7:09pm: Gonzalez went on-record with Patrick Saunders of the Denver Post to deny that he is interested in being traded by the Rockies. “Nothing is true, because, obviously I haven’t talked to anybody and haven’t said that to anybody. Not my wife or my kids or my mom,” said Gonzalez when asked if he wanted out of Denver. “Whenever I get home, I’m frustrated because maybe I didn’t do well, or we didn’t win the game, but I never complain about it … or say I want to go somewhere else.”
Gonzalez went on to praise the Rockies’ emerging core of young players, mentioning Trevor Story and Jon Gray by name and saying that he wants to be a part of the next contending Rockies club. “I have been here for a lot of bad moments and tough situations, so I want to see the bright (side),” he told Saunders. “I want to be here when that happens.”
4:02pm: Heyman now tweets clarification that Gonzalez is amenable to a trade but hasn’t had a meeting with team officials on the matter. Rockies GM Jeff Bridich denied that a meeting took place when asked by SB Nation’s Chris Cotillo (links to Twitter), adding that he’s never had a strong desire to deal his star outfielder and will be “patient as it pertains to the deadline.”
12:25pm: Rockies outfielder Carlos Gonzalez “expressed an interest” in being dealt in a recent meeting with the Rockies’ front office, Jon Heyman of todaysknuckleball.com reports. Colorado could explore deals for both CarGo and fellow outfielder Charlie Blackmon this summer, per the report.
Gonzalez, 30, is running up a .319/.368/.556 batting line with 18 long balls on the year. While you have to discount that somewhat for his home-field advantage at Coors, there’s little question that he’d be a premium offensive asset on the trade market. With a $17MM salary this year and $20MM due for 2017, Gonzalez isn’t cheap — but he does come with a much more affordable contract than he’d command on the open market. Despite his variety of past injury problems, Gonzalez has been healthy in 2016 and doesn’t come with a hugely lengthy contract commitment.
The team has received similar production from Blackmon, who is hitting .305/.371/.496 with a dozen home runs and eight stolen bases. Though he isn’t running as much as he did last year, and is considered more of an average defensive center fielder than a top-flight glove-man, there’s plenty of value here. That’s all the more true given Blackmon’s reasonable $3.5MM salary and two future years of control. He’d quite likely be the premier center field-capable player available.
It’s worth bearing in mind that the club is far from committed to a selling posture, let alone parting with either or both of these core players. Colorado is on the outskirts of the playoff picture, but Heyman suggests that there’s some encouragement on the team’s ability to compete.
Still, there’s a big gulf separating the Rox from the division-leading Giants, and it seems that Gonzalez isn’t sanguine about the organization’s chances. Per Heyman, he’s increasingly frustrated at the club’s performance and wants to play for a winning club.
Rockies GM Jeff Bridich has already shown a willingness to part with well-loved superstars, as he shipped out shortstop Troy Tulowitzki last summer in a bid to bolster the team’s stock of young pitching. Certainly, both Gonzalez and Blackmon would profile as major assets that should draw top-quality prospects if they follow Tulo out the door.