On the final day of 2015, reports surfaced that the Colorado Rockies missed an opportunity to trade Jose Reyes at the trade deadline, after they allegedly asked for big-time prospects back in exchange for the expensive shortstop.
Now, we know even more: a specific team—the New York Yankees—was interested in acquiring Reyes, according to FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal. Rosenthal takes the Rockies to task in breaking down the club's offseason moves, but it's one passage that stands out above all others, if only for what could have been:
The logical step after trading Tulo last summer would have been to trade CarGo this winter. Actually, the Rockies also could have made an intermediate move -- dumping Reyes, who at the time of the Tulo deal was owed about $54.37 million, including a $4 million buyout on his 2018 option.
The Rox could not have known that Reyes would be charged with domestic abuse. They should have known that he no longer could play shortstop. And they had at least one club interested in him -- the Yankees.
The teams talked about different ways to make a Reyes trade work, according to major-league sources.The Yankees, who wanted Reyes to play second base, would have required the Rockies to pay a significant portion of his remaining salary. But the two sides never got close to a deal, sources said.
That's certainly interesting.
On the one hand, there's obviously nothing the Rockies could have done to predict Reyes' unfortunate offseason activities that now have ramifications for his trade value going forward. In general manger Jeff Bridich's mind, had the unfortunate alleged incident in Hawaii never occurred, it's entirely plausible the Rockies would have flipped the veteran shortstop to the Yankees or any other interested team for something—anything—this winter, likely requiring Colorado to eat a portion of the contract.
But on the other hand, it's somewhat disheartening to see the Rockies had found a suitor with some sort of legitimate interest in a player who was quickly—and clearly—going to become an albatross for the club, even absent October's incident, and yet weren't inclined to pursue avenues for a trade.
The way Rosenthal frames the potential Rockies-Yankees deal, it appears Colorado could have balked at the idea of paying "a significant portion of [Reyes'] salary." That could be true in whole or part, and/or it could be that the Yankees offered such a low-level return, Colorado didn't have serious interest from the beginning. Worth a top prospect Jose Reyes is not, of course, but it's not out of the realm of possibilities Colorado could have returned a mid-level prospect, especially had they paid part of the shortstop's contract.
Bridich, always keeping his plans close to the vest, didn't make himself available for comment in Rosenthal's piece. And with Reyes going through the legal process now, there's not much the Rockies can do regarding his current uncertain future, anyways.
Increasingly, it appears that Reyes will spend Opening Day in a Hawaiian court of law. It's a virtual certainty he will remain with Colorado as the legal process plays out, and for however long beyond that. This report, then, is simply a look back at what could have been. But based on Rosenthal's information, it's somewhat of a disappointment, to be sure.