|The Rockies should have dealt LaTroy Hawkins.|
Those were the words of Dan Fellman, producer of seemingly every show on Mile High Sports Radio, on Thursday afternoon when talking about the Colorado Rockies lack of a move at the trade deadline in a season going down the toilet.
On their way to what could become their first-ever 100 loss season and several players who could bring a few prospects back to the Rockies organization, those who run the show at 20th and Blake sat on their hands. The trade deadline came and went without as much as a whisper coming from the Rockies.
The lack of activity wasn't because of a lack of names to deal. The Rockies had plenty of interest from teams looking to add starters, relievers and bats to their team. Jorge De La Rosa was the most mentioned, followed by Brett Anderson, along with Drew Stubbs and LaTroy Hawkins. Names like Justin Morneau and Michael Cuddyer were talked about, and the ever-present rumors of both Troy Tulowitzki and Carlos Gonzalez finding new homes.
However, none of those players were traded. From what it sounds like, no deal was ever really even immanent.
The Rockies holding on to De La Rosa and Anderson makes a ton of sense. While De La Rosa is a free agent at the end of the season, it is well known that he loves pitching in Colorado. If the Rockies treat him right, which is a big if, they shouldn't have a problem convincing their left-handed ace to come back for another few seasons. While the Rockies should have signed De La Rosa to an extension before the season, they still have a chance to get something done.
As for Anderson, the club has an affordable option to keep the lefty for 2015. The injury concern is a large one for the Rockies, however, his stuff is good enough that he is worth the risk. Combine that with the fact that the Rockies have such a huge need for pitchers and taking the risk on Anderson doesn't seem to be a huge concern. Essentially the Rockies need to have as much talent coming into spring training as possible, and Anderson is very talented.
If the time has arrived for the Rockies to deal Tulowitzki and Gonzalez, the team can make that happen in the offseason. There really isn't a reason for the club to deal either of them mid-season. Tulowitzki is hurt and Gonzalez has had a terrible season. Selling CarGo now would be a huge mistake and Tulowitzki will bring in a haul regardless of the time of year when, and if, he is dealt.
However, the Rockies made a huge mistake by not finding a trade partner for Hawkins and Stubbs. The reality is, Stubbs is having a very good season and has speed and power, which makes him very valuable to a contender looking to add one or both of those aspects to their team as they make a run for the postseason.
Stubbs isn't a bad player to keep around, but with him being arbitration eligible, it wouldn't be a shock to see him make in the neighborhood of $8 million in 2015. With the emergence of Corey Dickerson and Charlie Blackmon, the Rockies have no place for Stubbs except for the platoon position. He is terrible against right-handed pitching, and would be very expensive to keep around as a fourth outfielder.
If Stubbs could have brought back even a decent pitching prospect, one that could potentially help the Rockies not have to fall into the trap of having pitchers like Yohan Flande starting multiple games, the team should have made a move.
The biggest no-brainer, however, was for the Rockies to deal Hawkins. Their 41-year-old closer is making $2.25 million in 2014 and the club holds an option for roughly the same amount of money in 2015. Hawkins has been decent, but the reality is, he is a reliever who is a dime-a-dozen in the big leagues. Consider that he will be 42 in 2015, Hawkins best days are behind him. In fact, his best days aren't even visible in the rearview mirror anymore.
Trading Hawkins isn't a trade for the sake of making a trade. The Rockies are a team that has shown an extreme lack of depth in their farm system. While the team has been decimated by injury, the reality is, their seventh best starting pitcher heading into the season was Franklin Morales. That alone shows how little depth the Rockies have. Any move that could have brought a pitching prospect back for Hawkins would have been worth it.
The Rockies are desperate to believe that they are simply a healthy season away from being true contenders. Instead of acknowledging the severe issues that even the most average of fans can see, the front office and ownership of this team continue to dig their fingers into their ears and mutter words about being the victim of an unfair and under-appreciative fan base.
Standing pat suggests that the Rockies believe in the core of their team and think that they are good enough as is to have things be different in 2015. The problem is, that has been the same line the Rockies have been using to pull the wool over their fans eyes with for the past four seasons. It is time to acknowledge that the plan isn't working. It is time to acknowledge that the front office is failing to develop players correctly.
The Rockies standing pat at the deadline should be viewed just as negatively as the emails that Dick Monfort sent out to fans. It is essentially a continuation of the Rockies stubbornness and belief that, despite a terrible showing on the field over the past years, that their model doesn't need any massaging. They don't need to adjust anything at all. Instead, they simply need to continue doing what they have been doing, because at some point, this team will figure it out.
Essentially, with public perception at an all-time low, the Rockies front office doubled down on their model and Dick Monfort signed off on it. That type of thinking will continue to destroy a once-promising franchise.
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