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Dollars and Sense

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[editor's note, by Russ in NY] The entire network should be back up now. Sorry for the troubles, but the update didn't fully work out.

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I want to address an issue brought up by RoxHead over at his blog in regards to the Helton trade:

FOXSports.com is reporting that the trade of Helton to the Angels was nixed by their owner, Arte Moreno. According to the rumor, the Rox would have had to pay almost half of Helton's contract... which makes the deal bad no matter how you spin it.

Can you imagine paying $7.5 million a year for Todd Helton to play for some other team?


Alright, despite his warning, I'm going to try and spin it so it doesn't seem so bad to RoxHead and others who might be thinking the same thing.

Right now, let's see what $16 million dollars a year gets the team:


Todd Helton, 1B

Helton's a Colorado icon and the face of the franchise and for $16 mill, we're paying for that. Now, let's say we made the trade with the Angels. What would we be doing with the Helton money then?

Todd Helton $7.5 million to play for LA of the OC
Casey Kotchman 1b, @ $350,000
Erick Aybar cf, @ $350,000
Jeff Mathis c, @ $350,000
Charlie Monfort's new swimming pool $7.45 million

Just kidding, I hope, on that last one. The extra money would presumably go to locking up Garrett Atkins or Brad Hawpe through their arbitration seasons or retaining Brian Fuentes.

Now, truth be told, the production we could expect to get from the Angels under-performing trio of prospects for 2007 might not actually combine to equal what we could get from a healthy Todd Helton this upcoming season. However, the talents of all three at one point or another have been very highly thought of, and all three are young enough -before their peak years- that it's well within the realm of possibility that they could break out and reach their potential with a change of scenery. We would only need to catch such a surge season with one of them to make the deal completely worthwhile for 2007. Certainly in 2008 and on further into Helton's contract -when Kotchman, Aybar and Mathis are peaking and Todd continues to decline- the value of this trade will multiply for the Rockies. In fact, by receiving two players that can field premium positions on the diamond two years away from entering arbitration, there's even greater sustaining value added to our end.

My main point is that regardless of what we end up paying Helton to play somewhere else, as long as the returning players earn less but have equal production value or greater potential to the productive output of the team in the duration of Todd's contract, then trading him will make sense.