In addressing the three biggest needs for the Rockies heading into the offseason, I advocated that the team trade away Carlos Gonzalez and his hefty $20MM salary. You can read the full reasoning here, but it boils down to the fact that he’s expensive and isn’t as necessary to the organization given its other left-handed-hitting options and many other needs. The emergence of David Dahl gives the Rox three southpaw-swinging outfielders, and it’s probably sub-optimal to have so many resources tied up in such players.
Still, there’s an argument to be made that Colorado ought instead to pursue deals involving another player. Charlie Blackmon’s monster 2016 season and two affordable years of control make him a highly appealing piece, especially with numerous rival organizations in the market for a center fielder. Of course, he’s also the Rockies’ primary option up the middle, though there are some alternative strategies.
The club could conceivably pair Gerardo Parra with a cheaper right-handed-hitting bat in center. Free agents such as Rajai Davis, Austin Jackson, Peter Bourjos, and Drew Stubbs should all be available on short-term deals. If trusting Parra up the middle isn’t desirable, Jon Jay or Michael Bourn could fill that role. Colorado could even provide a highly appealing bounceback locale for Carlos Gomez, though he’ll likely cost nearly as much as Gonzalez.
Parra himself could also be moved, though that would involve eating some salary. The Rockies owe him another $19.5MM over two years, including the buyout on a 2019 option. That’s a reasonable-enough commitment for the Parra of old, but he posted a 65 OPS+ in an injury-marred 2016 — which followed up a disappointing second-half run with the Orioles in 2015.
Dahl, meanwhile, only debuted last year, and seems much more likely to represent a foundational piece in Colorado than trade fodder. He spent most of his time in the minors in center field, and appeared a few times there last year, so could potentially step in for Blackmon rather than occupying a corner spot. Certainly, trading him now wouldn’t make a whole lot of sense for a team with limited willingness to spend. His development, following numerous other success stories on the position player side, demonstrates that the Rockies may be well-situated to ship out position players who are closer to free agency in exchange for pitching, as they did last year with Corey Dickerson. The team has struggled to attract free agent arms (or, at least in the past, to develop their own) even as they churn out quality bats.
Dealing Gonzalez or Blackmon would hold out the promise not only of opening some salary, but also of bringing back some interesting pieces in return. The Rockies are always hunting for pitching, of course. Even if the team is in better shape in the rotation than it has been in years, there’s room to add there. And the bullpen remains an area of concern. Plus, Colorado has needs behind the plate and at first base that could be addressed.
So, let’s put it to a vote … should the Rockies pursue a trade of an outfielder, and if so which one? (Link for mobile users.)
Jon Jay is a lefty not a switch hitter.
Jon Jay switch hitter?
Yeah why did you think Jon Jay was a switch hitter ? That part should be remove all together
I make things up from time to time just to make sure ya’ll are paying attention.
This is the reason I come to this website right here.
Considering CarGo has yet to be traded year after year I’m going to say Blackmon. They could get some nice pitching in return for either though. Gray, Anderson and Chatwood are all promising, more so the first two, but all had WAR above 2. If they get a solid pitcher in a trade they could be a sleeper team if those pitchers continue improving.
It makes sense that they do. It’s too bad that it’s come to this, I really like their offense, it’s explosive. But they gotta do what they gotta do
It’s time to trade CarGo to the Blue Jays.
What’s the price tag for a 2 WAR 108 wRC+ 31 year old outfielder on a 1 yr/$20m contract?
Reese McGuire and TJ Zeuch
Bad deal for the jays
ZOMG JAY JON ISN’T AN AMBIDEXTROUS SWINGER!?!!!!!???
CarGo for Osuna and Pillar?
Rockies should certainly ask for a package like that…
Someone is smoking some bad s**t! No way the Jays would do that deal.
They definely would not, but some team will overpay based on name value and history.
Maybe an AL team might be desperate by using him occasionally at DH to keep him fresh. Even then, for 21 M for 1 year that seems unlikely when there are better options out there, cheaper, younger and more years of control.
There’s alot of teams that need a dh or corner outfielder he could have some serious teams not interested in long term commitments and cheaper aav than a Bautista, cespedes or encarnacion. Idk if desperate is the right word he should have decent trade value
The market is overwhelmed with power-hitting DH/corner outfield types.
And very few will come as expensive as him. Cespedes, Encarnacion, Trumbo, and maybe Bautista will come at a steeper cost. But you also have Moss, Morales, Reddick, Lind, and Moreland in free agency.
And there are plenty of other potential trade options – Markakis, Braun, Valencia, Carter, Puig, and if the Sox decide to sell, Melky, Frazier, Abreu,
There’s going to be no interest at all for CarGo unless the majority of his salary is eaten. His stat line looks good, but he slashed .276/.324/.420 at ballparks with normal elevation. That’s just slightly better than league average, and below average for his position, especially if a team needs a DH. Add in his now below-average defense and long injury history, nobody is going to want to pay $5 million for him, let alone $20 million.
His home away splits might be bad but to a team like Texas, Baltimore or new york they might not worry about it that much and again 1 year a team might want to sure up offensively rather than wait for the market to develop and even with those home/road splits he’s Better than most of the guys not in that first tier. Also trade cost might not be as much of an issue with the opportunity to submit a qo the following season
Trade everyone who isn’t controllable beyond 2017.
Great poll, next time you should make it an option to trade both (and maybe grab some free agent in a small deal)
just like i did on the rockies outlook piece, i’ll ask why blackmon is the rockies’ “only option up the middle” when dahl came up through the minors as a CF and from all i’ve read is generally well-regarded there, possibly more so than blackmon
for example, from this very website, back when he was called up:
“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…”
as far as i know dahl was only put in LF in the majors because blackmon was the vet incumbent in CF
Hmmm I wasn’t aware of that, but it’s a good point. I’ll work that in.
No way Jays move Osuna and Pillar for Gonzalez. Lmao. You couldn’t get one of them for him
Considering anyone hits at Coors, just trade all three for a top 5 pitcher.
Cargo is a Coor field product, I think he a 260/270 hitter out of Coors, Plus his range in outfield is not what it was 10 Years Ago ( That’s everybody thought )
Trade him while he has a Some Value for a potential Number two young Pitcher, after this year you won’t be able to get bag of Balls for him !
Cargo to the Astros for Paulino!
I really want CarGo, but don’t want to trade a top pitching prospect.
A good trade is one that helps both teams!
If he’s a coors field product with declining range, why would a team give up a young potential #2 pitcher for him? After this year he will be a free agent….
That’s what a starting outfielder of his caliber would cost, and one year is good because it’s not a long term commitment. It helps the Astros have a chance of going to the world series.
1 year of a 1.9 win 20 million dollar outfielder costs a young potential #2 pitcher? In what universe?
“A starting outfielder of his caliber”
So a 30+ year old corner outfielder who plays below average defense, has a long history of injuries, is a below average hitter (.276/.324/.420) outside of Denver, and is owed $21 million next season…
I’m dying to see what the cost is for an outfielder who’s actually good!
Gonzalez can produce anywhere. I worry that the others won’t be able to fit in for other organizations, and I’m sure other GMs think the same. Gonzalez will get Colorado 1 top tier prospect and 2 more second tier prospects. The Rockies might have to eat some salary, but they will save cash anyways. Just my opinion.
He MASHES at Coors…a .330 lifetime average, about 70 points lower everywhere else. He has a big contract for only one year. How is he attractive for other teams and why would you give up a top prospect for a guy who doesn’t hit all that well anywhere but in Denver? Rocks may as well keep him one more year.
You claimed that “Gonzalez can produce anywhere”. After fact-checking that statement, we have found that your statement is untrue and CarGo sucks outside of Denver.
2016 Home vs. Away Splits
BA: .320 vs. .276
OBP: .375 vs .324
SLG: .591 vs. .420
AB/HR: 16.17 vs. 42.86
AB/K: 5.60 vs. 3.81.
Career Home vs. Away Splits
BA: .323 vs. .258
OBP: .381 vs. .312
SLG: .602 vs. .438
AB/HR: 16.10 vs. 21.57
AB/K: 4.71 vs. 3.68
Colorado needs pitching desperately and no quality pitcher will sign with Colorado via Free Agency. They need to go to the trade market if they want an ace-like pitcher.
what team is so pitching rich they can give up an ace? especially trade him for CarGo—an outfielder who has not proved he can be a decent hitter away from Coors!
I would prefer a Blackmon trade. He should get a better return. Also, this was kind of a breakout year for him, so you never know if it was a fluke. CarGo is almost always performing well when he is healthy, so he is more dependable in my mind. Trading Blackmon would also make room for Tapia, who I would give a shot at starting in center. Much better fielder and is a true leadoff hitter, unlike Blackmon.
Rangers have the guys, and the need, for a Blackmon trade. Don’t see them resigning both Desmond and Gomez. I would assume the Rockies would ask for Rangers #1 Yohander Mendez as a starting point.
Jeff, I really enjoy reading your blogs since they always seem to bring out the most glaring comments similar to what I’m indicating in the following read:
I’ve read someones opinion several days ago that brought to my attention that if the Red Sox traded this off season Jackie Bradley Jr. plus prospects for Sale they could replace him with Carlos Gonzalez. I’m not to sure if the Red Sox would gamble for just one year of him at 21 M (Salary plus 1 M assignment bonus if traded) unless they offer the Rockies for example Travis Shaw, Bryce Brentz and Heath Hembree whom together accumulate a War=2.27 versus Gonzalez War=2.2 for 2016 and also include Rusney Castillo to help offset half of his salary in 2017. At least the Rockies would get 2 right handed above average defensive outfielders who could improve their confidence by a change of scenario and taking advantage in hitting in Colorado and use Shaw as a power left-hand hitter to help platoon with Arenado and Cardullo at the 2 corners infield spots. As for Hembree he’s no slouch and likes pitching in the NL since his days in San Francisco when they viewed him as a future closer in their organization. All these guys are controlable through 2021 and 22. Trades like this will be suggested continuously during this off season.
I’d take a flier on Parra, The A’s need a left handed outfielder. Hahn and Lowrie for Parra?
I think there’s too much value in keeping their franchise player (that’s literal, financial value in CarGo). 1) he helps with ticket sales and merch sales 2) I feel they’d have to eat a lot of salary to move him. So, even if he’s overpriced in a purely “on the field” sense, his salary helps pay for itself in other avenues. The best way to recoup young players without dealing with dead salary commitments would be a Blackmon trade in my book.
Ticket sales? 90% of people don’t go to colors field to watch baseball. Amazing Colorado weather, right in the heart of Lodo, this is a social drinking event in Denver.
I could see Cargo being an alternative to teams that don’t want to pay Bautista or Encarnacíon the years they will surely be seeking.
I wouldn’t mind Cargo in Boston. They could play him in LF and also DH him to keep his legs fresh.
I wonder if a package built around Eduardo Rodriguez and prospects could get it done?
I agree, Cargo would be a good alternative to Cespedes, Bautista, and EE, and he is only for one year. A contending team like the Mets, Giants, Dodgers, O;s, Jays, and Astros might be a fit if the Rockies can get a good young pitcher.
Why would an offer of Jackie Bradley Jr. and prospects could not get Sale and an Eduardo Rodriguez plus prospects would be equal to one year of Carlos Gonzalez at 21 M alone? Does not make sense to anyone no matter which side your on. Don’t forget that Eduardo alone was good enough to get Miller for the Orioles when he was already great for the Red Sox in 2014. Rodriguez is a future top of the rotation pitcher and those players have in today’s market a high value. Look what Arizona paid for Shelby Miller last year. I doubt that the Red Sox would even consider a trade for Blackmon who is valued much more than Cargo.
That’d be an awful trade for Boston. There’s a lot of uncertainty in the rotation (can Wright repeat this year? Is Porcello really this good? Can Pomeranz stay healthy and productive?) – the last thing they need to do is trade one of the starters for an outfielder.
And apart from that, CarGo is nowhere close to as valuable as E-Rod.
We’re talking about a 30+ year old outfielder with a long history of injuries. He plays below average defense and no longer has the speed he once had. He’s owed $21 million. And on top of that, he is and always has been awful outside of Coors Field. This season, he slashed .320/.375/.591 with 16.17 AB/HR at home, but hit .276/.324/.420 with 42.86 AB/HR everywhere else.
Through his entire career, he’s hit .323/.381/.602 at home and .258/.312/.438 away.
I wouldn’t even consider an offer unless the Rockies eat half of his salary. And even then, the best offer I give is someone like Joe Kelly.
Just an idea why not explore a trade of both cargo and Blackman. I know that’s alot of turnover in the outfield but it’d free up space with moving cargo and probably get something of value plus the salary relief to sign trumbo (wishful thinking would like to see how many Homer’s he hits at coors) Blackman the obvious reason being the return should be nice. Parra Idk with the salary commitments is he worth anything probably not probably better off keeping him.
As a Jays fan, I’m hoping Colorado will trade Blackmon north of the border. I think his high OBP plus the fact that he’s a lefty should put him on TO’s radar. He would require a serious return. Maybe Stroman? I realize this would open another hole on the BJ roster, but I’m terrified the “Stro-show” is really just a Tom (Flash) Gordon remake. Could Toronto ask for more than just Blackmon to trade Stroman? A long winded vote for Blackmon being dealt. lol.
Like Nick4747 suggested, maybe trade both in same deal. Could Toronto absorb both Blackmon and CarGo? Hmmmm. I can’t decide if acquiring both would raise or lower the return for Colorado.
My goodness were you tapping into my buddy and I’s convo last night. I said I’d do a Blackmon for Stroman deal straight across. This does thin the depth on the staff I’m aware but I feel they need to sign either a swingman or long reliever with starter potential anyways. You then let Bautista walk. I also highly doubt the Shapiro staff wants to trade many prospects when the farm is a bit barren.
If I were the Royals I’d gladly give up Zimmer for Cargo, of course it would take a few other pieces maybe Bonifacio and a couple AA pitchers
Trade Blackmon to stl for pitching and then sign Gomez
It’s time to trade cargo, but as a Cards fan, I would prefer Blackmon 🙂
Southpaw swinging? http://www.thefreedictionary.com/southpaw
The Rockies should have traded an outfielder two or three years ago. They still should but won’t.
I never thought Parra was a good fit for Rockies. The thing about Parra is he’s up and down. He’ll follow a good year or two with a couple of bad years, then bounce back and be good for a while and then revert back. He was movable because his contract was never prohibitive. Now though unless the Rockies take an equally dubious contract back, I don’t see how they can move Parra.
A logical move might be to send Parra back to the Brewers, where he had success, and could fill role as 4th OF, much needed LH bat and occasional platoon partner at 1B. In return the Brewers would send Colorado Matt Garza. Garza is owed $12,5 million for 2017 with a team option for 2018 for just $5 million assuming he doesn’t hit his vesting option goals. Those are pretty even numbers overall.