Colorado Rockies – MLB Trade Rumors 2019-06-20T20:00:40Z WordPress Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Rockies Place Trevor Story On IL]]> 2019-06-20T18:49:06Z 2019-06-20T18:45:26Z 1:45pm: Story is headed to the IL, per a club announcement, with Brendan Rodgers up to replace him on the active roster. The full outlook for the injury remains unknown at this time.

7:34am: Rockies shortstop Trevor Story left the team’s win over the Diamondbacks on Wednesday with a right thumb injury. He’ll undergo an MRI on Thursday, Nick Groke of The Athletic was among those to report.

X-rays on Story’s thumb were negative Wednesday, but as Groke notes, that doesn’t guarantee he’s out of the woods. Despite a negative X-ray on a left thumb injury in August 2016, Story still had to undergo season-ending surgery on account of a torn UCL in the digit. The Rockies weren’t serious contenders at that point, though, whereas they’re in the hunt for their third straight playoff berth this season. After Wednesday’s win, the club sits 39-34 and tied with the Phillies for the National League’s second wild-card spot.

The Rockies’ success in recent years has come thanks in no small part to Story, who exploded on the scene as a big-hitting defensive standout in 2015. The 26-year-old is off to a .294/.360/.547 start this season with a 120 wRC+, 17 home runs, 12 stolen bases and 2.9 fWAR in 328 plate appearances. Story has also appeared in 72 of Colorado’s 73 games in 2019.

The Rockies replaced Story on Wednesday with Pat Valaika. However, the team could recall Brendan Rodgers or Garrett Hampson from Triple-A Albuquerque if it has to put Story on the injured list.

Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Rockies Sign First-Rounder Michael Toglia]]> 2019-06-19T12:20:08Z 2019-06-18T23:19:21Z The Rockies have signed first-round pick Michael Toglia, Patrick Saunders of the Denver Post reports. Toglia’s pick (No. 23) came with a $2.93MM slot value, but the team gave him $2.725MM, per Jim Callis of and Jon Heyman of MLB Network (Twitter links).

The 20-year-old Toglia’s a first baseman from UCLA whom Callis and Jonathan Mayo ranked as the 40th-best prospect available entering the draft. They note the 6-foot-5, switch-hitting Toglia showed “huge raw power from both sides of the plate” during his tenure with the Bruins. However, it’s in question whether the 20-year-old will make enough contact to capitalize on his power going forward.

With Toglia under contract, the Rockies have now inked their top two picks of this year’s draft. They signed second-rounder Aaron Schunk for $1.1MM last week. The club entered the draft with just over $7MM to spend on its choices.

Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Rockies Designate Mike Dunn]]> 2019-06-18T22:25:03Z 2019-06-18T21:52:16Z The Rockies have designated left-handed reliever Mike Dunn for assignment, per a team announcement. His 25-man roster spot will go to infielder Pat Valaika, whom the Rockies recalled from Triple-A Albuquerque.

The 34-year-old Dunn’s DFA will conclude what has been a disastrous stint on Colorado’s 40-man roster for the longtime major leaguer. After Dunn enjoyed a mostly successful run with the Marlins from 2011-16, the Rockies signed him to a three-year, $19MM guarantee heading into the ’17 campaign. Since then, though, Dunn has limped to a 5.93 ERA/5.01 FIP with 8.89 K/9 and 5.51 BB/9 in 85 innings. Last Friday, in what may go down as his final appearance as a Rockie, Dunn allowed four earned runs on four hits (including a homer) in just a third of an inning during a loss to the Padres.

Not only has Dunn failed to produce with the Rockies, but he hasn’t stayed healthy as a member of the club. He sat out a large portion of last season with an AC joint issue that required surgery and missed time this month with an injury in the same area. The Rockies still owe Dunn upward of $4.9MM (including a $1MM buyout for 2020), but it appears they’ll have to eat that money.

Mark Polishuk <![CDATA[Astros, Rockies Had Interest In Edwin Encarnacion]]> 2019-06-17T12:15:02Z 2019-06-17T03:53:21Z Moving as much of Edwin Encarnacion’s salary as possible was the Mariners’ prime incentive in finding a trade partner for the slugger, which is why the Yankees ultimately won the bidding.  Other teams were also checking in with the M’s about Encarnacion, though ultimately weren’t as willing as New York was to cover as much salary,’s Mark Feinsand tweets.  We heard earlier today about the Rays’ interest, and Feinsand reports that the Astros “were also actively involved, with the Rockies in the mix to a lesser extent.”

Encarnacion would certainly have beefed up a first base/DH mix that has been Houston’s only real offensive weak spot this season, as both Yuli Gurriel and Tyler White have posted below-average numbers.  Then again, young Yordan Alvarez’s hot start has created optimism that the Astros could address that DH need from within, and the Astros are seemingly more in need of pitching than they are of another big bat (then again, the same could’ve been said of the Yankees).

In terms of taking on salary, Jason Martinez of Roster Resource has the Astros projected for a luxury tax number of just under $189.5MM, well below the $206MM Competitive Balance Tax threshold.  Since the Yankees ended up adding only $3.4MM in extra luxury tax funds in the Encarnacion trade, on paper it would seem like Houston would certainly have taken on a similar financial obligation and still had enough money left over to acquire pitching without crossing the CBT line.  Of course, it’s possible other factors were part of any Houston/Seattle talks. Perhaps the Mariners wanted more to trade Encarnacion within the AL West; maybe the two sides just couldn’t agree on a suitable prospect to change hands in a deal.

Colorado would’ve been more of a curious fit for Encarnacion, which likely explains their “lesser” degree of interest.  Without a DH spot on offer, the Rockies would have had to play Encarnacion at first base every day, which might have been a tough ask of a 36-year-old who has spent the bulk of his time as a designated hitter over the last nine seasons.  (Encarnacion did start at first base 45 times for the Mariners this year, though still with 19 DH starts to keep him well-rested.)

Adding Encarnacion to first base would have also required a shift back to second base for Daniel Murphy, who has been a decidedly subpar defensive second baseman throughout his entire career.  The Rockies might have been considering whether the fielding dropoff would have been worth the risk, since Murphy’s bat might have at least sparked some type of positive help from the second base spot.  No team in baseball has gotten less production (-1.0 bWAR) than the Rockies out of their second basemen in 2019.

Then again, Murphy has yet to really catch fire at the plate himself, hitting only .278/.324/.463 with five homers over 176 PA, while missing four weeks with a fractured finger.  As the Rockies look towards the trade deadline, the easier solution to their second base situation might be to simply acquire an actual second baseman as an upgrade over the Ryan McMahon/Brendan Rodgers/Garrett Hampson mix, rather than move Murphy over and obtaining a new first baseman.

Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Rockies Release Jorge De La Rosa]]> 2019-06-15T03:34:47Z 2019-06-15T02:58:49Z The Rockies have released veteran left-hander Jorge De La Rosa, Thomas Harding of relays (Andersen Pickard of MLB Daily Dish first reported the news). De La Rosa had been with the club since it signed him to a minor league pact April 5, his 38th birthday, though an oblique injury prevented him from taking the mound.

This unceremoniously ends De La Rosa’s second go-around as a member of the Colorado organization, with which he has spent the majority of his career. The Rockies first acquired De La Rosa from the Royals in a 2008 trade, and he went on to become one of the most successful starters in franchise history. From 2008-16, an 1,141 1/3-inning span, De La Rosa overcame hitter-friendly Coors Field to post a 4.35 ERA/4.24 FIP with 7.77 K/9, 3.79 BB/9 and a 48.1 percent groundball rate.

After his first Rockies stint ended, De La Rosa joined the Diamondbacks in 2017, lasting one-plus season in Arizona’s bullpen before the team released him last August. De La Rosa quickly caught on with the Cubs and pitched well in relief with them, though his performance didn’t persuade Chicago or any other team to give him a guaranteed deal last offseason. Between the D-backs and Cubs over the previous two years, he combined for a 3.77 ERA/4.47 FIP with typical strikeout, walk and groundball numbers (7.71 K/9, 4.02 BB/9, 48.2 GB%).

Steve Adams <![CDATA[Minor MLB Transactions: 6/12/19]]> 2019-06-12T18:50:40Z 2019-06-12T18:50:40Z Here are Wednesday’s minor moves from around the league…

  • The Rockies announced that lefty Chris Rusin cleared waivers after being designated for assignment last week. He’s been sent outright to Triple-A. As a player with more than three years of MLB service, Rusin has the right to reject the assignment in favor of free agency, but because he has fewer than five years of service, doing so would mean forfeiting the remainder of this year’s $1.69MM salary. It’s likely that Rusin, who struggled to a 6.09 ERA in 54 2/3 innings a year ago and allowed four runs in his lone MLB frame in 2019, will indeed head to Triple-A Albuquerque and hope for another look later this season. Recent struggles notwithstanding, Rusin was a valuable member of the Colorado staff in 2016-17 when he turned in a combined 169 1/3 frames of 3.19 ERA ball with averages of 7.4 K/9 and 2.2 BB/9.
Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Rockies Sign Second-Rounder Aaron Schunk]]> 2019-06-12T06:21:59Z 2019-06-12T06:21:59Z
  • The Rockies announced the signings of several picks, including second-round infielder Aaron Schunk. The 62nd pick, Schunk received the full slot value of $1.1MM, Callis reports. Callis and Mayo, who had Schunk 92nd in his class, write that the Georgia Bulldog could develop into a .270/20-HR hitter and a quality third baseman in the pros.
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    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Rockies Place Seunghwan Oh On IL, Select Philip Diehl]]> 2019-06-10T21:24:59Z 2019-06-10T21:08:43Z The Rockies have placed righty Seunghwan Oh on the 10-day injured list with a left abdominal strain.’s Thomas Harding (via Twitter) reported the move, which is retroactive to June 7th.

    Taking the active roster spot is lefty Phillip Diehl. His contract was selected to the 40-man roster.

    Oh has not pitched since May 30th, making for quite a lengthy stretch of inactivity for a player on the active roster. He has struggled quite a bit to open the season, working to a 9.33 ERA in 18 1/3 innings with 7.9 K/9 and 2.9 K/9. Opposing hitters haven’t struggled to make good contact, with 29 total hits and six long balls.

    Diehl, 24, came to the Rox in a pre-season swap with the Yankees. He has compiled 29 strikeouts against eight walks in 27 1/3 upper-minors frames this year. Diehl owns a 2.30 cumulative ERA, though that mark has risen a fair bit since he was promoted to Triple-A following 13 1/3 scoreless frames at Double-A.

    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Rockies Activate Blackmon & Davis, Designate Chris Rusin For Assignment]]> 2019-06-07T22:18:13Z 2019-06-07T20:19:05Z The Rockies have activated outfielder Charlie Blackmon and closer Wade Davis from the injured list, the club announced. Lefty Chris Rusin was designated for assignment to create one roster opening, with utilityman Garrett Hampson optioned for another.

    The Colorado club will obviously be glad to welcome back two of its most-established veteran players. Neither required a lengthy absence, but any time away is more than the Rockies can afford. A recent run has the team three games over .500, but it’s still staring at a yawning ten-game chasm with the division-leading Dodgers on the other side.

    Rusin only just returned to the majors after opening the year on the IL with back issues. He has not looked great. He was bombed in his first two outings, surrendering four earned runs on five hits while recording only three outs. And he’s already coming off of a messy 2018 effort in which he was torched for a 6.09 ERA.

    Still, the peripherals suggested better last year. And Rusin was a strong performer in 2017, when he threw 85 innings of 2.65 ERA ball. Of course, he not only managed a typically strong 58.5% groundball rate that year but also produced a career-best 12.7% swinging-strike rate. He hasn’t come close before or since. Thus far in 2019, Rusin’s velocity is down and he hasn’t generated grounders (in the majors and during his rehab assignment).

    The timing may feel a bit rushed at first glance, particularly for a player who is earning $1,687,500 (with one more year of arbitration control remaining). It makes more sense when you tabulate Rusin’s service time. He entered the season with 4.092 years on the ticker; with 71 more accrued to this point, he’s sitting just nine days shy of reaching five full years of service. At that point, he’d be able to reject an outright assignment without sacrificing the remainder of his salary. By making the move now, the Rockies can either shed the remaining obligation (if he’s claimed or rejects an assignment) or stash Rusin at Triple-A and try to work out the kinks.

    Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Charlie Blackmon Likely To Return Friday]]> 2019-06-07T06:35:21Z 2019-06-07T06:35:21Z The Rockies will activate outfielder Charlie Blackmon from the 10-day injured list Friday, Kyle Newman of the Denver Post suggests. Meanwhile, the Rockies lost left-handed reliever Mike Dunn to the 10-day IL on Thursday (retroactive to June 3) because of left AC joint inflammation and transferred fellow southpaw Harrison Musgrave to the 60-day IL, per a team announcement. Musgrave’s 40-man spot went to righty Peter Lambert, who shut down the Cubs in a 3-1 win in his major league debut.

    Although Blackmon’s one of their most valuable players, the Rockies (32-29) ripped off 10 wins in 15 games as he sat out with a right calf strain. Colorado’s just half a game behind a wild-card spot thanks to that impressive run, and Blackmon’s return should help the team’s cause as it pushes for a third straight playoff berth. The 32-year-old Blackmon slashed .300/.356/.565 (126 wRC+) with 10 home runs in 219 plate appearances before landing on the shelf.

    The IL placement for Dunn, 34, is the latest negative development in a long line of them since he joined the Rockies on an ill-fated contract going into the 2017 campaign. The injury’s all the more troubling given that Dunn missed most of last season with an AC joint issue that required surgery in September.

    Now in the last season of his three-year, $19MM deal, Dunn has pitched to a 5.19 ERA/4.83 FIP in 17 1/3 innings. Overall as a Rockie, Dunn has thrown 84 2/3 frames and logged a 5.53 ERA/4.88 FIP with 8.82 K/9, 5.53 BB/9 and a 35 percent groundball rate.

    Mark Polishuk <![CDATA[Rockies To Promote Peter Lambert]]> 2019-06-05T21:34:22Z 2019-06-05T21:34:22Z The Rockies will promote Peter Lambert from Triple-A in time for the 22-year-old right-hander to start tomorrow’s game against the Cubs, according to several reports.  The Athletic’s Nick Groke tweets that Lambert is already at Wrigley Field today in preparation for his upcoming Major League debut.

    A second-round pick for the Rockies (44th overall) in the 2015 draft, Lambert has a 3.92 ERA, 7.5 K/9, and 3.61 K/BB over 508 professional innings.  Those numbers include a troubling 5.07 ERA in 60 1/3 Triple-A frames this season, though an inflated 1.5 HR/9 in the hitter-friendly Pacific Coast League could be an explanation.

    Prior to the season,’s Keith Law (subscription required) ranked Lambert as the 92nd-best prospect in baseball, describing the righty as owning a repeatable delivery and a quality four-pitch mix, even if nothing in Lambert’s arsenal is considered a true plus pitch.  Lambert’s fastball is in the 94-95mph range, while he has generated consistently good ground-ball rates of close to 50% throughout his minor league career.

    Lambert will get his chance in a Rockies rotation that has struggled to match its strong results from last season, as German Marquez and Jon Gray have been Colorado’s only consistently good starters.  As of sign how quickly things have changed from 2018 to 2019 for the Rockies’ staff, Lambert will take the place of Kyle Freeland, a fourth-place finisher in NL Cy Young voting last season who was sent down to Triple-A last week after scuffling badly in his first 12 outings this year.

    Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Charlie Blackmon Nearing Rehab Assignment]]> 2019-06-05T04:04:57Z 2019-06-05T04:04:57Z
  • Rockies outfielder Charlie Blackmon could begin a rehab assignment Wednesday, per Thomas Harding of Blackmon last played May 23 because of a right calf problem. Even though he’s one of their cornerstones, the Rockies have stormed to a 9-2 record without Blackmon.
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    Mark Polishuk <![CDATA[Injury Updates: Blackmon, Davis]]> 2019-06-03T01:01:57Z 2019-06-03T01:01:57Z
  • Charlie Blackmon is eligible to come off the IL on Tuesday, though Rockies manager Bud Black told reporters (including Patrick Saunders of the Denver Post) that Blackmon will remain out of action longer than the 10-day minimum.  Blackmon took batting practice and shagged some fly balls on Sunday, though he might still need a rehab stint in the minors.  Blackmon was hitting .300/.356/.565 at the time of his injury, though the Rockies have surprisingly not missed his bat — Colorado has a 9-1 record in Blackmon’s absence.  “Now that they’ve got me out of there, we’re taking off,” the outfielder joked.
  • In other Rockies injury news, Black said closer Wade Davis could also pitch in a minor league rehab game or a simulated game before returning to the active roster.  Davis threw a bullpen session today, so the right-hander looks to on pace for a relatively quick recovery from a left oblique strain that IL’ed him on May 22.
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    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Rockies Option Kyle Freeland]]> 2019-05-31T21:46:45Z 2019-05-31T21:10:26Z The Rockies have optioned down struggling lefty Kyle Freeland, per a team announcement. Also headed to Triple-A is outfielder Yonathan Daza, with the team bringing hurlers Chris Rusin and Jesus Tinoco up to the active roster.

    It’s a rather stunning move as regards Freeland, who finished fourth in the National League Cy Young voting last year. While it is no doubt hard to drop such a player down, the club could no longer look past his more recent issues.

    Through a dozen starts this year, Freeland has managed only a 7.13 ERA in 59 1/3 innings. Though he’s still generating similar numbers of strikeouts (7.4 K/9) and walks (3.8 BB/9) to his 2018 showing, opposing hitters have teed up a league-high 16 long balls against him.

    Freeland never seemed particularly likely to repeat his surprising sophomore campaign, as ERA estimators took a much dimmer view of his effort than his 2.85 ERA suggested. But the 26-year-old seemed likely to be a quality rotation piece for years to come.

    There’s no glaringly obvious explanation for the downturn. While he has bumped up his swinging-strike rate a bit (9.0% to 10.6%), Freeland has given up much better contact when it has been made. Batters have doubled their barrel rate (to 10.7%) and jumped to 35.5% hard contact. Freeland has been abused in particular at Coors Field (9.31 ERA), the complete opposite from 2018 (2.40 ERA). He’s sitting at a .287 BABIP-against, right where he was last year (.285). There has been a change in sequencing fortunes, as Freeland has dropped to a 62.0% strand rate after sitting at 82.8% in 2018.

    Freeland, the former eighth-overall draft pick, had accrued two full seasons of MLB service entering the present campaign. He’ll need to make it back to the majors in 2019 in order to reach arbitration as a Super Two or 3+ service-class player next fall. The team had indicated some pre-season interest in a long-term deal, though talks never seemed to get going in earnest and surely won’t now unless and until Freeland gets back on track.

    Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Rockies Place Charlie Blackmon On Injured List]]> 2019-05-27T16:25:56Z 2019-05-27T16:12:20Z The Rockies have placed outfielder Charlie Blackmon on the 10-day injured list, Patrick Saunders of the Denver Post reports. Blackmon hasn’t played since May 23 because of a right calf problem. His roster spot is going to outfielder Yonathan Daza, whom the team called up from Triple-A Albuquerque.

    After back-to-back playoff seasons, the Rockies have limped to a 24-27 record this year, but Blackmon hasn’t been part of the problem. As usual, Blackmon has teamed with third baseman Nolan Arenado and shortstop Trevor Story to comprise the Rockies’ three best hitters. The 32-year-old Blackmon has slashed .300/.356/.565 (126 wRC+) with 10 home runs and the second-best ISO of his career (.265) through 219 plate appearances.

    Blackmon aside, the Rockies’ outfield has gotten encouraging production from David Dahl and Raimel Tapia this year. And while Ian Desmond’s numbers leave something to be desired for the third straight season, he has been on fire of late. That trio will have to continue stepping up for however much time Blackmon misses.