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No, the Colorado Rockies shouldn’t trade Troy Tulowitzki. Let’s be clear about that.
While the Rockies were winning their second consecutive game against the Atlanta Braves 5-3, the second sellout crowd was forced to wait through a rain delay–for the fireworks. The Rockies won a game with two minor league call-ups, Gonzalez German and journeyman Aaron Laffey.
The game was a good win for the Rockies, with Carlos Gonzalez crushing a home run off of All-Star Shelby Miller, Nolan Arenado contributing an RBI double, Charlie Blackmon logging two hits and a walk and DJ LeMahieu showing why he is an All-Star.
While the win should be exciting to Rockies fans, the reality is, Friday night’s win doesn’t mean a single thing in the long run for the Rockies. The season is clearly going nowhere, and wins and losses are just a number, even before the All-Star break. It may sound negative, but the remainder of the Rockies season is about figuring out how to get better and be competitive in 2016. It is about giving the prospects more time to prove whether or not they can actually contribute at the big league level.
With that in mind, the Rockies should be open to making big moves as the trade deadline approaches. Fans don’t like thinking about moving some of their favorite players, but in the long run, if the current players on the team can be sold at a high price for several prospects that will help make the transition and rebuilding happen just a little quicker.
The media in Denver is quick to make the easy suggestions. They are quick to say that trading Troy Tulowitzki and Carlos Gonzalez. That, frankly, is lazy journalism. The reality is, those types of trades happen so rarely, especially when the big name player in the trade isn’t nearing free agency at the end of the season. When big names get traded at the deadline, it generally comes with the idea that the trading team isn’t going to be able to re-sign that player.
with that in mind, the Rockies should be extremely aggressive at the deadline. One reason Dan O’Dowd failed as general manager is because he put all of his eggs in one basket. The Rockies never signed big name free agents, so they couldn’t bridge the gap for prospects with Major League ready players. The Rockies never made trades at the deadline, so they were never able to stock the high level of the minor leagues. They specifically relied on the draft to fill their big league roster. Because of that fact, the Rockies essentially were operating on a “cross your fingers and hope for the best” model.
The Rockies don’t need to trade their cornerstones, but they should be very open to the idea of trading guys like Charlie Blackmon, DJ LeMahieu, Nick Hundley, John Axford, and Wilin Rosario to name just a few.
If the Rockies are willing to trade those guys, they might be able to find someone who is willing to overpay for a player that they think will get them over the top right away. If a team believes that adding a catcher like Hundley to their roster will help their pitching staff win a few more games, that team might be willing to part with a decent Double-A prospect or two.
Trading a guy like Blackmon might be a tough pill for fans to swallow, but the problem is, fans have to think with their heads and not their hearts. Blackmon is a fun guy. He is also a really good player who certainly adds a positive dynamic to the team. However, logic says that he is replaceable. He isn’t a Nolan Arenado type, who losing would be felt immediately. Losing Blackmon would certainly hurt the Rockies, but in the short term, losing a few more games in 2015 really doesn’t matter.
The same goes for many of the other Rockies players. If a team is willing to overpay for them, it will help stock the farm system and provide more depth for the club to pick from in the future.
The Rockies are in serious need of help. They need to do whatever it takes to get better. Waiting until 2018 shouldn’t be an option. There are ways to get competitive quickly. Being willing to trade a few fan favorites is one way to bring talent back to the organization for the future.