Our first reaction: Huh?
Our follow up questions: Why would the Rockies do such a thing? Is Morosi just trying to induce the Rockies to tear down? What else is going on here?
After thinking it through, there’s really only one point of view in which trading Blackmon makes sense.
The Buyer’s Perspective
The Rockies are teetering on the edge of non-contending for 2019. It puts them in a sticky situation regarding the upcoming trade deadline. We wrote about different perspectives on what the Rockies should do at the deadline, and one takeaway was that even if the Rockies decided to sell, there aren’t a lot of “sellable” players currently on the major league roster. Nobody considered Blackmon as a candidate.
Chuck Nazty is having his best season since his MVP-caliber 2018, and he has 4 more years of control on the contract extension he signed in 2018. The way the market has shifted over the past few years is that teams who want top prospects need to be willing to trade players who are under team control for a number of years. Rentals just don’t move the needle as much as they used to back when the Cubs sent Gleyber Torres to the Yankees for 2 1/2 months of Aroldis Chapman.
Then again, those years cover Charlie’s age 33 through 36 seasons, years that teams are proving themselves less and less willing to pay for. Were the Rockies to trade Charlie Blackmon, they would probably have to pick up some of the $21 million he’s still owed.
Morosi makes a good case. There are plenty of reasons why other teams would be interested in Blackmon’s services. But that’s about it.
The Seller’s Perspective
Apparently the Rockies are “listening” to offers, which is trade rumor speak for “I’ll answer the phone,” but means a little else. And if some team wants to make a huge offer for Charlie (I’m thinking Dansby Swanson for Shelby Miller level), I might be convinced to go for it. But otherwise, I don’t see how this type of move helps Rockies.
The Rockies are coming off of back-to-back playoff appearances, something they’ve never accomplished in their history. And well this year may seem to be on the verge of lost, it doesn’t mean that 2020 or 2021 is lost as well. On the contrary, the Rockies core is under contract for the foreseeable future, with most of their young players only in their first years of arbitration. Nolan Arenado is under team control at least through 2021. Why should they trade away one of the most productive players on a roster now, especially without a ready-made replacement?
Overall, it’s quite perplexing and probably doesn’t make sense from the Rockies perspective. But there’s one more perspective to consider.
The Fan’s Perspective
I almost called this section “The Marketing Perspective.” If you drive around Denver, you are likely to see Blackmon’s bearded face at least once on the side of the building or on a billboard. Whether it’s by the Pepsi plant in RiNo or anywhere near the UC Health buildings, he’s everywhere. Nolan Arenado is the face of the franchise on the field, but Charlie Blackmon is the marketing face of the Rockies.
And for good reason! The personality that he’s cultivated through interviews and social media have endeared him to fans for being a little kooky, a little off the wall, but eminently relatable and recognizable. Last Sunday people showed up hours early for a game at Coors Field in order to get a bobblehead of Charlie Blackmon that plays his walk up song.
People in Denver love Charlie, but in a much different way than they love Nolan — or, for that matter, Troy Tulowitzki. Trading him away would devastate not only the advertisers across the city, but fans throughout the Rocky Mountain region.
★ ★ ★
So yes, there is one point of view in which trading Charlie Blackmon makes a ton of sense, but that comes exclusively from the perspective of the teams that would want him, not the team that currently has him, or the fans who currently love him. Let’s hope this trade rumor quickly goes where all bad trade rumors deserve to go: Lost in the comments section.
Should the Rockies trade Charlie Blackmon
This poll is closed
Yes, they need help with pitching.
Yes, but only for a really great package.
No, I don’t want to lose your love TONIIIIIIIIGHT!