Rockies trade rumors: Drew Stubbs' career year makes him a sell-high candidate

Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports

Yes, there are some red flags, but Stubbs' excellent first half could make him a desirable target for contending teams.

The Rockies don't have a ton of sell-high candidates entering the trade deadline, compounding an already tough situation. However, that isn't the case for outfielder Drew Stubbs, who currently owns a career-high 117 OPS+.

Stubbs, who was acquired from the Indians during the offseason in exchange for reliever Josh Outman, has been his typical lefty-killing self. The 29-year-old Texan is hitting .354/.409/.608 against southpaws, a figure that is 82 percent better than league average. His 10 home runs in 244 plate appearances are fairly impressive, and it seems that most of those -- especially early in the season and as of late -- have come in crucial situations.

Those types of numbers, combined with his stellar defense (positive UZR per Fangraphs; eight runs above average according to Baseball-Reference), should make Stubbs a desirable target for contending teams who have holes in the outfield.

Stubbs has some red flags. First of all, he's struck out 71 times and walked only 14 in 244 plate appearances. He's always been a high-strikeout player who has been able to at least somewhat make up for that with his pop, but Stubbs has really only shown that pop at Coors Field, where he owns a .357/.386/.628 line compared to only .206/.252/.330 on the road. Of course, home/road splits for Rockies players don't tell the whole story, so it's possible that Stubbs wouldn't have as much of a disparity after getting away from altitude for good. Plus, regardless of the environment, Stubbs has always been a well-above-average defender and owns a career .283/.356/.466 line against left-handed pitching. That's good enough to get it done anywhere in a platoon situation.

If Stubbs hits the market, the Rockies would likely have several suitors. The Giants, who are without Angel Pagan due to injury and are dealing with horrible production from Gregor Blanco and Tyler Colvin, are definitely a good match despite their status as a division rival. Stubbs' former team, the Reds, struggle to get consistent production in the outfield and as a team, don't hit lefties all that well.

In the American League, the Mariners and Royals -- both of whom, like the Reds, have a decent array of prospects the Rockies could possibly receive in return -- are contending teams who have a need for a player with Stubbs' skill set. In any case, the Rockies would be parting with a player who might struggle to see at-bats with the emergence of Corey Dickerson and the return of Carlos Gonzalez (and eventually, Michael Cuddyer). They'd also be helping themselves financially, considering Stubbs is still due about $2 million this season and will earn a pretty significant bump on arbitration heading into his final year before free agency.

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