When it comes to being a Colorado Rockies fan, there are four guarantees in life: death, taxes, lots of runs being scored at Coors Field and Carlos Gonzalez trade rumors. The only difference now is CarGo doesn’t have the pleasure of Troy Tulowitzki joining him in those rumors because he’s already gone.
After posting a 92-70 record in 2009, the organization hoped their franchise cornerstones would help deliver winning baseball on a consistent basis in the Mile High city, but that hasn’t happened. Actually, it’s been the complete opposite – after going 83-79 in 2010, Colorado hasn’t sniffed a .500 record since.
It’s not surprising to see Colorado nearing the All-Star break with a 38-45 record. However, despite being a likely insurmountable 13.5 games behind the San Francisco Giants in the NL West, they’re a not-totally-crazy seven games back for the final NL Wild Card spot.
Even though they’re “technically” in the Wild Card race, getting another year of lackluster results should spur the Rockies to become sellers before the August 1 non-waiver trade deadline. It looks like the front office will eventually do that instead of fighting to earn a spot in a play-in game, according to Patrick Saunders of the Denver Post. The problem is Saunders doesn’t think Gonzalez will be one of the players they’ll deal. He also thinks the outfielder will still be on the roster in 2017. If this ends up being true, it’s a huge mistake given the circumstances.
Outside of their current five-game winning streak, the rebuilding year of 2016 has been awfully hard on the Atlanta Braves. What would make it sting a little less is finding legitimate trade value on the big-league roster – outside of Julio Teheran and Freddie Freeman, of course.
When Atlanta traded away Shelby Miller to the Arizona Diamondbacks for a king’s ransom over the winter, multiple teams immediately asked about Ender Inciarte. Not only was he a good outfielder with some speed and coming off a solid 2015 (.303/.338/.408, six homers, 45 RBI, 73 runs scored), one would assume he had no space in the Braves’ rebuild.
Those teams are probably right – it’s likely just a matter of time before Inciarte is traded away for more young talent. Him missing about a month with a hamstring injury and putting up a cumulative line of .234/.303/.317 through 167 at-bats this year probably doesn’t help his trade value very much, but it shouldn’t matter.
He showed exactly how valuable he is in the matter of just two innings during a weekend series against the New York Mets at Citi Field. He was a force throughout the three-game set, slashing .308/.357/.462 during the sweep, but it was what he did late on Saturday night that really caught my eye.
Spring is quickly turning into summer, which means one thing around Major League Baseball: the trade market is starting to heat up. What’s a little unfamiliar is seeing a catcher become the most desired target among position players, but that’s the world we live in today.
After thinking about selling low last winter, the Milwaukee Brewers are happy they decided against trading Jonathan Lucroy. While he’s returned to being one of baseball’s best catchers and leads the position with a 2.3 fWAR, there are four main reasons why he’s become a hot commodity:
- After a rough season in 2014 that led to his lowest OPS since 2011 (.717), Lucroy has bounced back in 2016, hitting .311/.368/.527 in 222 at-bats.
- He’s not just an offensive catcher, either. Lucroy is an asset behind the plate when it comes to throwing out runners and framing pitches.
- He’s primarily a catcher, but also has some experience at first base.
- His contract makes him an incredibly affordable, non-rental player ($4 million total salary in ’16, $5.25 million team option for ’17).
Now that over 60 regular-season games are in the books, it appears the teams who could really use his services the most – and have a somewhat decent chance of making it happen – all reside in the American League West. And no, we’re not talking about the Los Angeles Angels or the Oakland Athletics.