The July 31st trade deadline is approaching and teams have already started trade talks. Most of the more recent trade talk surrounded the available, or soon to be available, starting pitchers on the market, including Rays ace David Price. Over the weekend, we learned about the blockbuster deal between the A's and the Cubs involving Jeff Samardzija, Jason Hammel and Addison Russell. The Yankees made a smaller deal for Diamondbacks starter Brandon McCarthy, as they learned that C.C. Sabathia will probably not return this season as he could need microfracture surgery on his knee.
Other starting pitchers who could become available this month are Red Sox ace Jon Lester, John Lackey, relievers Huston Street, Joaquin Benoit, Koji Uehara, among others. But, what about the hitters? What hitters could become available?
Well, with the way the Rockies are playing, they could deal either, or both, of Troy Tulowitzki and Carlos Gonzalez. In a weekend article in the Denver Post, Tulowitzki made it know that he want to play for a winner, and could be tiring of the losing in Colorado.
Here is more from Mark Kiszla from the Denver Post:
Free falling from playoff contention toward rock bottom, if the Rockies make a big move in 2014 it will be to trade shortstop Troy Tulowitzki or outfielder Carlos Gonzalez.
"If one of us gets traded, you never know what's going to happen. One of us might end up winning a World Series," Gonzalez told me as he sat in the Colorado clubhouse.
Tulo and CarGo are the Rockies. But their team seems doomed to failure. It has left them frustrated and open to a change of uniform.
The two Colorado stars, whose combined salaries total nearly $27 million this season, understand what immense value they could have on the trade market. In separate interviews Thursday, Tulo and CarGo talked frankly about the possibility of leaving Denver.
"In Todd Helton, there's someone who's easy to look at his career here and how it played out. I have the utmost respect for Todd, but at the same time, I don't want to be the next in line as somebody who was here for a long time and didn't have a chance to win every single year," said Tulowitzki, reviewing the 17 years Helton spent as the face of a franchise that never won a division title. "He played in a couple postseason games and went to one World Series. But that's not me. I want to be somewhere where there's a chance to be in the playoffs every single year."
Trading either Gonzalez or Tulowitzki could bring a huge return to the Rockies farm system, and it seems that both players are now open to the possibility of being traded. Two offseasons ago, the Rockies were rumored to be offering Tulowitzki on the trade market, and he appeared very open to the idea at the time.
The Rockies have several top prospects playing well in the minors including pitchers Jonathan Gray, Eddie Butler (currently injured), shortstop Trevor Story (who was recently promoted to AA), outfielders Raimel Tapia and David Dahl, and third baseman Ryan McMahon. These prospects along with Nolan Arenado could form the future of the Rockies, but some of them are a few years away.
With power and run scoring down once again this season, teams may pay up for available hitters on the market, even if they come with huge contracts. The Yankees are one team that appears willing to take on contracts in any trade this month. They have had trouble scoring runs and could use one of Tulo or Cargo in their quest for a playoff spot.
In fact, most teams involved in the playoff chase would have room for either Tulowitzki or Gonzalez, except for maybe the Dodgers. The Dodgers outfield is full right now with Matt Kemp, Yasiel Puig, Andre Ethier and Carl Crawford coming off the disabled list soon, and shortstop is currently manned by Hanley Ramirez, so neither would fit.
But teams like the Reds, Pirates, and Giants all have needs to improve their lineups by the July 31st trade deadline, and have prospects to deal. I doubt the Pirates and Reds would take on either of these contracts, but the Giants, Yankees, or Blue Jays could.
Will we see the Rockies finally cave and deal one of their superstars and rebuild around their stocked farm system?