Unless you are living under a rock, or clicked on this article without reading the title, you have probably heard that superstar 3B Nolan Arenado has been traded from the Colorado Rockies to the St. Louis Cardinals for LHP Austin Gomber, OF Mateo Gil, RHP Jake Sommers, 3B Elehuris Montero, and RHP Tony Locey in what on the surface looks like one of the worst trades in modern baseball history. We won’t know who officially “won the trade” until years from now, but today, it doesn’t look good on the Rockies side of things.
So what now? Are the Rockies going going into a full fledged rebuild? Well, not exactly. There are two things that dispute this. First, in a presser on Tuesday afternoon, Rockies’ owner Dick Monfort and General Manager Jeff Bridich had implied that Nolan Arenado will be the only major change to the team due to the belief (albeit delusional) that the Nolan Arenado-less Colorado Rockies can compete in 2021. The Rockies would have preferred to go into the 2021 season with their now former star third baseman, but due to him demanding a trade he forced the Rockies’ hand.
Second, do we really trust the Rockies’ upper management to tear down and properly reconstruct this team from the ground up? If you answered yes, then you must not have been a Rockies fan for very long. So what will the 2021 Rockies look like? We will likely see Ryan McMahon take over his natural position at third base, Trevor Story will continue to man shortstop (for how long remains to be seen), technical prospect Brendan Rodgers will probably replace McMahon at second, Josh Fuentes will look to continue from his coming out party in 2020 at first base(although don’t be surprised if McMahon and Fuentes switch). Raimel Tapia will be in left field, Sam Hilliard in center field, and Charlie Blackmon in right field (maybe also in temporary fashion). These are the likely starters for the 2021 Colorado Rockies.
If this team has another lackluster season, which it looks like will be the case, then expect other ball clubs to push hard to trade for players like Story, Blackmon, and RHP German Marquez (and possibly RHP Jon Gray and LHP Kyle Freeland depending what type of year they are having). On the other hand, if the team competes like the Rockies’ upper management believes that they will, then we could see the opposite effect like the Rockies going and getting assets to help assist in their playoff push. Hey, the Nationals won the World Series the season after losing Bryce Harper to free agency, why can’t the Rockies do the same after trading away their franchise player? We are in a wait and see mode, and it is easy for fans to see what path this team is going down; the problem is the only people who have a say-so in the matter don’t see a thing.