Rockies Journal: Who might Colorado GM Bill Schmidt deal at trade deadline

The Rockies don’t like the word “rebuilding.” They prefer “reconstruction.”

Regardless of what they call it, the team is transitioning as it trends toward its second consecutive 100-loss season. However, wheeling and dealing are usually not part of the Rockies’ blueprint, making it hard to predict what they’ll do as the July 30 trade deadline approaches.

That said, general manager Bill Schmidt changed the traditional schematics last summer. He added seven pitching prospects while trading veterans C.J. Cron (first base), Randal Grichuk (outfield), Mike Moustakas (corner infield), Brad Hand (left-handed reliever) and Pierce Johnson (right-handed reliever).

In November, Schmidt acquired starting pitcher Cal Quantrill from Cleveland by dealing catching prospect Kody Huff. Quantrill has been Colorado’s best pitcher this season. So perhaps the art of the deal is no longer extinct in LoDo.

While Schmidt shies away from trade speculation, he has said he’s open to almost any deal if it will help the Rockies field a winning team in 2025, ’26 or ’27.

With that in mind, here’s an examination of some possible trades:

• Third baseman Ryan McMahon. Despite plenty of rumors and speculation, there is nearly zero chance the Rockies will move “RyMac,” who has a chance to be a first-time All-Star this summer. Why? The Rockies love the left side of their infield, featuring McMahon and shortstop Ezequiel Tovar. And because owner Dick Monfort loves McMahon.

Plus, McMahon is locked up through the 2027 season, when he’ll be making $16 million at age 32. The Rockies believe McMahon’s contract is team-friendly.

• Catchers Elias Diaz and Jacob Stallings. Colorado will almost certainly trade one of the two veterans. Diaz, however, remains out with a strained calf, and he’s a ways away from returning. So, his injury might complicate things.

Diaz, 33, and Stallings, 34, are scheduled to become free agents after this season. The emergence of Hunter Goodman behind the plate and the steady development of prospect Drew Romo at Triple-A Albuquerque allows Colorado to make a move.

Starting pitchers Cal Quantrill and Austin Gomber. This trade scenario gets tricky because both pitchers are under contract through next season. Despite the Rockies’ awful record, the right-handed Quantrill and the lefty Gomber have pitched well, especially by Coors Field standards.

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They could bring a nice return from a contending team, i.e., pitching prospects or a developing slugger. But because the Rockies so desperately need pitching, might they try to extend one or both of those pitchers? It would be part of the Rockie Way to do so.

Remember, just before the 2022 trade deadline, the Rockies gave 37-year-old closer Daniel Bard a two-year, $19 million contract extension through this season. That deal did not work out well, and Bard is out for the season with an elbow injury.

Second baseman Brendan Rodgers. After the 2022 season, the Rockies and Marlins discussed a trade involving Rodgers, the ’22 Gold Glove winner, and starter Edwin Cabrera, but the Marlins went in another direction.

Colorado might still consider moving Rodgers, who has one more year of arbitration before he becomes a free agent, but it remains to be seen if the Rockies could get enough in return to let go of the 27-year-old second baseman.

Reliever Jalen Beeks. Colorado’s bullpen has been a disaster (a major league-worst 5.77 ERA), but Beeks has pitched relatively well. The lefty entered the weekend with a 3.50 ERA over 32 appearances (36 innings) with six saves in 10 chances. Contending teams are always looking for veteran bullpen depth, so the Rockies will certainly field calls on Beeks, who turns 31 next month.

• Outfielder Jake Cave. The Rockies acquired Cave from the Phillies for outfield depth, but because of injuries and other players’ lack of production, Cave has become a frequent starter over the last two months. He’s played with fire and provided excellent defense. If the Rockies get some realistic offers, they’ll listen.

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