The Colorado Rockies play in a stadium named after a brand of beer. Coors has the slogan “ Unchanged since 1873” and the Rockies’ slogan could be ‘ unchanged since 2014”. This team has decent hitting and fielding, but they are undercut by an underperforming pitching staff.
Numbers don’t lie. This season, the Rockies have gotten 820 hits, but their opponents accumulated 837 hits. Their average was .278, but the other teams have hit .347. When it comes to home runs, all things created equal. Perhaps due to the altitude of Coors Field, both the Rockies and their rivals hit 97 home runs. The Rockies’ pitchers have allowed 443 runs scored, while their teammates have only hit 378 runs batted in.
Media outlets in Colorado and across the country want the Rockies to trade some of their older pitching talent for younger, talented pitchers. This might not end well. The Rockies would be giving up valuable players—proven talent for unproven players.
The Veteran Cast
Tulowitzki, Gonzalez, and Hundley are veteran players. They are good hitters, and all three of them are in their early thirties. Furthermore, Hundley is considered a clubhouse leader, and his departure might hurt far more than it could help. If management wants to get young pitching, they ought to keep a veteran Catcher like Hundley to help them adjust to pitching in Colorado.
Graphic via eastvillagetimes
There’s another problem with baseball trades. The other Baseball executives know the Rockies want to make a trade, and its’ their job to get the best bargain for their team. Once they know the Rockies want to negotiate, they are going to set as high a price as possible. It could mean giving up one of their best hitters as well as a minor league prospect.
Why abandon three established players, all of whom are having a good season? It is irrational. Rockies executives know what they could lose, without having any assurance of an equal gain. So many promising young players never live up to their hype.
Does anybody remember when the New York Mets traded Nolan Ryan for an aging third baseman, Jim Fregosi? It was one of the worst deals in National League history. Ryan went on to become a superstar, while poor Jim faded into obscurity. Dealing away Tulowitzki or Hundley might be the mirror image of that trade. The young pitcher will be a failure, while the veteran player gets to finish out his career and possibly make the Hall of Fame.
Some of the Best Trades
Middle-aged broadcasters tend to say that “the best trades are the ones you don’t make”. It’s a cliché, but like most clichés, has stood the test of time because it is true. The Colorado Rockies are not going to make the postseason. At this point, they ought to let their minor league pitchers develop. Some of the AAA team players may be ready to join the team in 2016. Why let another team get the benefit of their talent?
Graphic via thecrawfordhotel.com