The Colorado Rockies have yet to deal any of their three outfielders on the trading block, including star slugger Carlos Gonzalez, but it doesn't appear that a lack of effort is the reason.
The Rox have been rebuffed in trade talks by the Los Angeles Angels, Cleveland Indians, Baltimore Orioles, Chicago White Sox and St. Louis Cardinals, according to MLB.com's Thomas Harding. In each of those four scenarios, the Rockies requested established pitchers with varying degrees of talent.
Colorado sought Hector Santiago and a bullpen arm from the Angels, but talks fell apart when reliever Trevor Gott was dealt to the Washington Nationals, notes Harding. The Rox discussed Carlos Carrasco and Danny Salazar with Cleveland and got nowhere. The Orioles weren't interested in dealing Kevin Gausman, and the White Sox did not want to part with Jose Quintana.
Talks between Rockies and Cardinals involving Colorado native Marco Gonzales initially failed to materialize as St. Louis did not want to include the 23-year-old left-hander in a trade. However, St. Louis might be willing to revisit those discussions following the acquisition of free-agent starter Mike Leake.
Gonzales, a graduate of Rocky Mountain High School in Fort Collins, has pitched in parts of two big league seasons but still holds his rookie eligibility due to accumulating only 37⅓ innings. Gonzales has been hittable and has walked far too many batters in his limited major league action, but he owns a 3.27 ERA with 8.0 K/9 and 2.3 BB/9 in 226 career minor league frames.
The Rockies could potentially be interested in other St. Louis pitching prospects, some of whom we profiled last week. At any rate, if the Rockies can't even get the Cardinals to give up the equivalent of a mid-to-back-end rotation guy in a deal for a productive, proven and cost-controlled outfielder, that's an issue.
As for other options, the Washington Nationals and San Francisco Giants could be in play, as could the Tampa Bay Rays. The difference there is that the Rays could be looking for prospects—and not necessarily Gonzalez, Charlie Blackmon or Corey Dickerson—in return for established pitching, writes Harding.
None of this is to say that things won't start moving quicker for the Rockies in the coming weeks, especially if the free-agent market for outfielders actually progresses instead of falling flat, as has been the case with Justin Upton, Yoenis Cespedes and others. But pitching continues to be at a premium around the league, and it's entirely possible that the Rox don't have—or aren't willing to part with—what it takes to improve in that area.