Rockies’ shortstop Trevor Story is “confused” after not being traded before today’s deadline, according to Patrick Saunders of The Denver Post. “I don’t have really anything good to say about the situation and how it unfolded,” Story says.
Story has been often mentioned as a logical trade candidate, given the fact that he’s a pending free agent on a non-competitive club. Even here at MLBTR, Steve Adams placed Story 7th on a list of top trade candidates just a few days ago, noting that it was unlikely the club would hang onto him, though admitting there was a slight chance of the club hanging onto the slugger and making him a qualifying offer at year’s end. That appears to have been the thinking in the Colorado front office.
“With what we were offered, we thought the (competitive balance) pick was better suited for us and we could have Trevor on our team for another two months,” general manager Bill Schmidt said. The White Sox, Rays and Blue Jays apparently made offers that didn’t match up to that draft pick, at least in the estimation of Schmidt and his team.
Perhaps the offer were somewhat dulled by Story’s subpar season. His wRC+ of 84 is well below his marks over the past three years, which all ranged between 117 and 128. But given that his strikeout and walk rates are in line with previous years and his BABIP is way down, some teams surely could have believed that regression was due. Regardless, Story will remain a Rockie for two more months, with his seeming frustration with management not boding well for their chances at re-signing him in free agency.
Jon Gray, another impending free agent, also remains a member of the club after the deadline. Saunders notes that Gray “wants to stay in Colorado” and the club has “begun preliminary talks about a new contract with him.” It will be interesting to see if such talks are able to come to fruition. Gray is having an excellent season, with his current 3.67 ERA tied for a career-best, especially impressive in the thin Colorado air. Normally, it might be tough to get a player to sign an extension when he’s so close to free agency and enjoying a solid platform year, although Gray has quite recently expressed interest in remaining in Colorado long term.
That desire comes despite the fact that the Rockies are at least 15 games behind each of the Giants, Dodgers and Padres. All three of those teams seem to have enough talent and resources to be well-positioned to continue playing at high levels into the future. With the already-struggling Rockies poised to lose a talent like Story, and perhaps Gray as well, it’s hard to envision them gaining so much ground on their competitors.