Meet the Sellers: The perpetually middling Colorado Rockies have interesting depth players

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Evan Stack
3 months ago
I genuinely feel bad for Rockies fans. This organization has sent the most confusing signals to their fanbase, but it has ultimately all ended in frustration. First, they failed to build around Nolan Arenado and Trevor Story. Next, they got fleeced by the Cardinals in the Arenado trade, and let Story walk in free agency instead of trading him at the 2021 trade deadline. Then, two offseasons ago, they signed Kris Bryant to a seven-year, $182 million contract.
After those rollercoaster rides, Rockies GM Dick Montfort came out this offseason and made the bold prediction that “I think we [the Rockies] can play .500 ball.” There’s nothing wrong with being brutally honest, but that’s not the best message to relay to your fanbase.
Well, they’ve fallen short of that goal thus far. Right now, Colorado is 29-42 and 5th place in the NL West. They’re only one game removed from the worst record in the National League, so hopefully they are looking to deal away some of their better pieces.

Notable trade history with the Rockies

July 28, 2015: Traded Troy Tulowitzki and LaTroy Hawkins to Toronto in exchange for Jose Reyes, Jeff Hoffman, Miguel Castro, and Jesus Tinoco.
July 25, 2018: Traded Forrest Wall, Chad Spanberger, and Bryan Baker to Toronto in exchange for Seung-Hwan Oh.
March 24, 2022: Traded Raimel Tapia and Adrian Pinto to Toronto in exchange for Randal Grichuk.

Potential Acquisitions

Randal Grichuk

I truly believe this is the most ideal acquisition the Blue Jays could make this year. First off, while they did trade him for Raimel Tapia a little over a year ago, the trade made sense for both sides. Toronto needed a left-handed outfield bat, and that came with replacing one of their own current outfielders. I don’t know all of the talks behind the scenes, but I don’t believe there was any ill will between Grichuk and the Blue Jays.
What was clear was that Grichuk was going to miss playing for a competitive roster as he gave a bittersweet interview shortly after his departure.
Well, here’s Toronto’s chance to send him back! The Blue Jays need a boost offensively, and Grichuk’s bat has a high power ceiling. He doesn’t move the needle completely, but he is a cheap option that the Blue Jays know well. This season, Grichuk missed the first 35 games of the season after undergoing surgery for a sports hernia. Upon his return, he started swinging the bat really well for Colorado.
Through 36 games, he’s batting .307/.373/.811 with a home run, 14 RBIs, and 13 doubles. Grichuk also possesses exemplary numbers against the Orioles and the Yankees. Granted, his prime Blue Jays years were when the Orioles were historically bad, but you never know with baseball and feeling a niche against a certain team. His contract expires at the end of this season which just so happens to be the one that Toronto signed him to back in 2019. A fourth outfielder rental with some pop that’s not going to cost a lot – this is ideal.

C.J. Cron

Cron is a 1B/DH so I don’t know how the Blue Jays would make this work, but this is another guy on an expiring contract whose success is clearly not only due to playing at Coors Field. Cron becomes a free agent after this season and is currently on the 10-day IL. Through 36 games, he’s batting .228/.277/.703 with 6 homers, 20 RBIs, and 9 doubles. They aren’t the most dashing numbers, but he’s hit at least 25 home runs in each of the last four full seasons he has played.
Again, I don’t know how Toronto would fit him in on their roster, but the fact that he’s on an expiring deal and not putting up the best numbers this year may lower the cost on him.

Daniel Bard

Bard is a veteran reliever who is coming off a career season in 2022. The 37-year-old posted a 1.79 ERA through 57 games with 34 saves and a 10.3 K/9, a stat line that earned him some MVP votes.
Bard has only pitched in 20 games this season, but he’s been effective nonetheless. Through 20 games, he’s pitched to the tune of a 0.87 ERA, but it appears he has not been used in many save situations this year as he is yet to record one. There is a major concern about his performance (and I had to do a double take on this); Bard has an 8.3 BB/9 versus a  7.8 K/9. The ERA suggests that he’s keeping these runners from scoring, but he’s nearly averaging a walk per game.
Bard is currently in the first year of a two-year, $19 million contract.

Brent Suter

Like Bard, Suter is another experienced arm. He spent the first seven years of his career with the Brewers before signing a one-year, $3 million deal with Colorado, a contract that should make him a relatively cheap option for the Jays.
Aside from the contract, Suter would benefit Toronto in that he is a lefty. Tim Mayza is the only left-handed reliever on the Blue Jays and is having a really nice season, but it wouldn’t hurt to have another Southpaw option. Suter has an established career of consistent results, and this year is no different for him. Through 29 games, he is 4-0 with a 2.50 ERA, a 1.11 WHIP, and a 2.38 K/BB ratio. He’s been mainly used in the middle-t0-late innings, but there aren’t any noticeable blemishes on any particular inning split.

Justin Lawrence

With his deceiving sidearm delivery, Lawrence has had some of the nastiest pitches featured on Pitching Ninja this season. This guy may come at a cost as he is under team control until 2029, but he’s shown year-to-year improvements since his debut in 2021. This season, Lawrence owns a 3.08 ERA, a 1.10 WHIP, a pair of saves, and a 9.0 K/9.
Again, he may come at a decent cost, but Ross Atkins loves him a young, controllable arm.

Honourable Mention (including some old pals)

Jurickson Profar: .243/.319/.706 / 5 HR / 26 RBI / 16 2B / Currently on a one-year, $7.75 million deal. Depth bat with defensive flexibility.
Chase Anderson: 6 GS / 3.16 ERA / 1.12 WHIP / 6.6 K/9 / 2.0 BB/9 / Former Blue Jay that would be a backend starter. Becomes a free agent after this season.
Brad Hand: 29 G / 3.46 ERA / 1.34 WHIP / 11.8 K/9 / 3.5 BB/9 / Former Blue Jay bullpen acquisition that was seemingly much better after he left Toronto. On a one-year, $2 million deal with a 2024 team option.
Jake Bird: 32 G / 3.50 ERA / 1.26 WHIP / 9.3 K/9 / 3.1 BB/9 / Bullpen arm having a nice season. Won’t be a free agent until 2029.



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