The Rockies aren’t planning on moving Carlos Gonzalez or Charlie Blackmon, reports FanRag’s Jon Heyman. While CarGo is a perennial trade candidate, the Rockies’ excellent play since the All-Star break has the team back at .500 and within a stone’s throw of a Wild Card playoff berth. Whether the Rockies will actually remain in the hunt remains to be seen, especially as other clubs in the race move to fortify their rosters, but Colorado has looked impressive as of late and could always extract value in trades of Gonzalez and/or Blackmon in the offseason if the club falls shy this season and wishes to add more pitching to its minor league ranks over the winter.
Multiple organizations have put in calls to the Rockies on southpaw Boone Logan, according to Jon Morosi of MLB.com (links to Twitter). The Blue Jays are among the clubs to have inquired, according to the report.
Logan has had quite an impressive campaign, though he’s best deployed as a pure LOOGY. After two straight season of subpar results in Colorado, Logan has posted a strong 2.48 ERA with 10.6 K/9 against 3.1 BB/9. He has, though, issued quite a few free passes to right-handed hitters in limited exposure.
Still, a premium left-on-left matchup arm would be of great interest around the league. The veteran has always generated whiffs, but he has taken a step forward this year with a 17.0% swinging strike rate that ranks eighth in all of baseball (minimum 20 innings). That’s quite a nice pairing with a 53.8% groundball rate. And Logan has bumped up his fastball velocity a bit over recent years, too, and is sitting right at a 93 mph average.
Notably, Logan is a pure rental, as his three-year deal wraps up this year with a $6.25MM salary. While Colorado has moved up in the standings of late, the club is still looking a long ways up at the two NL West stalwarts — not to mention a tough crop of Wild Card contenders.
As for the Jays’ interest, it’s important to note that the team is surely looking elsewhere as well. Indeed, it appears to be focused on the southpaw side of its pen while also angling to bolster its rotation. Per Morosi, Toronto has had a “high volume” of chatter on lefty relievers. The club’s current depth chart features a struggling Brett Cecil and the just-activated Franklin Morales as southpaw options.
There figure to be many other teams eyeing southpaw relievers — who are always popular this time of year. And there are other pieces that could join Logan on the market. Among those who rated among MLBTR’s top fifty trade candidates are Will Smith of the Brewers, Fernando Abad of the Twins, Zach Duke of the White Sox, and Logan’s teammate Jake McGee. Notably, of those names, only Logan is a pending free agent.
- Cuban third baseman Yanio Perez has drawn interest from the Astros, Padres, Rangers, Reds and Rockies, as per a report from MLB Pipeline (Twitter link). The 20-year-old was ranked by Pipeline as the 10th-best player available in this year’s July 2 international market, and he is known to have impressive raw power, makeup and above-average speed. Perez is subject to international bonus pool guidelines.
The Rockies will call top outfield prospect David Dahl up to the majors tomorrow for the beginning of the team’s series with the Orioles, Nick Groke of the Denver Post reports. In a corresponding move, outfielder Brandon Barnes will be designated for assignment to create a roster spot.
Dahl was the 10th overall pick of the 2012 draft, but his path to the big leagues was slowed by a very serious injury in May 2015. A collision with a teammate in the outfield left Dahl with a concussion and lacerated spleen, and Dahl underwent a splenectomy to remove the damaged body part entirely so he could return to action in 2015, rather than undergo surgery to repair his spleen and face a longer layoff. It appears as though Dahl emerged from that scare relatively unscathed, as he has torn up Double-A and Triple-A pitching to the tune of a combined .314/.394/.569 line and 18 homers over a combined 400 plate appearances.
Entering the season, the 22-year-old Dahl scored impressive rankings on top-100 prospect rankings from Baseball Prospectus (who ranked Dahl 31st), Baseball America (39th), MLB.com (46th) and ESPN.com’s Keith Law (58th). The 2016 BA Prospect Handbook ranked Dahl as the second-best prospect in Colorado’s system, describing him as having “the potential to be a five-tool center fielder.” Dahl already possesses speed, a strong throwing arm and defensive ability in center, and he has quick hands and gap power at the plate, with some scouts believing he has the ability to hit 20-25 homers.
With the Rockies falling well behind in the NL West, it makes sense that Dahl would get an extended look. The timing of the promotion means that Dahl wouldn’t be able to earn enough service time to gain Super Two status if he stays on the MLB roster for the rest of the season, so if he isn’t demoted, the Rockies are on track to control Dahl through the 2022 season. As Groke notes, now that Dahl is in the mix for playing time, it will only intensify rumors that Colorado could create room in the outfield by trading Carlos Gonzalez or Charlie Blackmon. For now, Dahl looks to take over in left field while Gerardo Parra is still on the DL. As Jason Martinez recently wrote in his “Knocking Down The Door” feature for MLBTR, Dahl’s importance to the Rockies’ future means that Parra should probably “be a very expensive fourth outfielder” unless a trade happens.
Barnes, 30, came to Colorado as part of the Dexter Fowler trade package from Houston in December 2013. Barnes has hit .249/.295/.376 over 703 PA with the Rockies while getting extensive time at all three outfield positions.
TODAY: The report on Blackmon “is not accurate,” Nationals GM Mike Rizzo said this morning in an interview with 106.7’s The Sports Junkies (via 106.7’s Pete Medhurst, on Twitter).
YESTERDAY: The Nationals are showing interest in Rockies outfielder Charlie Blackmon, according to Jon Morosi of MLB.com (via Twitter). While it’s not yet clear whether Colorado will deal the center fielder, we heard recently that the club was open to fielding interest on players such as Blackmon and Carlos Gonzalez.
It’s not difficult to see the connection here, as Washington has received marginal production out of center fielders Ben Revere and Michael Taylor. Both are controllable for 2017 — Taylor for much longer — but neither have performed to expectations, leaving the Nats with a unit that is playing at replacement level on the year.
The Nationals recently gave top shortstop prospect Trea Turner some time at center at the Triple-A level, and he is currently on the big league roster, but it doesn’t seem that he’s the first choice at present. Otherwise, the organization seems mostly set in terms of its lineup, with the bullpen representing another key area of need.
Blackmon, who just turned 30, is performing at career-best levels. Even after adjusting for the effects of altitude, his .305/.368/.481 batting line checks in at a 110 wRC+. While his glove has never rated particularly well up the middle, that could be due in part to playing at Coors. Plus, strong baserunning helps to make up any lost value in the field.
As a controllable asset, Blackmon won’t come cheap. He’s playing on a $3.5MM deal this year and is eligible for arbitration for two more seasons to come. Though a hefty raise is surely in the cards, Blackmon will no doubt remain quite affordable for a solid, everyday player.
If it’s easy to see why the Nationals would open talks on Blackmon, it also isn’t tough to guess at what the Rockies might target in return. Colorado has been stockpiling young arms, and could certainly look to further bolster the pitching ranks. Baseball America’s just-released, updated prospect ranking for the Nats includes several notable hurlers. Lucas Giolito is surely unavailable; it’s less clear whether that’s the case with regard to high-upside youngster Reynaldo Lopez, though he is now set to make his big league debut as well. Other names that could hold appeal include Erick Fedde, A.J. Cole, and Austin Voth. It seems fair to note, too, that the addition of a new center fielder could make Taylor expendable; other organizations might like a crack at refining his obvious talent.
- ESPN’s Mark Saxon reports that the Cardinals have “no interest” in trading for a short-term bat (links to Twitter). St. Louis is only interested in acquiring a hitter unless it would be a long-term acquisition. While some may connect the dots and suggest that Carlos Gonzalez fits that bill, to an extent, Saxon adds that top Cardinals officials aren’t as high on Gonzalez as many seem to think they are. Some reports earlier this summer connected the Cards to the Rockies slugger, but Saxon’s report certainly downplays that as a possibility.
- The Yankees will be willing to deal pending free agents Aroldis Chapman and Carlos Beltran if they’re not in serious contention for a playoff spot by the August 1 deadline, Rosenthal says. They do not want to trade Andrew Miller right now, however. It’s also possible they could deal starting pitchers like CC Sabathia, Nathan Eovaldi and Michael Pineda, but they are not in active discussions to sell right now and they could wait to deal members of that trio this offseason, since all are under control in 2017.
- The Marlins would deal Adeiny Hechavarria and replace him at shortstop with Miguel Rojas if they could get a top starter like Chris Archer of the Rays in return, Rosenthal says. From this vantage point, that sounds like a lot to ask for a shortstop who has hit .238/.274/.336 this season (although Hechavarria is a stellar defender), and one would think Hechavarria would have limited value in a deal for an ace, even as part of a package. Rosenthal unsurprisingly notes that the Rays aren’t interested in trading Archer for a package that has Hechavarria as its centerpiece. The Marlins are also very interested in Archer’s fellow Rays starters Jake Odorizzi and Matt Moore, although their weak minor league system poses difficulties in lining up a trade.
- The Rockies don’t seem overly motivated to trade Carlos Gonzalez and have passed on opportunities to do so, Rosenthal says. Gonzalez’s contract runs through 2017, coinciding with the end of GM Jeff Bridich’s deal, and Rosenthal implies it might be in Bridich’s best interest to keep Gonzalez around to increase the Rockies’ chances of being competitive until then.
- The Tigers aren’t likely to make big moves before the deadline, with a large payroll that will limit their flexibility and a number of tough-to-move contracts on the books. They could, however, become a seller if they do especially poorly in the next two weeks, potentially dealing Francisco Rodriguez and/or other relievers.
- Braves GM John Coppolella continues to insist his team will not deal Julio Teheran, Rosenthal says. Coppolella believes Teheran (who is under team control through 2020) can be a key player on the next contending Braves team, although he acknowledges that won’t happen this season.
- The Rockies’ next 16 games might decide whether they hold or sell at the deadline, opines Patrick Saunders of the Denver Post. At 42-48, Colorado sits six games out of a Wild Card position, but it has a chance to inch closer with its next eight matchups coming against the bottom-feeding Braves and Rays. If not, outfielders Carlos Gonzalez and Charlie Blackmon, left-handed starter Jorge De La Rosa and southpaw reliever Boone Logan are among the players the Rockies could ship out, Saunders contends.
- Carlos Gonzalez is perhaps the best player among current trade candidates, but the Rockies don’t feel the need to get out from underneath his contract in the same manner they did with Troy Tulowitzki, so he’s far from a lock to be moved. CarGo is batting an excellent .318/.367/.557 this season, and it’s interesting to note that over the past 365 days, he’s hitting .304/.354/.592 with a hefty 46 homers in 156 games played. His $17MM salary in 2016 and $20MM salary in 2017 are both reasonable sums for that level of production.
- There’s been “no sign so far” that the Rockies and manager Walt Weiss are discussing an extension, per Nick Groke and Patrick Saunders of the Denver Post in their midseason Rockies podcast. Saunders notes that while Weiss is well-liked by his players overall, there are some within the clubhouse that wish he was a bit tougher and demanded more from his team. Weiss’ current contract runs through the end of the 2016 season. Groke is later joined by Benjamin Hochman from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, and the two discuss the possibility of the Rockies and Cardinals matching up on a trade for Charlie Blackmon.