The Colorado Rockies (53-46) have not looked like a playoff team all season. After coming into the year with sky-high expectations, the Rockies fluttered out of the gate, playing inconsistent baseball for the majority of the first two months of 2018 campaign.
Now 12-4 in the month of the July with a run differential of +40 in those games – the Rockies find themselves sitting seven games above .500 and look like a legitimate NL contender for the first time this season. With a chance to win the division for the first time in the 25-year history of the organization, the question is now whether the Rockies should consider making a move before the MLB non-waiver trade deadline on July 31.
National reports indicate that the Rockies are buyers this July and have already reached out to the Baltimore Orioles about a trio of pitchers. This is not surprising considering the Orioles are currently 41.5 games below .500.
According to Jon Heyman, the Rockies checked in with the Orioles about the availability of left-handed pitcher Zach Britton. The Rockies are not the only club interested the seventh-year veteran though, as most of the major contenders reportedly reached out to the Orioles about Britton.
Field of interested teams for Britton is expanding. Braves are interested (they have the prospects, but will they give them up?) Rockies have checked in. Even Brewers, who have stacked pen. Hou, Cubs, LAD, NYY all seem serious. Others, too.
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) July 22, 2018
In 16 relief appearances this season, Britton is 1-0 with a 3.45 ERA and 1.340 WHIP. The south paw has pitched well for an awful Baltimore team and could be a solid addition for the bullpen if the Rockies are looking to make an impact move.
The price for Britton would likely not be cheap, but the Orioles already traded shortstop Manny Machado to the Los Angeles Dodgers this month and are clearly in rebuild mode. Britton is a name that Rockies fans should at least keep an eye out for this week.
#Rockies scouting #Orioles’ Gausman and Bundy, sources tell The Athletic. COL has longstanding interest in Gausman, a Colorado native. Team also looking at starters and relievers from other clubs. Difficult and potentially pivotal week ahead at Coors – two vs. HOU, three vs. OAK.
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) July 23, 2018
Along with Britton, according to Ken Rosenthal, the Rockies have also considered making moves for Orioles starting pitchers Kevin Gausman (4-7) and Dylan Bundy (6-9). The Rockies already have one Colorado native in the starting rotation with Kyle Freeland (8-6). A home reunion could now potentially be in the mix for Gausman, who was a star at Grandview High School in Centennial before playing college ball at LSU.
The Rockies will play seven games between now and July 31, the first five of which will be at home. The club has as real of a chance to compete for the pennant as it ever has. If there is an opportunity to add another arm to Bud Black’s arsenal, the Rockies absolutely need to pull the trigger.
Adam Ottavino and Wade Davis have been solid closing games out but the middle relievers have been up and down all year – and as good as the starting rotation has been, teams can never have enough quality starters, especially with Jon Gray’s future up in the air.
Colorado has the enough talent in the farm system to make a move, without it being detrimental to the future of the franchise and the talent on the big league roster has this team in contention, despite a slow start to the season. The time to win is now. Are the Rockies willing to make the necessary moves to ensure they are competing for a division title?