Rockies news and links for Saturday, July 24th, 2021
Last week I dove into the notion of the Rockies staying idle this trade deadline. In the seven days since, the team has given no indications to dissuade that possibility. But instead of griping about management again, let’s look at the possibility of the organization electing to obtain value for Story and Gray while they’re still under team control.
This will not be a mock trade proposal piece since we have no evidence (other than the occasional rumor tweet) if any of these names have, or will, be discussed. Instead, we’ll look at some teams that are in need of players that Colorado could offer and a few names from each that could be targets.
Keep in mind that acquiring Gray or Story would be a rental, so the expectations for received talent should be tempered. For context, I’m using the Manny Machado trade in 2018 as the high-end marker for a return on Story while the same could be said of Yu Darvish leaving Texas as the ceiling for a Gray deal.
You can never have enough pitching, and it’s no secret that any club with title ambitions would be glad to add a quality arm like Gray into their rotation. The list of clubs interested should be lengthy and a case can be made for numerous teams like the Philadelphia Phillies, St. Louis Cardinals, Seattle Mariners and Los Angeles Angels to bid for his services, but let’s limit the focus to three possible buyers:
The Red Sox have been the surprise of the American League this season. The offensive core has been as advertised and the bullpen has been superb. However, the starting rotation ranks 19th in the league in ERA and they could certainly use an upgrade like Gray down the stretch.
Boston’s farm system does have strong depth in its middle-tier and an attractive offer could be made from this group. A buy-low candidate such as lefty Jay Groome could be in play in a trade while outfield pieces such as Cameron Cannon or Nick Decker also loom as possibilities to fill out a package. Another interesting name could be Noah Song, a well-regarded pitching prospect out of the Air Force Academy who is away from baseball while completing flight school.
Trailing the Red Sox by one game, the defending American League champions wouldn’t typically seem like a candidate for a rental. But their starting staff ranks 16th in fWAR at 6.8 and has lost ace Tyler Glasnow for most, if not all, of the season. They also just traded Rich Hill — who has pitched the second most innings for them this season — to the New York Mets, so a reinforcement or two may be needed.
As always, Tampa’s farm system is stacked and there are a bevvy of options to choose from here. However, given the organization’s proclivity for promoting from within and lack of payroll flexibility from ownership, I would not expect Tampa to be willing to surrender much, if any, of their top talent. Taj Bradley and Colby White are both having excellent seasons on the mound in the A-Ball ranks and could be targets, though. Meanwhile, Osleivis Basabe, Alika Williams and Abiezel Ramirez are all toolsy middle infielders that could be enticing.
Apparently Jon Gray could be the key piece in the race for the AL East. Sitting five games behind the second wild card spot, Toronto sorely needs pitching help if they wants to improve their chances of making the postseason.
The Blue Jays’ system has promoted a considerable amount of talent over the past few years, but that doesn’t mean the cupboard is entirely empty. The system is thin in pitching and parting with shortstop Jordan Groshans may be too rich for Toronto’s taste, but third baseman Miguel Hiraldo would be a fantastic addition. Meanwhile Kevin Smith has held his own in Triple-A and does not appear to have a spot in the crowded Major League infield. Middle infielders Leo Jimenez and Samad Taylor won’t offer much in power, but each sport a contact-oriented profile that would provide a solid depth addition in a deal.
Aside from Kris Bryant, Story may be the most prized position player on the market. The Chicago White Sox have already kicked the tires and others like the Philadelphia Phillies and San Francisco Giants would benefit from plugging him in their middle infield. Here are three other teams that could get over the hump with Trevor in their lineup:
The Reds sit second-to-last in fWAR at shortstop this season but are within striking distance of both the wild card and division lead. Adding Story could be a perfect fit for a playoff push in Cincy.
The Reds’ farm system is on an upswing from recent drafts, but is not overflowing with talent as the team has stayed in a retooling mode for much of the last decade. To land Story, some of the lower-level position player core of Tyler Callihan, Ivan Johnson, Michael Siani and Rece Hinds could produce a headliner in a deal. Catcher Eric Yang and outfielders TJ Yang and Mac Wainwright could be solid depth additions as well. Meanwhile, Graham Ashcroft and Bryce Bonnin are appealing future rotation options in a deal.
It’s unlike the Yankees to be out of the playoffs but if the season ended today, that would be the case. Gleyber Torres has been adequate defensively but has disappointed offensively, and Story would provide an upgrade in the Bronx.
It’s no secret New York has already been in on Story. The most recent reports show Clint Frazier, shortstop Anthony Volpe and outfielder Kevin Alcantara as possible targets in a return.
The #Yankees have been involved in talks to acquire star shortstop Trevor Story from the Colorado #Rockies . Colorado has asked for OF Clint Frazier and no. 11 and 12 prospects Anthony Volpe and Kevin Alcantara in return for the 3 time All-Star shortstop.
— Michael Hawk (@mlbhawk) July 22, 2021
Beyond that rumor, a balanced Yankees farm system does offer a variety of options. Starter Yoendrys Gómez would be a solid power arm to add to the farm system and the same could be said of TJ Sikkema, who grades highly but has yet to throw this season due to a lat injury. On the position player side, outfielder Everson Periera’s stock is rising and could be a great find. Young infielder Oswaldo Cabrera and Marcos Cabrera could provide interesting tools to round out a package as well.
Despite being in the thick of the AL West hunt, the Elvis Andrus acquisition has not paid off for the A’s and they, like Cincinnati, are a natural fit for Story’s services.
Oakland’s farm system has thinned out the past few years, but has some quality options in the higher levels. Dan Szymborski recently did his take on a trade of Story to the A’s and tagged outfielder Brayan Bulevas, catcher Drew Millas and first baseman Greg Deichmann as a return.
It would be a fine haul for Colorado, but other names to consider from this tier of their farm system include shortstop Nick Allen and pitcher Brady Feigl. Both continue to rise through the system and are approaching an MLB-ready state. Adding Daniel Palencia’s electric stuff to the system would also be a win while corner bats Jordan Diaz and Junior Perez could also be worthy inclusions.
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Many picks from the recent amateur draft are inking their contracts and beginning their journeys into professional baseball. As is traditional with the Rockies, the club has been inviting their recently signed picks to Coors Field to experience the park they may one day call home. First-round selection Benny Montgomery, second-rounder Jaden Hill and third-round pick Joe Rock all recently attended the homestand against Seattle this week and recounted their experience with Thomas Harding.
In Major League news, Cleveland has landed on a new team nickname. Beginning in 2022, the Cleveland Guardians will call Progressive Field home. Having been known as the Indians since 1915, the organization made the long-awaited name change official on Friday and have unveiled their new logo as well. The “Guardians” nickname is mostly derived from the Guardians of Traffic statues that stand on the Hope Memorial Bridge.
On the farm
Triple-A: Albuquerque Isotopes, El Paso Chihuahuas (PPD — Rain. Makeup 7/24)
Double-A: Bowie Baysox 5, Hartford Yard Goats 0
The Yard Goats were shut out on the road against the Baysox. The Hartford lineup amassed only four hits on Friday while striking out 13 times. Despite taking the loss, Ryan Feltner pitch well for Hartford. Over six innings, Feltner allowed two runs on six hits while striking out nine Bowie hitters. Both runs he allowed came on solo home runs in the fourth inning.
Spokane used the long-ball to get a victory on the road. Brenton Doyle launched his tenth homer of the season in the third inning to extend the early lead to 4-0. The Dust Devils would keep the game close until Michael Toglia launched a grand slam in the seventh inning, giving him 13 bombs now on the season.
On the mound, Breiling Eusebio turned his best start at the High-A level. Since being promoted from Low-A Fresno, he had only recorded one quality start at the next level but he got his second Friday. Over six stellar innings, Eusebio allowed only one earned run on three hits and one walk while striking out six Tri-City batters.
The Grizzlies continue to roll as they took care of the Nuts at home on Friday. The bottom of the Fresno lineup did the heavy lifting this game, as two-run singles by Julio Carreras in the second inning and Ronaiker Palma in the fourth proved to be enough in this one. Fresno has now won three of four games in this series with Modesto and sit four games ahead of San Jose (SF) for best record in the Low-A West League. Their run differential also sits at a league-best +112.
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