I thought with the trade deadline a month away, it might be good to look at the current contract situation of the Rockies and try and derive from that who's most likely to be shipped out and when. As the title of the post implies, we'll look at those contracts with a 2007 team option first:
The team has a $5.5 million dollar question with Jason Jennings this offseason (possibly $5.8 million on the outside chance he can get up to 238 IP, a figure that should put him in the top three in the NL, currently he ranks tenth) in that in the contract he signed two years ago, there's a club option for 2007. The way JJ has been going, I'm thinking it's in the best interests of the team to take the option and see where we stand next July. The other choice is a $100,000 buyout to let him walk. With us contending right now (and likely to be contending by the trade deadline at the end of July) it makes no sense to move him this season the way he's been pitching of late.
Other Rockies that are in contract limbo for next season, and thus possible trade bait:
Byung Hyun Kim - Signed a $1.25 Million dollar contract for the 2006 season with a team option of $2.5 million for 2007. Kim has been spectacular the last two outings against American League opponents. That would be $8 million dollars to commit to both Kim and Jennings for 2007, which given the price of veteran starters around the league isn't too bad. Still, should an AL club come knocking about with a solid offer, would you refuse it?
Ray King - He also has a team option for 2007, worth $2.85 million, but his shaky performance of late says there's no way we follow through on that - it was an unlikely scenario to begin with. We would have to eat a $250K buyout in the offseason, but given the premium placed on left handed relief, I wouldn't be surprised if Dan O'Dowd is feeling out King's worth on the trade market, with Jamie Cerda looking to be a likely replacement.
Jose Mesa - The team option for 2007 is for $3 million for Mesa, with a $500K buyout payable over two seasons. I think Joe Table will be a good bet to walk at the end of the season with the club getting the comp pick in the draft rather than trading him this year. Despite his performance two nights ago, he has been fairly solid in his role as set-up guy for Fuentes.
Mike DeJean- the seventh inning special has a mutual option with the team for 2007. Mike's been one of the Rockies most unheralded stalwarts, and it would be tough to see him go. Though Mike's missing all of this season, I'd rather lose Mesa, frankly. My guess is the club declines the option based on the injury and then tries to re-sign him in the offseason.
Following the jump are a couple of players signed to one year deals without a club option for 2007:
Jamey Carroll - Losing him is going to hurt, bad. Particularly if he continues to perform like he has this season. But what if his 2006 is just a fluke? What if this is as good as Jamey will ever get and he drops back down to his .718 career OBP line? Honestly, that's the most likely scenario and he's in for some team overpaying based on this year during the offseason. It's easy to see why, the "what ifs" involved are very torturous when you're looking at a second baseman putting up a .400+ OBP.
Josh Fogg - Signed a one year deal and is relatively cheap. The club has no option for 2007 making him a bit more likely to be dangled should we find an MLB ready starting pitcher in a Ryan Shealy deal.
Tom Martin - If he wasn't Tom Martin I'd be more comfortable about losing left hander Ray King knowing another leftie was right there. Sigh.
Yorvit Torrealba - In the offseason Yorvit signed a one year deal worth $850K. Given that 1) JD Closser is much improved, 2) that we have a fairly capable backup in Miguel Ojeda toiling in Mexico, and 3) Chris Iannetta's continued ascent through the minors, I hate to say it for the much travelled Torrealba, but he fits the bill of a moveable commodity.
Ohters to consider: Kaz Matsui, Miggy Ojeda, Miguel Ascencio, Jayson Smith and Sunny Kim.