The Colorado Rockies finished 4th in the NL West in 2020 with a 26-34 record. They also finished 4th in 2019 with a 71-91 record. While the offseason is young, their moves for 2021 do not look as though they’re trying to get any better. And sure, if they were the Braves of 2018 with stud prospects on the cusp, there could be hope to add young talent to the established stars and make a run. Unfortunately for the team and their fans, the farm system is bottom 5 and the MLB talent just isn’t enough to finish .500, much less compete against the Dodgers or Padres. Maybe they stand pat, but they definitely shouldn’t. There are several players on their team that could interest the Braves, some obvious, some could be diamonds in the rough, and one bad contract swap. Let’s get to it…Braves and Rockies hypothetical trades
Cot’s Contracts on Rockies
While the Rockies likely aren’t completely motivated by selling off their high contracts, it’s worth noting their largest salaries.
- Nolan Arenado: 6/$199MM with opt-out after 2021
- Trevor Story: 1/$18.5MM
- Charlie Blackmon: 2/$42MM with player options of $21MM in 2023 and $10MM in 2024.
- Ian Desmond: 1/$8MM with $2MM buyout
Like Jason Heyward in the last exercise with the Cubs, both Nolan Arenado and Charlie Blackmon are highly unlikely targets for Alex Anthopoulos due to high AAVs and length of contracts.
Trade Value of Trevor Story
Just like our Cubs piece, I’ll be using the trade simulator to take out the guesswork of values for each player. According to the trade simulator, even with a salary of $18.5MM, Story’s value comes in at $33.7MM.
Trade Value of Ian Desmond
Ian Desmond cited COVID concerns as well as social unjustice as the reasons for sitting out of the 2020 season. However, he wasn’t particularly good in 2019 and any trade value he might’ve had went belly up. Desmond’s value comes in at -$10MM.
Fake Trade Idea Number 1
- Braves get Trevor Story
- Rockies get Kyle Wright, Sean Newcomb, and Braden Shewmake
Breakdown: Let me say this first…I don’t make this deal. This is a lot to give up for a 1-year rental. However, I feel like the price is right, even with Story’s AAV. While the Braves would be cheapening his value by moving him to 3rd, this would make a dream defensive setup.
Fake Trade Idea Number 2
- Braves get Ian Desmond
- Rockies get Ender Inciarte
Breakdown: It’s pretty simple… trash for trash. Desmond would have more value to the Braves as a supersub and the Rockies could actually use Ender in CF. Desmond’s owed $10MM total and Ender $9.7MM.
Fake Trade Idea Number 3
- Braves get Ian Desmond and Ryan McMahon
- Rockies get Sean Newcomb and Ender Inciarte
Breakdown: Newk gets a fresh start with the Rockies and McMahon gets a chance as the counterpart to Austin Riley.
There are variations of all these trades that could make them larger. However, I feel as though these moves are a little more force-fed and not as natural of a fit as the Cubs, with exception being Ender for Ian. Still…Story would be an awesome get.
Why do I have the feeling that you would want to see an MLB franchise established on the Moon just so you could trade Ender for Green Cheese Futures?
(“On the moon, Ender would would generate much more power….”)
That would give a whole new meaning to OOTP.
In my fake trades, I don’t put Ender in any of them to make the price for the Braves higher. Crap for Crap is about all one can get and Desmond would be more useful crap than Ender.
In Ian Desmond, you might finally have found somebody who’s actually as useless as Ender. I’ve found your other crap-for-crap trades to be somewhat unrealistic, as Ender is just flat-out worse than Craig Kimbrel, for instance, and so swapping would add a bunch of money to the deal and I’m not sure it would be worth it. This one, though, if you’re inclined to institute just an absolute garbage swap, I think actually lines up.
Would I do it just for the sake of doing it (which is really the only reason you’d do a deal like this)? Actually, I might. I think Snitker would be way less inclined to start Desmond for no reason than he is Ender.
Good piece but I’ve been thinking of a scenario for a few hole to get Arenado
This deal frees up for us around 23 million dollars give or take, and it liberates the Rockies of paying Nolan for the next six years, also giving them abck a good glove that can probably pop 35 in that stadium.
I will give you that, it’s far- fetched but we’ll thouth out we won’t be adding too much to the existing payroll, we also get a great gg power threat to protect Freddie and make us the best defense infield in the game. May leave is with some flexibility too to go out and get a Brantley for LF and if they bring the. DH back, we can sign a cheap bat like Jesus Aguilar who had a good short season with the Fish.
Desmond at least has real positional flexibility and can still run.
@6, does he actually, though? His UZR/150 in CF in 2019 was -16.7. And he really hasn’t played shortstop since 2015. (Also, he had negative value as a baserunner in 2019.)
At this point, unless proven otherwise, he’s a 35-year-old 1B/LF who can’t hit.
What is the data you’re looking at to suggest that he has positional flexibility?
He’s athletic enough to fake any position and 2019’s metrics look like an outlier according to Statcast. I’m guessing in a pinch, he can be Culberson with speed and that’s better than Ender.
But Culberson can more or less sort of actually still fake it at shortstop. I simply don’t buy that Desmond still can, at his age. I think his athleticism has been significantly affected by all the injuries.
I’m thinking Desmond would have numbers similar to Inciarte with equivalent at bats outside of Colorado. He’ll be 35 and if his slugging percentage drops significantly I don’t see much value. Hard pass.
Braves don’t need Arenado to still win the division but if they want to compete with LAD or SDP they should get nado or Brantley. Nado could be the protection behind Freddie they need to go to the next level. He would still hit for good power outside of Coors. Since 2015 he’s never hit less than 15 homers on the road, and his glove plays anywhere. Arenado plus freeman equals dynamic duo.
I actually like the idea of moving Ender and Newcomb for Desmond and McMahon.
Ender has very little value for us but Desmond MIGHT. Where as Ender COULD have value for Rockies in CF. I have not looked at the pitching for Rockies but if they want Newcomb McMahon would be a welcome addition. We could use some positional depth. Worse case he is a back up /utility guy. Get lucky he is our 3B and Austin is LF.
I’m just getting caught up on all of these fake trades and I have to say that the Ender-Ian swap may be my absolute favorite.