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Saturday Rockpile: The Rockies can't be sellers at the trade deadline

Given the state of the roster both now and going forward, it would make very little sense for the Rockies to be sellers at the trade deadline.

There has been some talk of the Rockies trading Dexter Fowler at the deadline, a move that wouldn't make a whole lot of sense.
There has been some talk of the Rockies trading Dexter Fowler at the deadline, a move that wouldn't make a whole lot of sense.

With owner Dick Monfort saying that the team will not be trading Michael Cuddyer this month, it would be rather illogical for the Rockies to become sellers at this season's trade deadline, regardless of their on-field performance between now and then.

The two primary reasons teams become sellers at the trade deadline are 1. Shedding salary and 2. Re-stocking the farm system in order to rebuild for the future. The Rockies are in position to do neither of these things.

Presuming the club keeps Cuddyer, which all indications are that they will, they will have $37 million committed to him, Troy Tulowitzki and Carlos Gonzalez in 2014, a number that rises to $48 million if they pick up the team option on Jorge De La Rosa for next season, which they likely will.

A team committing nearly $50 million to four talented veterans next season certainly doesn't sound like one overly concerned about payroll or pushing its window of contention back.

The one player the Rockies conceivably could sell would be closer Rafael Betancourt, given that they have a ready-made replacement for him in Rex Brothers. Betancourt is making $4.25 million this season and he and the team have a mutual option next season for the same price. Still, the Rockies would need to receive something of value for him as a straight salary dump likely wouldn't be worth it given his reasonable contract.

There has been buzz in the national media about the Rockies moving Dexter Fowler before the deadline, but that move would make no sense at all. Trading Fowler while keeping Tulowitzki, Gonzalez and Cuddyer would send a very strange message to the team and its fans, a message that would be a lot closer to "We have no idea what we're doing." than it would be to "We don't think we can contend in 2013 or 2014." Not to mention the fact that trading Fowler would leave the Rockies without a true center fielder for the remainder of the season.

Forget the debate about whether the Rockies will be buyers or sellers at the trade deadline, because that isn't the decision that the team has to make. The decision it does have is whether to be buyers or to stand pat, finishing 2013 with the roster as currently constructed.


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