Rockies reportedly discussing Blackmon trades
The Rockies’ ongoing quest to acquire starting pitching could lead them to deal 2014 All-Star outfielder Charlie Blackmon.
FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal and Jon Morosi reported Saturday that Colorado has discussed Blackmon with “multiple teams” in an attempt to improve its rotation. Rosenthal and Morosi specifically mention the Braves, Cubs, Orioles and Rangers as teams that could be interested in Blackmon given their need for an outfielder.
Blackmon, 28, hit .288/.335/.440 with 19 home runs and 72 RBIs in 154 games for the Rockies last season.
It’s worth noting that Blackmon’s OPS+, according to Baseball-Reference, was just 104, or just 4 percent above league-average when accounting for the fact that Blackmon played half his games at Coors Field. It was also Blackmon’s first full season in the Majors.
On the other hand, Blackmon can play all three outfield positions, as he did last year, and he’s not even eligible for salary arbitration yet. In fact, Blackmon is still four years away from being eligible for free agency. A player under team control for four years coming off an All-Star year might be at the peak of his trade value.
The Rockies historically have had trouble luring free-agent pitchers to sign due to Coors Field’s hitter-friendly reputation, so their best bet to bolster their rotation might be via trade.
One of the reasons they’re willing to shop Blackmon, according to the FOX Sports report, is that they could then turn around and sign a free-agent outfielder like Colby Rasmus to take his place. As unappealing as Coors Field might be to pitchers, it has the opposite effect on hitters.
Rasmus, also 28, hit .225/.287/.448 with 18 homers and 40 RBIs (and an identical 104 OPS+) in 104 games for the Blue Jays last season. If they were to replace Blackmon with Rasmus, the Rockies’ outfield rotation would consist of Carlos Gonzalez, Corey Dickerson, Drew Stubbs and Rasmus.