The 2022 trade deadline clock is ticking down. As of noon on Friday, the Rockies will have T-minus 100 hours to make a move.
If Rockies fans have learned from history, they have given up relentlessly checking Twitter or hoping for a breaking news notification.
It’s not coming.
We can wish. We can plead with logic. It doesn’t matter. The Rockies haven’t made a major move at the trade deadline since 2015. What reason do we have to believe things will be different this year?
While this might be Bill Schmidt’s first year with the GM title, at least without an interim tag, it’s still the same Rockies. He’s part of the same foundation that either has no sense of reality or is great at lying to the media and themselves. The motto of “we believe in these guys” should be permanently built into the jumbotron at Coors Field because it doesn’t matter who these guys are. It’s true every year, regardless of record or performance.
The more reporters or fans seem to question this philosophy, the more the Rockies front office seems to dig in its heels. Rockies fans dream of playoff contention. The front office dreams of ticket sales where fans believe a postseason may or may not be possible, but will buy tickets anyway because a summer’s night at Coors Field is a night well spent.
If the Rockies win a series or get a walk-off win, that’s enough to restore the narrative that this is it: the Rockies have turned the corner and have a 2007 Rocktober-like streak coming on. If that fails, Schmidt will point to a winning record in the NL West (21-18), despite being in last place in the division at 22 games out of first place. With a 13-0 loss to the Dodgers on Thursday night in game one of a four-game series, a five-game series in San Diego on deck, and a three-game series in the hole in Arizona, there is a good chance that by Aug. 9, the Rockies won’t have a winning record in the NL West anymore.
That’s when the front office will dazzle you with their Rockies glasses (like rose-colored, but it’s more of a purplish hue) and say that the Rockies can still contend in the Wild Card. They are only 7.5 games out, they’ll say, leaving out that the Rockies would have to match the play of winning teams like Atlanta, San Diego, St. Louis, and Philadelphia. As long as the players believe and can play up to their potential, the Rockies can get back into contention.
By this time, the season could be well into September and the Rockies will still be in the top 10 in attendance (they are No. 9 by average crowd per game at 32,542 and No. 7 in total fans at 1.69 million through Wednesday’s game), especially if the fall temperatures drop and spending time at Coors Field becomes irresistible.
The season will end. The Rockies won’t be in the playoffs or anywhere close to contention, but the dollars will have rolled in and another “successful” season will be in the books.
The Rockies have made their 2022 move. They signed Kris Bryant. They spent money. The deal could still work out and Bryant’s been hitting decently when he’s not injured. He’s slashing .304/.371/.488, but’s only played in 39 out of 100 games. Wishing the Rockies would do more is reasonable, but expecting them to is delusional.
Just to go on a trip down memory lane, we can revisit the trade deadlines since 2015 — the year the Rockies unceremoniously shipped Troy Tulowitzki and LaTroy Hawkins out of the country. They established a tradition of bad communication, with Tulo believing Dick Monfort and Co. would bring him into deals before they were made, and then completed the deal in the middle of a game. The Rockies got Jose Reyes, who was later suspended for domestic abuse, and RHPs Jeff Hoffman, Miguel Castro and Jesus Tinoco. Even though Tulo struggled with injuries, the Rockies didn’t exactly get a winning deal either.
The Rockies haven’t traded away a starting player since. Still reeling from the disaster the year before, the Rockies did nothing at the trade deadline in 2016. In 2017, Colorado sent prospects for Jonathan Lucroy. The next season, the Rockies traded Minor Leaguers 1B Chad Spanberger and 2B Forrest Wall for bullpen help in Seunghwan Oh.
The insignificant moves continued in 2019, the Rockies continued to deal from the farm, sending LHP Alfredo Garcia to the Yankees for reliever Joe Harvey. In 2020, still harboring under the fantasy of playoff contention and in the wake of jettisoning Nolan Arenado, the Rockies acquired Mychal Givens, sending away Tyler Nevin and Terrin Vavra, MLB Pipeline’s No. 7 and No. 14 prospects in the Rockies farm system at the time. They also picked up Kevin Pillar for another top-20 prospect, 2019 third-round pick Jacob Wallace.
Pillar left at the end of the season and Givens became the centerpiece in 2021’s trade deadline when the Rockies sent him to the Reds for RHP prospect Noah Davis and their former 2020 fourth-round draft pick in RHP Case Williams (who was traded previously in a deal to get rid of Hoffman). Instead of moving Trevor Story or Jon Gray, the Rockies held on to them, settling for a compensation pick and nothing, respectively. Story revealed the Rockies hadn’t improved their communication, admitting being “confused” by the organization before signing with the Red Sox in the offseason.
That brings us to this season when the Rockies have coveted veterans like C.J. Cron and Daniel Bard, who could help serious contenders, and prospects they could bring up to the big leagues to build for the future. When logic would suggest that the Rockies should be sellers, that’s just not how they roll. Maybe we blame the trade deadline deal in the organization’s inaugural year that sent future All-Star Andy Ashby and future Gold Glove catcher Brad Ausmus to San Diego for starters Greg Harris and Bruce Hurst. Harris and Hurst combined for 22 starts and were both gone by the start of the 1995 season.
When the trade deadline hits on Tuesday, Aug. 2 at 4 p.m. MT, I expect the Rockies roster will look much like it does today, if not exactly the same. The only thing I can hope for is that this post could manifest some kind of jinx — like when announcers mention and immediately ruin a no-hitter or when writers highlight a player’s unbelievable streak and promptly induce a slump.
Here’s hoping I can write about being wrong next week. What do you think?
Will the Rockies make a move before this season’s trade deadline on Tuesday, Aug. 2 at 4 p.m. MT?
This poll is closed
Yes. They have to. Please.
No. They are the Rockies.
Maybe if the Rockies are swept by the Dodgers and begin to accept reality.
★ ★ ★
Rox Pile and MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand have both confirmed that multiple teams are interested in acquiring the relief talents of Daniel Bard. This already seemed to be common knowledge, but Feinsand’s Tweet about it on Thursday reignited the conversation. Even though Bard is a good candidate with 21 saves and a 1.91 ERA in 37 appearances, the Rockies are rumored to be looking to extend the impending free agent rather than trade him.
After leaving Wednesday’s game in the seventh inning after being hit in the calf by a hard-hit ground ball, Antonio Senzatela said that he was feeling better on Thursday. He and manager Bud Black both expressed confidence that the pitcher will be able to make his next start, which is scheduled for Monday in San Diego.
★ ★ ★
On The Farm
Carlos Pérez hit an RBI double to give the Isotopes a 1-0 lead in the first inning, but that was only one of three hits for Albuquerque in Thursday night’s loss. Tim Lopes and Bret Boswell both hit singles, but the Isotopes only had five baserunners all night. Ashton Goudeau had a decent start, giving up one run on three hits with two walks and five strikeouts in five innings. The game was tied when he left the game, but Ty Blach then surrendered three runs, only one of which was earned after a costly error by Alan Trejo, in the seventh inning.
Even though the Yard Goats hit three home runs, it wasn’t enough to overcome Portland’s five-run fourth inning as Hartford dropped its second straight game on Thursday. Isaac Collins, Daniel Cope, and Tyler Hill all hit solo homers, Hunter Stovall had two hits and scored a run, and Cristopher Navarro doubled and scored a run for the Yard Goats. Tony Locey gave up six runs on eight hits in 3 2⁄3 innings in a rough start and Garrett Schilling surrendered four more runs in the seventh and ninth innings. On the bright side, Riley Pint threw two scoreless frames.
In the fourth inning, Spokane posted three runs and they all came with two outs. Warming Bernabel led off with a double and, despite getting to third on a wild pitch, waited on base through two outs. Finally, Mateo Gil brought him home with a double, and Trevor Boone and Braiden Ward followed with singles to put the Indians up 4-2. Andrew Quezada pitched a quality start, giving up three runs on six hits with one walk and six strikeouts in six innings to improve to 7-0 on the season. Spokane busted out another two-out rally for two more insurance runs in the ninth inning when Colin Simpson led off with a single, Ward and Bladimir Restituyo followed with two-out singles, and Zac Veen hit a bases-loaded double. Adam McKillican, Boby Johnson, and Tyler Ahearn all pitched scoreless innings of relief with Ahearn earning his third save of the season.
It was a close game before the seventh inning happened and Modesto went nuts with seven runs. Before that, Fresno trailed 4-2 and had a chance for a comeback. Juan Brito hit a solo homer in the fifth inning before Adeal Amador scored uniquely in the seventh. After reaching on a bunt, he was safe and even advanced to second on a throwing error. He then stole third base right before the catcher’s throw was errant and allowed Amador to score. Fresno starter Victor Juarez dropped to 4-4 on the year after giving up four runs on six hits with two walks and three strikeouts in five innings. But it was Gabriel Rodriguez who had the worst night, being tagged for all seven runs in the seventh on three hits and four walks in 1⁄3 of an inning. Benjamin Sems hit a two-run homer in the eighth to double the Grizzlies score, but it wasn’t enough.
★ ★ ★
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