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MLB Trade Deadline 2017: Four batters that could give the Rockies an offensive boost

Rockies news and links for July 14, 2017

Rockies should trade for hitter to aid offense |
Mike Petriello is great for a lot of reasons, but perhaps the best reason is because he has something of an analytical obsession with the Rockies and the team's particular circumstances. Here, he suggests that if the Rockies decide to dive into the trade market, they could use a hitter more than they can use a pitcher. He notes that the Rockies have really only had three good hitters this year: Charlie Blackmon, Nolan Arenado, and Mark Reynolds.

Those three have combined for a batting line that's 20 percent above league average, after adjusting for park factors. The rest of the team is not nearly as good. They've been 31 percent below league average. If adjusted stats aren't your jam, this Rockies offense is the second worst team offense since the installation of the humidor in 2002. There’s time for that to correct, but that’s where it stands right now. The 2015 squad was the only one worse. So, who does he suggest could provide an offensive boost? He mentions four names: Marcell Ozuna, J.D. Martinez, Zack Cozart, and Alex Avila.

Any of these hitters would fill a need on offense, but the outfielders, Ozuna and Martinez, might not have room to play. It would take some creative roster juggling—or trading Carlos González as a contract dump—to make it work. Cozart might be the most viable option here, as we wrote about a couple days ago. Alex Avila is an interesting suggestion as well, as the Rockies' catchers this year have been pretty poor on offense.

The Rockies are still more likely to pursue a reliever, but they are still more likely to need more offense for the remainder of the year. I'm not sure how the team will move beyond this impasse.

Colorado Rockies: The debate for and against Nolan Arenado | Rox Pile
Kevin Henry engaged in a game of point/counter-point with the Pirates' blog Rum Bunter, which became infamous on Rockies twitter the other day by claiming Nolan Arenado is not a top 5 third baseman in baseball.

On the surface, that's the point that the proprietor of Rum Bunter wants to make here, but it's blunted a little with phrases like "He is undoubtedly one of the best two-way players in all of Major League Baseball, as well as being one of the best third basemen in the game right now" and "Nolan Arenado is one of the best players in the National League." Kevin Henry, in his counterpoint, agrees with these sentiments.

How Colorado could land an All-Star catcher at the trade deadline | BSN Rockies
Ben Karp discusses Jonathan Lucroy as a potential fit for the Rockies, as well as why dealing with the Rangers for Lucroy might not make sense.

The View From Behind The Backstop: Known Unknowns | Baseball Prospectus ($)

Baseball Prospectus recently released their mid-season top 50 prospects list. Here, Jeffrey Paternostro writes about the difficulty near arbitrariness of some of the inclusions. For example, Alex Reyes remains the ninth best prospect in baseball despite not having thrown a pitch due to Tommy John surgery, while someone like Lucas Giolito has fallen from top prospect-dom to number 31 in that same time because he's been quite a bit less than dominant in that same time.

Paternostro also discusses Riley Pint, Colorado's top pitching prospect and the number 43 ranked prospect according to BP's mid-season list. He describes Pint as a polarizing prospect: "Ask about Riley Pint inside our team or inside the industry, and you wonder if everyone was watching the same pitcher. Pick a number between 4 and 8. I’ve heard it within the last twelve months on him." Unless Pint totally loses the strike zone or begins to utterly dominate Class A hitters tomorrow, expect these disagreements to continue into offseason prospect rankings.

Around the NL West

The Arizona Diamondbacks at the trade deadline: Assets and liabilities | AZ Snake Pit
A tough thing about the trade market is that the Rockies won't be the only team on it. J.D. Martinez, for example, is cited here as a potential target for the Diamondbacks.

Dodgers reportedly interested in Zach Britton | True Blue LA
And the Dodgers seem to be interested in Zach Britton. Having Britton and Kenley Jansen in a single bullpen would be something.