As of July 27th, the Rockies are 1-5 on their current 9-game roadtrip. I felt before they left that they needed to go at least 7-2 to get back into contention. A 7-2 roadtrip would have brought them back to .500. Obviously this is not the case and they are now positioned as sellers at the July 31st trade deadline.
Below is a list of the possible trade pieces (and in Ubaldo Jimenez’s case why and why not the Rockies should deal him).
He is one of the biggest names floating around on the trade market. Though the Rockies are not actively shopping him, they are listening to offers. Besides Tampa Bay Rays Pitcher James Shields, Jimenez is clearly the top starting pitcher (partially) available. Jimenez has been the ace of the Rockies pitching staff for a few years now. He broke out last season when he began the year 14-1 after the first three months of the season. He would end up with a 19-8 record on the year. This year did not start off the way he would have liked. He started 0-5, but has pitched better lately and his record stands at 6-9.
He is a #1 or #2 pitcher on most contending teams. Teams are desperate to add to their team for the final two months of the season and a potential World Series run. The Rockies have said they will only trade him if they get 3 or 4 top pieces from other organizations. If a team, like the Reds, give up two starting pitchers and an elite prospect then you make the trade. Ubaldo has been great for the Rockies, especially considering how difficult it is to pitch at Coors Field. But if you get two starting pitchers and an elite prospect you make the trade.
Don’t Trade Him:
Jimenez is considered a front-line starting pitcher and is only 27 years old. Even with that type of production, his salary is VERY good for the Rockies. Jimenez is scheduled to make only $4.2 million next season, $5.75 million in 2013 and $8 million in 2014 (both 2013 and 2014 are club options). For a pitcher of his caliber, his contract is a steal. Unless the Rockies know something we don’t (i.e. he has already hit his peak) then they should hold onto Jimenez.
He is 40 years old but still provides a homerun threat off the bench for the Rockies. Since the team is out of contention, the Rockies would be willing to trade him to a contender so he can chase a world series ring…that is until he got hurt two nights ago in Los Angeles. He is now on the 15 day disabled list and probably won’t be moved until after the trade deadline in a waiver deal.
The rumors are that the Pittsburgh Pirates and the San Diego Padres are interested in the Rockies Catcher. Iannetta is hitting .220 with 10 HR and 36 RBI this season. A move would give way to Rockies top prospect Wilin Rosario to come up and play for the big club. He is currently in AA and is rated the #3 catching prospect out of all catchers throughout baseball.
There have been a few rumblings that the team could move Spilborghs. He does not play too often, often platooning with Seth Smith. But with recurring injuries to Carlos Gonzalez and the injury to Charlie Blackmon, Spilborghs might be needed to play one of the outfield spots. Especially if…
Ty Wigginton has played LF, RF, 3B and 1B this season. He is very versatile. This makes him valuable for contending teams. He could come in off the bench at multiple positions and provides some decent power from the right side of the plate. Look for him to probably be dealt.
Other notable players that could be traded: Huston Street (RP), Eric Stults (RP) and Eric Young Jr. (2B/OF).
Heading into the 2011 season, Colorado didn’t expect to be sellers in July. Things have not worked out as they planned but they can receive some decent players for their current players at the trade deadline. If they do decide to trade Ubaldo Jimenez, there is sure to be plenty of commentary moving forward as to whether it was a smart move or not. For now, he is still a member of the Colorado Rockies, though reports are that the Reds are further along in the process than any other team. However, other reports say that the Reds prefer Rays P James Shields over Jimenez. Either way, it should be an eventful four days as we approach and pass the July 31st trade deadline.
About the Author
Written by Steve Folsom
Sports has always been my passion in life. I enjoy all sports but baseball is by far my favorite. I bring an analytical perspective to my sports consumption. Follow me on Twitter @Steven_Folsom.