Last season, the Rockies traded the face of their franchise, shortstop Troy Tulowitzki, to the Blue Jays for a solid package of prospects and shortstop Jose Reyes. The fact that they traded him tells you all you need to know about what new GM Jeff Bridich's plans for the team are. The team is in need of a rebuild and the Tulo trade was a good start. The next player he should deal is outfielder Carlos Gonzalez.
Gonzalez is coming off a terrific season where he hit .271-.325-.540 with 40 home runs, 87 runs scored and 97 RBI in 153 games, so his value may never be higher now that he has crossed 30 years of age. The time to deal him is this offseason. This season, he showed he can stay healthy for a full season, and had a huge power season. so he would be a good fit for the Indians, who need an outfielder, especially with Michael Brantley starting the season on the disabled list due to offseason shoulder surgery.
The Indians current list of outfielders on their 40 man roster looks like their AAA outfield and a bunch of bench guys:
So that's where you are Jerry Sands!!
So, yeah, they need an outfielder or two to lengthen their lineup. Brantley will miss the start of the season, and may miss the first two months of the season. Even when he does return, it is possible his shoulder won't be 100% healthy. The season after Matt Kemp had shoulder surgery, it took him till the second half of the season for his power to return, so I expect Brantley to struggle with his power in the first half of the season.
A few days ago,. Rockies beat reporter Patrick Saunders speculated about this deal (Carlos Gonzalez to the Indians) in a recent blog post over at the Denver Post:
Hoynes rightly notes that if the Indians want to be immediate contenders they need an impact hitter. Here's what Hoynes wrote:
"To get the hitter they need, the Indians are going to have to trade one of their top starters — Corey Kluber, Carlos Carrasco, Danny Salazar or Trevor Bauer. Or they could deal young starter Cody Anderson along with a prospect like Bradley Zimmer or Clint Frazier."
The Rockies have two players who might fit the Indians' needs: Outfielders Carlos Gonzalez and Corey Dickerson. The Rockies need quality pitching and they are going to have to give up something valuable to get it. Could the Indians be a legitimate trade partner?
The Rockies are in rebuild, so I imagine they would prefer to deal Gonzalez, but if they can get a pitching prospect and an outfield prospect like Frazier or Zimmer, one would think they would jump at that opportunity. Heck, they would jump at the opportunity even if a pitching prospect like Anderson was not included in the offer. Imagine the Rockies 2017 outfield with Frazier in right field. David Dahl in center and Raimel Tapia in left field.
The Rockies lineup in 2017 or 2018 could look like this with their stacked farm system:
LF - Tapia
CF - Dahl
RF - Frazier
3B - Nolan Arenado
SS - Brendan Rodgers
2B - Forrest Wall
1B - Ryan McMahon
C - Tom Murphy
Not a bad, cost-controlled lineup, eh?
The real question is whether the Indians would want to give up a talent like Frazier for a 30 year old Carlos Gonzalez. His contract calls for him to earn $17 million in 2016 and $20 million in 2017, and will become a free agent in 2018. If the Rockies eat some of his contract, say $10 million of the deal, you have to think the Indians would have a hard time saying no.