clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Football Friday presents: Trade Cops, Colorado Rockies edition

New, comments

Do you have questions or comments for Connor? Email connorsmailbag@gmail.com for inclusion in next week's column.

Whose man is this
Whose man is this

Welcome to Football Friday, a baseball column by Connor. Each week I will dive into the previous seven days of baseball news, shout my opinion into the void, discuss some things about the Colorado Rockies, and answer your emails. Some of them.

football friday

Hello and welcome to Trade Cops. Today, we're in Denver, Colorado where we've heard rumblings of a team looking to trade. Our job? Make sure they don't lose any trade by regulating the pieces and the partners. We keep the peace. It's a dirty job, but someone has to do it. That someone is us. We are Trade Cops.

Trade #1: Boone Logan

The Piece: Boone is a valuable lefty bullpen arm that is useful in the majority of high leverage situations. Against lefties this season, he's only allowed eight hits on 52 plate appearances. But it's not like he's completely fallen to pieces against right handed bats, either. Apart from walking at a higher rate and not being able to fool hitters with dastardly in-the-dirt sliders, Boone's been good enough against righties to at least get them out and proven he may be viable for full innings when necessary. Even without right handed bats, he's a high leverage LOOGY and those can come with a heavy return to the right, desperate contender.

The Partners: St. Louis, Chicago, Texas, Detroit, Cleveland--heck any contender needing a rental bullpen arm. Chicago's been linked to guys like Andrew Miller and Aroldis Chapman, which may indicate they're looking for a deadly backend guy, but the Cubs aren't without need for arms in other slots of the bullpen. St. Louis' bullpen has been held together by Seung Hwan Oh and Kevin Siegrist but has shown holes otherwise. Detroit is Detroit; they seemingly are always in search of a consistent bullpen throughout a season or even a week of games.

The Return: Last winter, the Rockies traded wayward child Tommy Kahnle to the Chicago White Sox for little known prospect Yency Almonte. Almonte has now turned in one of the better first halves on a strong Nuts rotation, proving that the Rockies strategy of targeting power arms with mixed potential is working in the short term. Logan is better than Tommy Kahnle and more valuable in high leverage situations, which means Boone SHOULD gather at least double an Almonte's worth of value.

But, the question comes down to when the Rockies see their next window. Boone can be an asset that's used to get someone who's on the next good Rockies team, which the signs are indicating could be as soon as next year. This isn't like Troy Tulowitzki, where you're best set on acquiring developmental pieces. Boone may be best utilized finding major league ready talent, young bench bats, or maybe, just maybe, a starting first baseman.

How to Not Lose the Trade: By not trading Boone for rental veterans. Boone is a rental veteran in himself and if the Rockies intend to use his value to acquire more veterans on contracts expiring either this season or next, they'd be better off just holding on to him and keeping the bullpen together for the entire second half.

The Crime for Losing the Trade: Losing a trade like Boone's seems inconsequential in the big picture, but if the Rockies want to make this the best contention window they can, they need to win trades like this. A Boone trade loss doesn't interrupt a season or close the window faster, but a Boone trade win could spell the difference between an NLDS loss and a pennant. These types of trades matter. The crime would be a misdemeanor for this trade, but if you stack up enough misdemeanors, eventually the judge puts you in jail.

Trade #2: Jorge De La Rosa

The Piece: Just the best pitcher in Rockies history. Jorge De La Rosa has never had a flashy ERA or been an ace worthy of Cy Young votes, but there's no doubting his King of Coors status. Jorge's a solid back end pitcher who can turn in a worthy performance or six at 35 years old. He's in a contract year and the Rockies have missed on opportunities to deal him before, so it's unlikely they will again. But it's now about finding a home for Jorge and landing the best value for the lefty. Because he's accrued 10 years of service time and five years with the Rockies, De La Rosa can veto any trade, although he'll likely accept a trade if it means moving to a contender.

The Partners: Baltimore, ChiSox, Boston, Miami? With how barren the market is going to be for starting pitching this July, the Rockies may not feel too many ill effects for hanging on to Jorge a little too long. They likely won't find as good a deal as the reported Eduardo Rodriguez offer the Orioles gave them two years ago, but the Orioles need something, anything in consistent pitching behind their top two in the rotation, and Jorge at the very least offers that. Beyond that, DLR is a rental arm. If he goes to Baltimore or Boston and blows up, they don't take much risk in him tying up the future payroll. If he does well, they can potentially win a division or more on that left arm.

The Return: This is an interesting and fluctuating case. The Rockies could target high velo, power arms and come away with two or three from any of these teams in the running. But in terms of high profile, big name prospects, Jorge may not pull those away from anyone. Yes, the starting pitcher market is a barren wasteland where the bodies of once great men like C.J. Wilson and Andrew Cashner lie in the sand, but that doesn't give the Rockies full reign for pulling away any Top 100 prospects or even stealing a major league ready talent. The front office may be forced to realign their wants in a Jorge trade if they hope to get someone of value out of him.

How to Not Lose the Trade: By not selling too low on Jorge. There's no point in dumping him for just anything. Jorge's been a valuable and loyal member of the organization and the Rockies could easily find it in themselves to keep a consistent arm in this rotation for 2017. It's not about just selling Jorge, it's about getting the return you desire. If it's not there, this isn't a situation where the Rockies just need to take anything.

The Crime for Losing the Trade: It depends on how you look at it, but for the Rockies too many pitchers is never actually a bad thing. Guys get hurt, guys suddenly can't pitch, it's the perils of pitching in Colorado and the Rockies will feel each and every whiff on pitching value worse than any other team in baseball. It's just the nature of the beast. Trading Jorge and not getting anything worthwhile in return won't just cost you a trade, it could cost you several wins.This is a Class E Felony. A loss here and we could stick you in jail for over a year.

Trade #3: Charlie Blackmon

The Piece: A 29-year-old center fielder with true gap power and an improvement in the one glaring weakness in his value. Blackmon's 2016 was quiet for a long time, but it's not anymore. He's hit 12 home runs, he's hitting .292 against left handed pitchers (that weakness I mentioned before), he's got an .823 OPS on the road. Blackmon's gone from good but replaceable outfielder to extremely valuable centerfielder and true lead off man.

The Partners: St. Louis, Washington, Seattle, or any team looking for lead off pop. Chuck has value, even if his center field defense isn't perfect. He's quick, he has power, he's in the prime of his career, and he's cheap. He has two more years of arbitration to his name before he's up for free agency, which means he's cheaper than someone like Carlos Gonzalez and may be more valuable for it.

The Return: This is where it gets fun in pontificating a Blackmon trade. Chuck's been a great Rockies player with terrific fan engagement and he will be greatly missed if and when he is shipped out of town. But the return for Charlie could be larger than any other player the Rockies could ship out this July. Teams will be more willing than ever to take a chance on Blackmon, and in him the Rockies have an outfielder at the peak of his value. The Rockies could seemingly pull high profile prospects from any one of the teams looking for an outfielder. A Blackmon deal doesn't just make the most sense for the Rockies from a player personnel perspective, it's also potentially the best deal.

How to Not Lose the Trade: By not being idiots. Blackmon has the most value out of any of the movable assets the Rockies currently own so they just need to not be stupid to probably get a pretty good return for him. That being said, Dan O'Dowd was usually a decent trade negotiator and he was absolutely ransacked in the Dexter Fowler trade (to be fair, so were the Astros later). So this isn't exactly as easy as "don't be stupid." But it might be more about that than you think. Just stick to the plan and don't get all dreamy eyed about a high risk high reward guy.

The Crime for Losing the Trade: This varies based on Blackmon's heir, David Dahl. If Dahl is more productive than Charlie, it's not difficult to swallow a lost trade on this even if the window gets a little tighter. But if Dahl stumbles and the Rockies lose a Blackmon trade, the team could suffer a monumental setback. This trade is important because you can't always count on prospects and because it's good to win as many trades as possible in a rebuild. This is a Class B Felony if Dahl fails (25 years in jail), Class E if he is good.

Trade #4: Carlos Gonzalez

The Piece: Well, here we are. Carlos Gonzalez, potentially the greatest power hitter Coors has ever seen, is once again an intriguing trade chip on a team that isn't going to contend this season. Carlos' contract is up next year and the Rockies may have him at his highest value since 2010. Carlos has hit 48 home runs in his last 365 days on a .312/.359/.616 batting line. That's a .975 OPS for the past year after fans and analysts alike called him dead. He plays a solid right field and absolutely destroys right handed pitching. Beyond the numbers, CarGo may be one of the flashiest, most exciting power hitters to watch in the league. Any team would be lucky to have a CarGo in their lineup.

The Partners: St. Louis, Washington, Cleveland, Detroit, Baltimore? Washington is a long shot and would need to move Harper to center to make this work but the contenders in need of a flashy bat and a power surge are there, and they're more than likely going to be willing to spend to make the run.

The Return: It's tricky to know what Carlos will get, but there's no denying he has value beyond a normal outfield trade piece. Carlos is expensive, with 20 million left on his deal in 2017 so for the Rockies to maximize a return they will likely have to pay some of that. But if they aren't interested in that, they will likely have to do their homework because a Top 100 prospect will be hard to pry away, even with Carlos being potentially the best Carlos we've seen in half a decade. But, the Rockies should expect to get a premier return for one of the premier bats on the market, preferably one that is ready to contribute value by next season.

How to Not Lose the Trade: Just don't rush this. After Troy Tulowitzki was traded last July, the thought process started to come together "the Rockies need to blow it up and rebuild." The team's moderate success in pulling together a .500 ballclub since has changed that thought process. Bridich can be careful with Carlos, he can be careful with all of his trades and work out what would be best for the Rockies.

The Crime for Losing the Trade: Oh, this is a Class A felony for sure. This is Carlos freaking Gonzalez. He's hit home runs that make me believe in love again and prove the existence of a higher power. If Bridich blows this one he's due for life in prison. I'm not kidding here, either. If Bridich bumbles a Carlos Gonzalez trade we need to march into that office and throw him in prison.

Thanks for reading Trade Cops. Only time will tell if our efforts are in vain. To Protect and Serve, sucka.

★ ★ ★

Connor watches The Bachelorette

This season, I've decided to watch the Bachelorette, I have never watched this show before, and I'm not sure if I like it or if I am just a fan of people making themselves look like idiots on national television. Maybe a little of both. Anyway, in this section, I will talk about something I noticed during my viewing of The Bachelorette.

This week was Week Two of No Chad Bachelorette, a new program in which The Bachelorette ended it's entertainment portion of it's broadcast and went instead with 8-10 sentinet blocks of mozzarella cheese with different variations of the same hairstyle.

This week, JoJo sent home Derek, who looks like Jim Halpert, and Wells. Wells only kissed JoJo once and then she decided she wasn't into Wells. Imagine kissing a girl for the first time and then less than two hours later being dumped by that girl, but on national television. Welcome to Wells' life.

My main gripe with this episode was the sudden and jarring conflict of Chase vs. Derek, Chase and Derek have not had conflict before but suddenly, the show pitted the as two enemies. Chase and Derek were sent on a 2-on-1 date which is where JoJo takes two men on a date and then sends one home during the date. Prior to the date, Chase is quoted as saying to Derek "I don't know why you're smiling but this is serious to me."

Chase is not here for jokes, he's here for serious ass love and this 2-on-1 date has sent his emotions into a pit of despair.

Luckily, Chase won the date by...dancing better? Not looking like Jim Halpert? I don't know anymore. I don't know how she's choosing these men. JoJo is talking about how she's falling for all the remaining men but if it were me I would choose exactly zero of these men.

Let me list off the final men and tell you what I like and dislike:

Jordan: Best looking, but sucks.

Alex: I don't like him at all, he sucks.

James Taylor: Very sweet but also kind of a wimp, sucks.

Chase: He's a CSU grad! Which I now think is bad because he's dumb as rocks.

Robby: Has a beard. Looks like every person you see in a gym complaining that the weights are being taken up by "lames".

Other generic white guy: I forgot his name and he has no discerning personality that could possibly make me remember him. Luke, maybe?

I think that's it???

Anyway, tune in next week.

★ ★ ★

Has Connor Been Owned? (By someone other than Thomas Wilson)

Nope. I sure haven't.

Regards,

Connor