The 2017 MLB trade deadline is two months away, but with the pretenders and contenders starting to get sorted out, we are gaining some clarity about who might move. Bob Nightengale of USA Today released his top 25 trade targets for the upcoming trade deadline today, and there is lots of good news for Rockies fans.
First, there are no Rockies included on the list. With the Rockies sitting just out of first place and June only a day away, it is becoming quite apparent that the Rockies will not be sellers at the deadline. Unlike previous years, Rockies fans should have no reason to worry about favorites like Carlos Gonzalez and Charlie Blackmon being traded to competing teams.
The other good news is that should the Rockies choose to acquire some help this summer, there are plenty of good options. Let’s break down these top 25 options.
There are 11 position players USA Today’s list. While the Rockies’ offense has struggled, there is ample reason to believer that the warmer summer months will fix what ails it. There is no obvious hole in the lineup and the bench is even producing at an acceptable rate when called upon.
The Rockies also have the returns of Tom Murphy and David Dahl from injury to help solidify the offense. So while there are going to be some intriguing position players available, such as Mike Moustakas, those aren’t likely targets for the Rockies.
Of the 14 pitchers on the list, there’s a perfect split of relievers and starters that they predict will be the top player’s available. There’s been some focus on the Rockies potential need for another starter due to the Rockies’ reliance on rookie and inexperienced pitchers in their rotation. However, the Rockies bullpen may also benefit from an acquisition or two to help bolster their ranks.
The seven relievers on Nightengale’s list are David Robertson, Tony Watson, Brad Hand, Kelvin Herrera, Pat Neshek, A.J. Ramos and Ryan Madson. Robertson is the most likely to be traded because of the White Sox’ ongoing rebuild. Hand has already been rumored to have been placed on the trading block by the Padres as well.
With the Rockies already set in the back of the pen, they can probably avoid getting in a bidding war with desperate teams like the Nationals for the closers and possibly pick up a lesser heralded name for cheaper to fit into the middle of their pen. Of the names listed above, Neshek might fit that role the best. And despite his phenomenal numbers, he’ll be available cheaper than most of the other options on that list.
The seven mot available starters are Sonny Gray, Jose Quintana, Ervin Santana, Alex Cobb, Chris Archer, Jason Vargas and Gerrit Cole. If the Rockies do decide that they still need to bolster their rotation after the return of Jon Gray next month, the best news from this list is that there appears to be no shortage of available top-end rotation pieces available. That may help keep the price of acquiring some rotation help down, especially if more teams decide to join the sellers.
No matter where the Rockies feel their needs might be, it’s good news that this deadline is shaping up to be a buyers market—just in time for the Rockies to be a buyer at the deadline for the first time in quite a long time.