June 1, 2012; Denver, CO, USA; Colorado Rockies left fielder Carlos Gonzalez (5) walks to the dugout during the sixth inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Coors Field. Mandatory Credit: Chris Humphreys-US PRESSWIRE
It has been one of the hottest topics of discussion Monday among Colorado Rockies fans. No, we are not talking about the possible transaction that would ship Jeremy Guthrie away from his nightmare at Blake Street (and everywhere else he has pitched this year wearing purple, for that matter).
Joel Sherman of the New York Post wrote a column in which he suggested that the Rockies should put no one else other than outfielder Carlos González on the trading block. This, Sherman implied, would add intrigue to a less-than-stellar trading deadline scenario.
Sherman had this theory: the Rockies should sell CarGo because the Colorado market is not enough to sustain two elite players such as himself and Troy Tulowitzki (who will make a combined $40 million around 2016). Colorado, the team with lots and lots of pitching problems (no argument with that), needs to buy all the arms they can get.
And, if that wasn't enough, Sherman has already imagined an ideal destination for González: the New York Yankees. No matter that the Venezuelan is a so-called "Coors Monster", with a huge gap between home and away stats, Sherman wrote. The hallowed grounds of Yankee Stadium could be even friendlier to his left-handed offensive onslaught. He even makes it easy for General Manager Brian Cashman, and tells him which kind of prospects the Bronx Bombers should be willing to give for CarGo: Manny Banuelos, Gary Sanchez, Eduardo Nuñez, Mason Williams and, last but not least, Dante Bichette Jr. (the added appeal is obviously because his dad was one of the Blake Street Bombers.)
It's true that the Yankees have a payroll looking more AARP than MTV these days. As far as the outfield is concerned, they have some issues. For example, Brett Gardner's forecasted return after the All Star break is optimistic at best.
Problem is, this trade doesn't make any sense for the Rockies, at least in our view. It would not just represent the biggest white flag trade in franchise history, it would become an unbearable cross for Dan O'Dowd in the near future.
Furthermore, it would go against everything Gonzalez stood for when he agreed to sign a contract extension which would keep him under Rockies control until 2017, and which became a radical departure from the usual operating ways over at the Boras Corporation. It was a big change for the Rockies as well.
It's true that the Rockies are in dire need of pitching. We have seen over and over again all the problems the hurlers have faced, in each and every facet of the craft, be starting or relieving. But is trading a guy who has collected over 300 RBI and is close to having 100 HR in less than five full seasons of play at age 26 really the answer?
Would such a move free payroll in order to get pitching via free agency? Yes. Are the Rockies successful finding arms that way? No. And they won't be. Any veteran pitcher would tell you he would think it over, time and time again, so he could step onto the mound at Coors Field. Just ask Roy Oswalt, who would balk at such a thought.
The Rockies would also be willing to part ways with their most consistent offensive player. That goes beyond the "face of the franchise" argument. You could say Ubaldo Jimenez was traded shortly after tossing the first no-hitter in Rockies history. True. But González is not struggling. Hardly. CarGo is a regular on the Top 5 in every offensive category in the Senior Circuit these days.
Baseball is a business, and that's a indisputable truth. But there's also a personal side which cannot be overstated. When Gonzalez decided to surprise the baseball world by accepting the Rockies extension offer, he did it for several reasons. He enjoys Denver and Coors Field. He wanted to give his family a financial stability he wasn't sure he could provide several years down the road. He thought of his shuffling organizations when he was a prospect, but also of all the scenarios haunting every athlete, such as career-ending injuries. He wanted to seize the opportunity he was provided after he won the batting crown. This might sound corny, but Gonzalez signed on the dotted line and convinced Boras this was the way to go for those reasons. And there's nothing wrong with that.
Oh, and having that Andrés Galarraga picture near the Coors Field clubhouse could have been the starter for a lot of thinking for him.
Those thoughts should be on the mind of an organization which prides itself in valuing character above everything else. That is why it is hard to consider they would entertain such a thought. A mega deal would have to be in place. And even with that, if the Colorado Rockies decide to part ways with Carlos González, they would get rid of the foundation on which the team is built upon these days.