining Hunter Pence in that regard) would reduce or even eliminate the team’s need to add an outfielder at the deadline.
  • Meanwhile, Giants starter Tim Lincecum has been out with an arm injury, but manager Bruce Bochy revealed today that he’s also received treatment for “degenerative” hip issues, as Andrew Baggarly of the San Jose Mercury News reports. The problem, which is not considered to be a threat to his career, has existed since late last year. Lincecum received cortisone shots and is set to resume throwing in a few days, but as Tim Kawakami of the Mercury News wrote earlier today, it’s far from clear whether he’ll ever again impact the Giants staff.
  • Marlins star Giancarlo Stanton is preparing to resume swinging, though his timeframe remains unclear, as Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald reports. While that’s great news for anyone who enjoys the game of baseball, Stanton obviously will not return in time to impact the team’s deadline plans.
  • Spencer provides several other updates on injured Marlins: Righty Jarred Cosart, who was acquired on deadline day last summer has again been diagnosed with vertigo. And fellow starter Henderson Alvarez has struggled quite a bit as he tries to work back from shoulder inflammation on a rehab stint.
  • The Dodgers will welcome back outfielder Carl Crawford from the 60-day DL, as Carlos Collazo writes for MLB.com. A right oblique injury has shelved him for quite some time, and it looks like he’ll be headed for a bench role upon his return. Fellow highly-paid corner outfielder Andre Ethier has played well this year, leaving Crawford without an obvious spot in the regular lineup. It remains to be seen whether the always-active Dodgers will look to move either player (or one of the team’s numerous other options) over the coming weeks.
  • Rockies first baseman Justin Morneau says that he still hopes to make it back to the team this year, as Patrick Saunders of the Denver Post writes. The veteran has managed to resume baseball activities as he seeks to work back from a concussion and neck sprain, and says the latter is a larger concern than the former. Certainly, it’s good to hear that Morneau’s long battle with concussion issues is not the primary cause for his long absence, and he adds that he has no plans to retire at this point. Morneau once looked like a possible trade candidate, though that ship has probably sailed. It remains to be seen how things will progress on his contract, which includes a $9MM mutual option ($750K club buyout) for next season.
  • The Padres appear set to send righty Brandon Morrow out on a rehab assignment as soon as this weekend, Beth Maiman of MLB.com reports. It will obviously be hard for San Diego to rely on much of a contribution from the 30-year-old in spite of that promising development, as he has dealt with various arm issues for much of his career. Morrow, who was added on a cheap, one-year deal, threw 33 innings of 2.73 ERA ball earlier in the season.


AL Rumors: Axford, Hamels, Red Sox

It’s been almost one year since the trade that sent Tommy Milone from the A’s to the Twins and the deal has suited the hurler well, Joe Stiglich of CSNBayArea.com writes.  Through eleven starts this season with Minnesota, Milone owns a 2.84 ERA with 6.1 K/9 and 3.0 BB/9.  Milone didn’t demand a trade from Oakland, but he did politely request one.

It wasn’t like a ‘Here, trade me type thing,’” Milone said. “Obviously it wasn’t something that was supposed to be (public). It’s just one of those things that if they felt there wasn’t a spot open up here, then I’d like to see if there’s an opportunity elsewhere. And I guess it presented itself with Sam Fuld being available. It’s kind of bittersweet to leave after a few years of being here, leaving some of the guys and the coaching staff. But there was an opportunity.”

Here’s more from the AL..

  • The Tigers are among the teams that have inquired on Rockies reliever John Axford, Jon Morosi of FOX Sports tweets.  However, at this point, it’s far from a certainty that the Tigers will be buyers.  The Tigers are 45-46 after today’s loss against the Orioles.  Here’s more from the American League..
  • The Red Sox, as expected, were on hand for Cole Hamels‘ Sunday start and Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com (on Twitter) hears that there was a high-ranking scout there to watch the Phillies ace.  Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports (on Twitter) noted that it might be hard to gauge Hamels as the Marlins are missing Giancarlo Stanton, Dee Gordon, and Michael Morse.   Even with Miami at less than 100% strength, Hamels didn’t have a great showing, allowing five runs on eight hits in three innings of work.
  • A scout at today’s game told Crasnick (on Twitter) that Hamels “looked hot..and not very interested in being out there.”  Of course, that’s somewhat understandable to those of us in the Northeast today.
  • Manager John Gibbons told reporters that Aaron Sanchez will pitch in relief when he returns to the Blue Jays later this week, Brendan Kennedy of the Toronto Star tweets.   One might speculate that Sanchez being slotted in the bullpen might be a sign that Toronto intends on acquiring a starter between now and the deadline.  Sanchez will make one relief appearance in Triple-A before joining the Blue Jays’ bullpen.

Outrighted To Triple-A: Laffey, Correia, Reds

The latest outright assignments according to the MLB.com transactions page..

  • The Rockies sent left-hander Aaron Laffey outright to the Triple-A Albuquerque Isotopes.   Laffey, 30, was on the roster for just one day before being designated for assignment on July 11th.  Earlier this season, Laffey pitched 47 2/3 innings in a tough pitching environment in Albuquerque, posting a 4.91 ERA, 6.2 K/9 and 3.2 BB/9 while splitting time between starting and relieving.
  • The Reds claimed Donn Roach off waivers from the Cubs.  Roach, 25, gave up four earned runs in a 3 1/3 inning appearance at the major league level for the Cubs. He threw 89 innings with a healthy 2.33 ERA for the Cubs’ Triple-A affiliate, striking out 3.3 and walking 1.6 batters per nine in the process.
  • The Cardinals sent shortstop Aledmys Diaz outright to Double-A Springfield.  After entering the year as the organization’s 11th-rated prospect in the eyes of Baseball America, the 24-year-old Diaz has taken a step back in 2015.  Prior to being designated for assignment, Diaz posted a .235/.292/.344 slash at Triple-A over 268 plate appearances on the year. Those numbers are down from a partial showing in the minors last season, when he put up a .765 OPS in 125 turns at bat at the High-A and Double-A levels.
  • The Phillies outrighted Kevin Correia on July 8th, just one day after designating him for assignment.  Correia, 34, spent time this spring with the Mariners and started the year in the Giants organization, ultimately opting out and signing with Philadelphia. He had solid results in his first several Triple-A starts, but scuffled to a 6.56 ERA over 23 1/3 innings with the Phillies.
  • The Braves released Nick Masset shortly after designating him for assignment earlier this month.  The veteran Masset, who signed with the Braves after the Marlins outrighted him in late May, posted a 4.70 ERA with 12 strikeouts, seven walks and three home runs allowed in 15 1/3 innings with Atlanta.

NL West Notes: Diamondbacks, Gray, Padres, Giants

The Diamondbacks mismanaged their draft pool, tweets Jim Callis of MLB.com. The club took Dansby Swanson with the first overall pick and inked him at the last possible moment. In doing so, they spent $1.7MM less than their pool allowed. As MLBTR’s Steve Adams tweeted, the club could have spent up to $2.328MM more without losing a future draft pick. While a franchise shouldn’t spend that money just to spend it, they should have a few over-slot picks in the early rounds in order to make the most of limited resources.

  • The Rockies originally planned to promote top prospect Jon Gray for Sunday’s start, but they’ve backed off that decision, writes Nick Groke of the Denver Post. His last outing at Triple-A was a three-inning stinker in which he allowed four runs and six hits. The club will wait for a future opportunity to call upon their top pitching prospect. Eddie Butler will take tomorrow’s start.
  • Former Padres GM Josh Byrnes steadily built the farm system during his tenure with the club, writes Jeff Sanders of the San Diego Union-Tribune. Now current GM A.J. Preller is being second guessed for his bold decision to dismantle the farm for win-now talent. The club could be one year closer to a more organic revitalization, but now the farm system is shallow. Massive offseason overhauls have a bad track record – ask the Marlins and Blue Jays (and the White Sox). It’s also worth noting that Preller may have wanted to reshape the farm system to his preferences.
  • The Giants have built one of the best infields in the sport, notes Jonah Keri of Grantland. The home grown crew includes several surprising contributors. Brandon Belt was a well-regarded prospect – especially among sabermetric circles. However, Brandon Crawford‘s offensive emergence was unexpected. Joe Panik is deceptively well-rounded. Matt Duffy was supposed to back up Casey McGehee. Instead, he’s arguably the best rookie in the National League, a class that includes Kris Bryant and Maikel Franco among others.

NL West Notes: Seager, Pederson, Upton, Preller, CarGo

Dodgers shortstop/third base prospect Corey Seager sits atop the midseason top fifty prospect list of ESPN.com’s Keith Law (Insider link). After a flurry of top prospect graduations early in the season, it seems fairly clear that observers have settled on Seager as the new number one overall pre-big league player in baseball.

Here’s more from the NL West:

  • Another key young Dodgers player, center fielder Joc Pederson, landed in a virtual tie alongside Mookie Betts of the Red Sox as the most valuable trade piece not to make the top ten list of Fangraphs’ Dave Cameron. The pair of outstanding and controllable assets are the last two members of Cameron’s top dozen. As he explains, preferring one to the other is largely a matter of slight preferences in valuation.
  • We don’t yet know what direction A.J. Preller will take the Padres at the deadline. But major offseason acquisition (and pending free agent/possible trade chip) Justin Upton said at the All-Star Game that he hopes to stay with San Diego, ESPN.com’s Jerry Crasnick reports“At this point, I haven’t given up on the team,” said Upton. “I really like the guys, and I like the clubhouse. We still have some time to change the minds of the front office. In a perfect world, we play well over the next two or three weeks and A.J. pumps the brakes on dismantling the team.” That certainly seems like a tall order, but the rookie GM has managed to surprise the baseball world plenty in his short tenure.
  • Over at Grantland, Rany Jazayerli has some rather harsh words for the performance of Preller. Not only is the dramatically-compiled big league roster a bust, says Jazayerli, but the players moved to make that possible have almost universally looked great in their new organizations. It’s certainly an interesting read, which makes some compelling points. But risk is inherent to any action, in baseball and in life, and part of the equation in assessing risk (and whether it’s worth taking it on) involves dealing with the downside. With the deadline approaching, we may have an opportunity to see what kind of bailout plan Preller has in mind for the shorter-term assets he acquired.
  • Rockies outfielder Carlos Gonzalez has swung a hot bat at an opportune time, Nick Groke of the Denver Post writes“Finally, I’m getting my timing back, which is the biggest key for me,” said Gonzalez. “I’m able to sit back on my back leg. It was something I wasn’t able to do that last two years. But I knew at some point I’d get there. I’m still confident.” The question, of course, is whether this recent uptick will be enough to drive significant trade interest. As GM Jeff Bridich recently said of Gonzalez: “His stats aren’t as good as Tulo’s or some of the other guys on our team, so if a team is just going off that, I don’t know. But we’ll certainly know more in 10 days to two weeks.”

Rockies Notes: Trades, Hundley, CarGo, Tulowitzki

Entering the All-Star break, just three teams — the Phillies, Brewers and Marlins — have fewer wins than the Rockies, who find themselves 11 games out of contention in the National League West. With Colorado looking more and more like a deadline seller, here’s the latest out of Denver…

  • In a mailbag piece, Patrick Saunders of the Denver Post writes that he can envision Carlos Gonzalez, Charlie Blackmon, Wilin Rosario and John Axford being traded in the next two weeks. Though Nick Hundley appears to be a classic trade candidate — he’s hitting well in the first season of an affordable two-year deal — Saunders writes that he’s emerged as a strong presence in the clubhouse, which upper management may not want to lose. Blackmon would make an intriguing trade candidate, though his struggles against lefties and significant home/road splits throughout his career would seem like potential hindrances to his trade value, in my mind.
  • Gonzalez, who has battled injuries frequently throughout his Rockies tenure, tells the Post’s Nick Groke that he’s healthy for the first time in a season and feels that his surgically repaired knee finally has the strength to allow him to wait on his back leg to adjust to breaking pitches. CarGo hit .464/.483/.929 with four doubles and three homers over the final week of the first half.
  • Troy Tulowitzki‘s name has been in trade rumors for years, and he addressed the constant speculation at yesterday’s All-Star festivities when meeting with the media. Via the L.A. Times’ Bill Shaikin, Tulo told reporters, “Right now, I’m still a Rockie. I’ve dealt with [trade rumors] for a couple years now. I’m still in a Rockies uniform. It is what it is.” Tulo went on to say that he feels the Rockies can eventually put a winner on the field, citing promising young teammates such as Nolan Arenado and DJ LeMahieu. Tulowitzki also went on to say that he takes “a lot of pride in staying in one organization.” Tulo called Derek Jeter his favorite player (the reason behind his No. 2 in Colorado) and discussed the possibility of staying Colorado forever. “Not too many guys get to do it in this day and age. It would be cool, when I am done playing, to say that I did that,” said Tulowitzki.

NL West Notes: Tulowitzki, Shields, Padres, Dodgers

Don’t expect to see Troy Tulowitzki traded anytime soon, Patrick Saunders of The Denver Post writes.  While the Rockies‘ star shortstop has been bandied around in trade rumors for some time, GM Jeff Bridich doesn’t necessarily see anything happening in the next few weeks.  He also says that the Tulo trade talk of last winter was overblown.

There was never anything in the wintertime that got to be of serious interest,” Bridich said. “Some teams were poking around. The (hip) injury was complicated. There was never anything that remotely came close to happening.”

Bridich continues to say he is open to all possibilities, but Saunders personally would be surprised if Tulowitzki is traded this summer.  Here’s more out of the NL West..

  • If the Padres trade James Shields, just signed to a monster deal last winter, they could risk turning off future free agents, Dennis Lin of U-T San Diego writes.  Still, the temptation is probably there for San Diego as Shields’ contract is backloaded – he’ll go from $10MM this season to $21MM in each of the next three with an opt-out clause after the 2016 World Series.
  • There has been some speculation that the Padres could rebuild given their disappointing year, but Padres lead investor Peter Seidler says that won’t be happening. “First, we want to provide an exceptional All-Star experience for everybody. Obviously, as part of that, we hope we have multiple players participating in the All-Star Game, because that will reflect on a strong team,” Seidler told Lin. “But our expectations are going to be high going into the next year as well as 2017 and every year beyond.”
  • Bill Plunkett of the Orange County Register (on Twitter) wonders if the Dodgers need to make a move for a starting pitcher.  In all starts made by Dodgers pitchers besides Clayton Kershaw, Zack Greinke, Brett Anderson, and Brandon McCarthy, the club has a combined 4.53 ERA.
  • In addition to their world-record payroll, the Dodgers are spending in other creative ways to gain an extra advantage, as Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times writes.

Rosenthal On Padres, Rockies, Rollins, Rangers

Here’s the latest from Ken Rosenthal, via a video at FOX Sports:

  • The Cubs and Astros would make sense as teams who could pursue the Padres‘ starting pitching, Rosenthal suggests. The Padres would likely have interest in the Cubs’ collection of young middle infielders, and Astros manager A.J. Hinch used to work for the Padres.
  • The Rockies are open to trading Troy Tulowitzki but haven’t been aggressive in trying to do so, Rosenthal says. Nonetheless, the Rockies could have a huge impact as sellers if they chose, given that they have Tulowitzki, Carlos Gonzalez, John Axford and LaTroy Hawkins.
  • The Dodgers plan to give Jimmy Rollinsa long leash.” Rollins hasn’t hit well this year, but he’s been better this month (.286/.333/.464). Top prospect Corey Seager isn’t exceptional defensively, and if they went with him as a full-time starter, they’d likely feel they had to deal or release Rollins out of respect. That would leave them in a tough spot if Seager didn’t play well.
  • The Rangers could both sell and buy at the deadline, perhaps dealing Yovani Gallardo but acquiring fellow veteran starting pitcher Cole Hamels, who could then join Texas’ rotation for the next several years. They could also pursue less of a headline-grabbing route by simply pursuing relievers, as well as a hitter they could use against left-handed pitching.