Rockies owner Dick Monfort recently explored several topics relating to the club’s trade deadline plans with Patrick Saunders of the Denver Post (read more here and here). Among other things, Monfort said that the club was hesitant not only to deal away stars Troy Tulowitzki and Carlos Gonzalez, but also solid veterans Michael Cuddyer and Jorge De La Rosa.
Here’s the latest:
- De La Rosa has generated interest from multiple clubs, Troy Renck of the Denver Post reports on Twitter. But the club is not interested in dealing him unless the return is a “young impact starter,” according to Jayston Stark of ESPN.com (via Twitter). As Stark notes, that seems rather unlikely.
- From the analytical side of things, Grant Brisbee of SB Nation writes that the Rockies would be foolish to deal Tulowitzki unless an exceptional offer somehow presents itself. On the other hand, Dave Cameron of Fangraphs argues that De La Rosa is just not that good and should be dealt, noting that the club’s apparent assessment of his value does not jive with his performance.
- Tulowitzki met recently with top team officials, giving them what Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com terms a “subtle blessing” to deal him. The star shortstop indicated that, while he enjoys playing for the Rockies and hopes to continue to do so, he would be open to being moved to a contending ballclub. But that does not mean Tulowitzki is likely to be dealt; quite the contrary, in fact. One Rockies source told Heyman he saw “no chance” of a deal, with ownership concerned with losing fans by dealing the main gate attraction off of a losing team. Ultimately, says Heyman, it may take an outright trade request from Tulo to make a deal happen; if nothing else, Monfort would want him to bless any specific deal before pulling the trigger.
- The Rockies are indeed unlikely to deal the still-rehabbing Cuddyer, reports Heyman, with the club hoping instead to bring him back next year. Cuddyer, 35, is set to reach free agency at the end of the season. He said recently that no extension talks had occurred, but that he would be open to them. Of course, as Heyman notes, the club could always deal him and look to bring him back as a free agent. But, he writes, the club values his presence enough that it does not believe the possible return would be worthwhile.
- Meanwhile, in spite of Monfort’s statement, the Orioles are taking a hard look at the lefty De La Rosa, reports Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun. The 33-year-old has not followed up on his strong 2013, but was signed by current O’s executive vice president Dan Duquette when he was the GM of the Red Sox. De La Rosa, like Cuddyer, is set to hit the open market after the season.
- If those four players are truly off the table, it remains a bit of a mystery what Colorado may actually look to sell at the deadline. While Monfort protests that the team could still claw its way back into the race, that seems extraordinarily unlikely. Presumably — and this is my speculation — players like outfielders Drew Stubbs and Brandon Barnes, infielder Josh Rutledge, and a few relievers could be available. The bigger question, though, is whether the team would move first baseman Justin Morneau, who has enjoyed something of a renaissance at altitude.