September is a lovely time of the year weather wise, but as the Rockies reach their fifth consecutive Labor Day miles out of the postseason hunt, it's become a pretty terrible month for baseball fans in Denver.
The last truly meaningful win the Rockies had in a September game was this one all the back on September 25th, 2010 when they beat the Giants in ten innings in walk off fashion. This was the night Tulo posted that insane .966 WPA score with a home run in the fifth, a game tying double in the eighth, and a game winning double in the tenth. It was the exclamation point on a month for the ages where, for a while, it looked like he might single-handedly drag the team into October.
It would have been hard to believe at that moment, and even harder to believe five months after that moment considering what happened the following winter, but five years later, that's likely to forever remain the last late-season meaningful win the Rockies ever capture with either Troy Tulowitzki or Carlos Gonzalez on their roster (borrowing some joyous reunion down the road).
Tulo is gone, and as Patrick Saunders wrote yesterday, Cargo is probably next. The front office really has no choice on this matter now. There's really no realistic 2016 scenario where moving Tulo and keeping Cargo makes sense.
If the Rockies keep Cargo and are terrible again, the front office made the wrong move because they didn't sell him off at peak value. If the Rockies keep Cargo, have a bunch of things break right for them and are somehow just a few games out of a playoff spot in August and September, then the front office still made the wrong move because they moved Tulo and everybody's wondering why he's not there to potentially push the team over the top into the playoffs.
According to our own Purple Row commenter RockedUp, Jenny Cavnar said the following on yesterday's post game show:
"Arenado and Cargo are the catalysts you can build this team around."
I couldn't see the post game show, so I may not have all the information here, but I respectfully disagree with this line of thinking. TULO and Arenado were the catalysts you could have tried to build the team around if you chose to head down that route - And I wanted to head down that route. Oh how badly I wanted to head down that route. That represented the best left side of the infield in baseball, and was controlled through 2019 (Arenado) and 2021 (Tulo), unlike Cargo who is only controlled through 2017.
Now that we've swerved across four lanes of traffic to take an exit that's going to lead us down an entirely different highway, you can't try to go back in the old direction again with a lesser piece that's controlled for a shorter period of time. It's just not a sensible decision.
The Rockies could have justified trading Cargo without Tulo, but they can't justify keeping Cargo now that Tulo's playing somewhere else. It's sad, but if the Rockies want to make September a month their fans can eventually enjoy more often than not as we head towards the end of the decade, this is the best course of action.
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Now, on a separate but somewhat related note, there was some talk in yesterday's Rockpile about the Rockies possibly swinging a deal for Matt Harvey if his situation with the Mets came to blows. It was all speculation, and fine for some fans to dream about, but this type of move is something the Rockies shouldn't even be thinking about making right now.
Matt Harvey is the type of player you try to trade for if you think acquiring him makes you one of the elites in the league, and the Rockies don't come anywhere near fitting that description. He has just one more year of control on his contract than Cargo, and wouldn't be of use to the Rockies deep into their next contention window. Colorado needs to forget about pieces that can help them in the immediate future and focus on making themselves as strong as possible when it's time to fully harvest their copious array of crops on the farm.
I know this is a tough mindset to adopt, I know it's not fun to sit back and not acquire anybody who can make this team better RIGHT NOW, and I know it's going to suck to lose a couple more of our favorites, but this is the bearing the Rockies have to commit to in a post Tulo world.
Anything else, and this club is as rudderless as it's ever been.