The big news right now surrounding the Colorado Rockies is the lack of news on the trade front, as we are now less than a week away from the deadline. That will be reflected by the lack of links in this Rockpile.
Very little about this situation has changed. Both Baseball Prospectus and FanGraphs have the Rockies playoff odds at less then one percent, the team needs to avoid a losing road trip here to avoid their ninth consecutive month of losing baseball, and the Rockies have some pieces competitive teams would surely love to add.
It would appear to be a perfect storm for an active trade deadline, but so far, all is quiet as the Rockies are likely headed for their sixth consecutive tour of meaningless baseball in August and September.
Of course, all this lack of action is occurring as we approach the one year anniversary of the Tulo trade (tonight or tomorrow morning depending on the exact moment the deal was finalized), which is worth noting both because of its significance, and because it shows how fast big deals can come together without the media knowing the details.
A year later, we're still a long way away from having a clear picture of how this is all going to turn out. The Blue Jays have used Tulo's positive presence on the field (3.4 rWAR in 117 games) and in the clubhouse to help propel them to a 100-62 recording in the year since his Blue Jays debut (it's actually been remarkable to see how much that franchise has transformed in the last 365 days. Just scratch the surface and you'll find that Toronto is the No. 1 team in the AL in attendance for the first time since the early 1990s).
The Rockies, meanwhile, have only gone 72-90 in their first 162 games since the trade and had to deal with the Jose Reyes headache, but the fruits of this side of the deal won't come until Jeff Hoffman and Miguel Castro start producing at the major league level. So there's still many ways this could go as we wait to see what their major league careers look like.
Looking at the Rockies' current situation, it's hard to believe that they've really only made one significant trade since last year's deadline. Excluding the Rex Brothers and Tommy Kahnle trades, the Corey Dickerson deal is really the only wave maker we've seen in the last 360 days, and for anybody who doesn't believe the Rockies have enough in the cupboards to be consistently competitive going forward, that's extremely frustrating.
At the very least, you hope the Rockies are able to use this week to gain assets for guys like Boone Logan and Nick Hundley, but the bigger issue on the horizon surrounds Carlos Gonzalez and Tyler Chatwood. If you concede that 2016 is yet another lost year in Rockies land, then that means you only have 2017 to make the post season with these two before they hit free agency, which leaves the Rockies with 15 months to do one of the following three things with these guys:
1) Trade them
2) Make the playoffs with them
3) Sign them to an extension before you have to pay free agent prices
The absolute worst thing the Rockies could do with these two player is to hang onto them until the end of next season and not make the playoffs. And yes, they need to make the playoffs with these two before the end of next season to justify keeping them. The reason for this is that CarGo and Chatwood rank second and fourth in rWAR right now on the team. They're two of your best players, and if you don't make the playoffs next with them and they just disappear into free agency, it's going to be very difficult to make the playoff in 2018 losing both of those pieces and not getting anything in return in a trade.
This is why I think the Rockies need to be shopping these two players this week. I don't believe the 2016 Rockies are making the playoffs borrowing a miracle, and while I expect the 2017 Rockies to have a real chance to be improved, I don't think they're a playoff team either. Right now, CarGo and Chatwood both represent the potential to help you to not one, but two playoff runs if you're a competitive team, and that's something that won't exist this winter if they try to trade these two with just one year of control left. This is why it might be a good idea to move them even if you get an offer that's 80 cents on the dollar. It could easily still be worth more than what that whole dollar is valued at in December when the number of Octobers in the service time window is cut in half.
It also speaks to a larger point of if you want the Rockies to focus on putting together a longer run of being consistently competitive or if you just want them to try and make the playoffs as quickly as humanly possible. If you're just playing for 2017 (again, assuming 2016 is shot), then yes, you need CarGo and Chatwood. However if you want to turn this wave of young talent the Rockies have into something that can make the playoffs several times, then you probably need to cash CarGo and Chatwood in now to make yourself stronger for 2018 and beyond (multiple seasons).
For now though, fans are still stuck in limbo. Ever since the Tulo trade, we've watched the sand in the hourglass that is Carlos Gonzalez's contract slip away, and we're still left to wonder when or if a move is going to be made as the team once again falls short of contention and heads into their annual August abyss.
There is one link of note for today. Gerardo Parra is about to go on a rehab assignment and should rejoin the Rockies soon. Now if the Rockies really want to infuriate me over the next couple of weeks, I'll give them a quick two-step guide of how to do that.
1) Don't trade anybody of value in the next week and say you think this team can be competitive over the last couple of months of the season.
2) Give Gerardo Parra playing time when he comes back even though you already have three better options in CarGo, Charlie Blackmon and David Dahl.
The absolute last thing I want to see from this team right now is an August where CarGo and Blackmon are still on the team, Dahl is called up, and Parra is getting playing time. Under no circumstance (short of injuries) can the Rockies justify that combination of moves.