The Rockies are just a few days away from their first trade deadline with Jeff Bridich at the helm of the organization. After an exhausting, frustrating, and seemingly endless reign of inactivity under Dan O'Dowd and Bill Geivett, there is rumbling that the General Manager will actually do something this time around. While I am cautiously optimistic that Dick Monfort will unhook the leash from his GM, I am not going to get my expectations too high. What in Monfort's history has shown that he is willing to change his approach? That being said, it's time to play some virtual GM. Here is how I would approach the team if I were Bridich.
Move Them Now
Wilin Rosario - Right now, the Rockies and Rosario are a bad fit. Rosario does not have a position, can't play defense when he is on the field, and is playing in the wrong league. Baby Bull is a perfect DH candidate - power at the plate and defensively not on the field. It makes sense to move him to the American League where he can be successful.
Rafael Betancourt - Old and not good. Just see if you can get something for him.
Jorge De La Rosa - George of the Rose is arguably the best pitcher in Coors Field history. For some reason, a guy with a history of emotional meltdowns and mental breakdowns has conquered one of the worst pitching parks in all of baseball. It makes no sense at all. That being said, he is 34 years old and not a part of the Rockies' plan moving forward. This trade deadline is a perfect time to move him.
John Axford - I really like what the Ax Man has provided for the back end of the bullpen, despite his recent and untimely slump. With the injury to Adam Ottavino, Axford has been a solid late-innings reliever. Another pitcher in his mid thirties with value, it makes sense to use his success to build your farm system with a prospect or two.
LaTroy Hawkins - Oldest player in the major leagues with expectations that this is his final season. If you are a playoff team looking to add another arrow to your bullpen quiver, Hawkins makes for a sensible and short-term option. If you are the Rockies, why would you not try to get something for a guy that has no future with your team?
Carlos Gonzalez - Of all the players on the 40 man roster, Carlos Gonzalez makes the most sense to move. After an early season slump, CarGo has begun to play pretty well as of late (at least enough to show he is capable of returning to his past production). He is a middle-of-the-order bat that a playoff team should be salivating to add to their roster. CarGo will garner plenty of attention from other teams and should return a nice group of young players. Plus, CarGo is due $37M+ over the next two seasons. Getting that (at least a chunk of it) off the books would be helpful for the organization.
See What You Can Get
DJ LeMahieu - First time All Star, slick fielding, dependable bat second baseman. DJ has value, but isn't going to generate a ton of interest or return. He is making just over $500k this year with three years of arbitration ahead of him. If someone gives an offer that makes sense, make the deal. If nothing materializes, I have no issues keeping DJ around for a while.
Charlie Blackmon - Chuck Nazty was named an All Star for the first time in his career last year after a torrid start to his season. His contract situation is exactly the same as LeMahieu's, so there is no sense in actively shopping him around. He provides good quality for the price you are paying him. But if a good offer comes in, pull the trigger.
Only If The Offer Is Outstanding
Troy Tulowitzki - Tulo would return a haul of players/prospects. However, there is so much about Tulo that makes me hesitant to move him. He is the face of the franchise (and has been since Helton started sliding late in his career), he is the best shortstop in baseball, and I'm not sure that the Rockies would get a fair trade value for him. The Rockies are notoriously bad at holding onto assets too long, but Tulo is one player that I would recommend keeping around.
No Way In Hell
Nolan Arenado - Do I need to explain this one at all?
Get Rid of Them Immediately, Even If All You Get Is A Bag Of Balls
Kyle Kendrick - Another free agent pitching failure that will make Monfort even more unwilling to dabble in the free agent pitching market.
Dick Monfort - I'd even take a used rosin bag.