Being last in the division is never the ideal spot, especially when the farm system rank is decent but not extremely promising at no. 14 in Bleacher Report’s most recent ranking. Alas, this is where the 2023 Colorado Rockies find themselves, being 26-36 and 10.5 games back from the first-place Arizona Diamondbacks.
With an average age of 29.5, the current core is set for contention now, but they are far from earning that distinction. Nearly two full months from the trade deadline, preparing for the fire sale is never too soon.
There are three players that the Rockies should look to move at this year’s deadline to try to maximize player value for players unlikely to be a part of the next championship-winning team from the Mile High City. While Germán Márquez would have been an addition to this list, he is set for Tommy John surgery, so he will not be a part of any Colorado Rockies trades in 2023.
Colorado Rockies Trades That Should Happen
By far the best hitter on the 2023 team and the player who might represent the team in Seattle for the All-Star Game, the 32-year-old catcher is under contract through the 2024 season and is in the midst of a career season.
Díaz is already worth 2.2 WAR, is slashing .309/.362/.475, and sits comfortably in the 87th percentile in the expected batting average. While his framing is below average at the 28th percentile, he would fit it nicely for a team with below-average play at DH.
A team looking to contend but with arguably the worst production at that spot is the Seattle Mariners, and the price may be no higher than a fringe major leaguer or prospect outside the top 10.
Rockies receive: Mariners No. 16 prospect Cade Marlowe
Mariners receive: Elias Díaz
Through 59 games in 2023, McMahon has a 108 OPS+ and has always been an elite defender for his career. He is 91st percentile in outs above average and he is above the 85th percentile in average exit velocity, max exit velocity, and hard-hit percentage.
McMahon plays all around the infield besides shortstop but plays best at third base. The Miami Marlins look to be the best fit for his services. One of the biggest surprises of this season, the Marlins sit second in the NL East with a 34-28 record. Their production from third base, however, has been a disappointing -2.3 WAR.
McMahon, alongside a potential Sandy Alcántara resurgence, would make the Marlins contenders in the NL. The Marlins may look to make a move to maximize their season potential.
Rockies receive: Javier Sanoja and Manuel Medina
Marlins receive: Ryan McMahon
The final piece that should be on the move for the Rockies is the pitcher having a bounceback year. While still not at the heights of a fourth-place Cy Young Award in 2018, Freeland looks to be a piece that can have a big impact on a contender’s postseason run.
Although his last postseason experience was that 2018 season, he allowed just four hits in 6.2 innings of work against the Chicago Cubs. A team that had won the 2016 World Series and made the 2017 NLCS.
Two potential trade partners for the lefty are the Diamondbacks and the Toronto Blue Jays. Two teams amid division battles and around league-average pitching to this point in the season.
Rockies receive: Joshua Day and Gavin Logan
Diamondbacks receive: Kyle Freeland
Rockies receive: Rainer Nunez
Blue Jays receive: Kyle Freeland
Main photo credits:
John Leyba-USA TODAY Sports