The trade deadline came and went for the Colorado Rockies with barely a hint of activity that dissatisfied many. Nobody of note left town, and the only real moves involved undoing some of the moves made under the previous general manager, Jeff Bridich. Colorado went from a playoff contender a few years ago to one that requires a rebuild. It’s been a painful season for the Rockies, and it will only feel that way for the next two months.
Colorado Rockies Trade Deadline Review
The Rockies trade deadline had a lot go down in so little time. First, it began with Bridich’s abrupt exit. Rarely do general managers step down within a month of a season-opening unless things have gone horribly wrong. The team was only 9-14 when Bridich left, but that isn’t a poor enough record by itself to cause a departure. Clearly, there was some disconnect with how management and ownership thought things should unfold from where they were at the time.
The next factor to consider is Bridich’s replacement, Bill Schmidt. Schmidt was the organization’s veteran scouting director who has been a vital cog for years. He has helped engineer a strong farm system at times and is a key leader in draft preparation. One would think that someone in his position would know all the ins and outs around a deadline, but much of Schmidt’s attention has been on the draft. Expecting him to maintain that on top of suddenly controlling other operations is almost unfair.
Finally, consider that The Athletic detailed several departures from within operations and research departments. It isn’t obvious from the outside that owner Dick Monfort has made serious efforts to replace any personnel. That leaves the Rockies at the mercy of larger and smarter clubs. Trading with them would almost assuredly result in lackluster returns no much better than compensation picks. A combination of inexperience, too few personnel, and an overworked staff of those remaining is a recipe for disaster.
No Fire Sale for the Rockies
Many thought that Trevor Story would be in a different uniform now, but that’s only true if we are absolutely convinced Schmidt and Monfort liked the offers presented. It is easy to assume Story’s value was similar to what the Chicago Cubs netted for Javier Baez. However, Story wasn’t having a great year. Teams weren’t going to offer fair value for an underperforming player on a team that lacked the resources to barter for more.
It isn’t as though the Rockies will receive nothing. They will offer Story a qualifying offer and receive compensation if he turns it down as expected. The story was a compensation pick in 2011 because the Toronto Blue Jays signed Octavio Dotel. Schmidt ran the draft that year and might pick the next Story. That is far from obvious, but it is worth a chance given his experience with the process.
The Aftermath of the Trade Deadline
Story staying put in Colorado means that fans get to watch one of their favorite players for another few weeks. That isn’t what some want, but is it better than watching a team tank while learning a handful of new names. Maybe Colorado even gets lucky and extends Story. It’s doubtful, but stranger things have happened in baseball. Schmidt probably hasn’t alienated Story the way that Bridich did with former Rockie Nolan Arenado. Ownership may decide it is worth trying to repair the relationship and retain one of the best hitters in franchise history.
There will also be time to trade Story immediately after the postseason ends. It won’t be a long window, but there will be a brief period before free agents file that Colorado can move Story with more confidence in a potential return. Nobody likes it when their team should sell at the deadline and doesn’t. Fans should want their favorite players around longer. Let ownership worry about the future.
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