We are officially less than a week away from MLB’s trade deadline. It’s coming up on Wednesday, July 31.
Unlike years past that had two trade deadlines (an official trade deadline in July and a non-waiver trade deadline in August), Major League Baseball has now made it to where there is only one deadline for teams to make crucial selling or buying decisions. With that being said, this is the time for the Rockies to make some crucial decisions, as it’s now or never this season.
As I’ve written in the past few weeks, I believe Jeff Bridich and the Rockies front office should be sellers this season with the team’s season going from downward spiral to downright nosedive. Before the Rockies take on the Nationals on Thursday afternoon, the team currently sits at 48-53, putting them 7.5 games out of the second wild card spot in the National League. Thus, it’s time for the Rockies to try and sell to build for future seasons.
With the Rockies hopefully being sellers, it’s also time to see by the trades made just how committed the team’s front office is to building a championship roster. So, how will we tell how committed the Rockies front office is to doing so? Look no further than what the team will be willing to do with All-Star outfielder Charlie Blackmon at the deadline and beyond.
Earlier this week, Jon Morosi from MLB.com, tweeted out that the “Rockies aren’t ruling out Charlie Blackmon trade, even though the chances of a deal are not high at the moment.” He also added that the “Reds, Rangers, Cardinals could be a fit, now or in winter.”
On the surface, it sounds like a Blackmon trade is probably not going to happen before the deadline or maybe even this offseason. But, it also makes you think that just maybe it could actually happen now or this offseason, as Morosi eluded.
Listen, I love Charlie Blackmon as a player and as an off-the-field personality. But if the Rockies are serious about winning, now is the time to deal Blackmon and it’s what the team should do.
Blackmon is a fantastic hitter and a great leadoff bat, as well. If the team traded away Blackmon, it would most definitely be a hit to the team. Not to mention how much of a fan favorite he is at 20th and Blake. It would be a PR hit and a performance hit.
But if the Rockies really want to build the team up, it’s going to take some sacrifices such as getting rid of this fan favorite and All-Star with years still left on his contract. It’s something the Rockies have never really had to do.
Even the popular Troy Tulowitzki wasn’t a true sacrifice for the team. Yes, they lost a really good player. But, Tulo was often injured and he wanted out of Denver. They had to get rid of Tulo. This would be a real sacrifice for the Rockies if they traded Blackmon, but it just may be what the doctor ordered and at the right time.
If the Rockies traded Blackmon to, let’s say, the Reds, Cardinals, Rangers or another American League team, they would get a sizable haul in return for the lefty slugger. After this season, Blackmon still has four years left on his deal. There is some hefty money attached to those remaining four years, but that time would represent a chance for a true contending team to win within the next four years and the season that still remains for 2019.
Meanwhile, the Rockies could get a true top prospect, along with some other added value as well in a possible deal. It could give the Rockies a real shot in the arm for the next handful of years if they get the right return. Plus, it is unsure how long Blackmon, at 33 years old, has left of true production. Or at least production in the outfield. The way Blackmon has looked defensively every season in the past couple of years makes me think he is most likely a DH, or at best a first baseman defensively in the next few seasons.
Other plus sides to dealing Blackmon would include keeping Nolan Arenado happy in Denver and not wanting to eventually test free agency. Yes, Arenado would in the short-term be upset that a veteran locker-room favorite like Blackmon was shipped out. However, In the long run, winning cures all.
If Arenado sees the returns from the trade in upcoming years and the Rockies are winning divisions / contending for World Series titles, he’s probably more likely to not opt out or want out of town. The same can be said for Rockies fans. Yes, attendance may take a little dive and, yes, fans may be unhappy. But that will all change pretty quickly if winning baseball becomes a staple at Coors Field.
Now is the time to deal Charlie Blackmon if you’re the Rockies. If the club sees the Winter Meetings or another point this offseason as a better time to trade him, that’s fine too. The Rockies just need to find a way to get value for him within the next six months, otherwise it may be too late before you know it.
The Rockies and some fans just need to come to grips with the fact that most good baseball teams have at one point made a tough trade or two to boost and strengthen their team for years. To show they’re serious and committed to winning, it’s go-time for the Rockies to deal Charlie Blackmon.
It’ll be tough to see Blackmon in another opposing jersey. However, if the Rockies were to get a prospect like Andrew Knizner, Hunter Greene, Cole Winn or any other top-15 prospect from a given team, it would be well worth it.