Things have been relatively quiet surrounding the Colorado Rockies since the disappointing 2019 campaign came to a close.
But as the 2019 calendar winds down, the MLB hot stove is beginning to heat up with Spring Training 2020 on the horizon.
The annual GM meeting in Arizona concluded last week. The meetings are a place where rival executives begin to form blueprints for trades and free-agent signings.
After owner Dick Monfort’s declared the Rockies’ lack of payroll flexibility entering the offseason, speculation ensued about how Colorado could improve while walking a fine line financially.
Many people do not forecast the Rockies to make a serious move during the offseason; however, the team could be in a position to unload talent.
Jon Morosi of MLB Network reports that pitcher Jon Gray has garnered interest from multiple teams around the league.
Gray was arguably the Rockies best pitcher last season, posting an 11-8 record to pair with a 3.84 earned run average. Gray’s season was cut short when he suffered a fracture in his left foot.
The San Diego Padres are one team interested in Gray’s services, according to Morosi’s report. But, if Colorado decides to flip Gray, it’s unlikely they would trade him to a division rival.
Gray is under team control through the 2021 season and there is hope he can build on his solid 2019 season in 2020. Gray has flashed ace-like potential through the last three seasons but it has only been flashes. He has struggled to pitch well consistently.
That said, after tweaking his mechanics and mindset last offseason, Gray showed serious growth in 2019 and could be primed for another big season entering the next decade.
Colorado would be foolish to trade Gray at this point in time, considering the current state of their rotation.
Gray and German Marquez are the only stable cogs in the Rockies’ starting rotation. Colorado has already part ways with Chad Bettis and Tyler Anderson, two pitchers that were part of the Opening Day rotation. Throw in the uncertainty surrounding Kyle Freeland’s status after he endured a dreadful 2019 season, and the Rockies would surely be tanking in 2020 if they decide to trade Gray.
Trading Gray would cripple the Rockies’ starting staff, assuming the franchise plans to formulate a rotation using their current crop of internal talent.
Unless the Rockies receive an overwhelming offer for the flamethrower, they are better off keeping Gray to start the season. If Colorado falls out of contention early in the year, they could opt to flip him at the trade deadline should they see fit.
The Rockies brass wants to keep the team competitive in 2020, and trading Gray would accomplish the exact opposite.
Gray has tremendous upside and is an affordable player. According to Sportrac, Gray is estimated to make just $5.6 million in 2020, which is a bargain if he mimics his 2019 season.
At this point in time, it is unlikely the Rockies pull the trigger on a deal involving Gray. As Patrick Saunders of The Denver Post tweeted, interest in a player and actually coming to an agreement are two very different things.
Colorado rarely engages in trades involving players that developed in their farm system. The Rockies are known to over-value their talent, which is why they are typically quiet on the trade front. That said, anything is possible, but if the Rockies were to deal Gray, they would need a hefty return to justify it.