Rockies will listen to offers, but price is high

Matthew Cerrone, Lead Writer

The Rockies are not giving up on 2014 and they’re not having a ‘fire sale,’ so don’t expect them to trade Troy Tulowitzki and Carlos Gonzalez in one off season, a person familiar with the team’s thinking recently explained to me.

Instead, the goal is to shed a bit of payroll, which they intend to turn around and spend on a roster that is expected to be compete next season. However, the better the player they deal away, the better the young players they expect to get in return.

For instance, to get Tulowitzki, Rockies reporter Troy Renck thinks the Cardinals would need to trade 1B Matt Adams and two or three of OF Stephen Piscotty, 2B  Kolten Wong and reliever Carlos Martinez (Denver Post).

Troy Tulowitski 2 polaroidThis seems like a lot, especially considering Tulowitzki has seven years and $134 million left on his contract. Of course, Tulowitzki is the best shortstop in the league. In September, John Harper of the Daily News proposed trading Travis d’Arnaud, Dillon Gee and Rafael Montero for Tulowitzki, an idea that was not outright rejected when pitched to a Mets source.

“We have to be open-minded,” the source told Harper. “We have to be ready to be creative.”

The Rockies also appear ready to listen to offers for OF Dexter Fowler, according to Renck. He will earn $7.8 million in 2014. He is eligible for arbitration in 2015, during which he can expect to earn around $10 million. He can be a free agent after 2015. Colorado has talked with teams about him before, including the Mets, but they never end up pulling the trigger. The asking price has always been high… just ask the Braves.

There is also lots of speculation that the Rockies will look to trade OF Michael Cuddyer, who they’ve said will play first base if he’s still on the roster next season. Cuddyer will earn $10.5 million in 2014, after which he can be a free agent.

Renck believes the Rockies will be talking with Shin-Soo Choo, Carlos Beltran, Nelson Cruz and Corey Hart. However, the way I understand it, to sign one or two of these guys, they’ll need to free up money. I’m all for seeing the Mets acquire Carlos Gonzalez or Tulowitzki. But, in the end, I get the feeling Colorado will do what their owner said and keep their two biggest stars. If that’s the case, though it’s not as exciting, Fowler and/or Cuddyer to Queens would likely require less, help free up money for Colorado and still improve the Mets.