Carlos Gonzalez: Rockies Shopping OF at Winter Meetings?


Ahead of the start of the 2015 MLB Winter Meetings in Nashville, Tennessee, there is a good chance that the Colorado Rockies may part with one of their biggest bats and one of the faces of the franchise: Carlos Gonzalez.

Throughout his tenure in a Rockies uniform, Carlos Gonzalez has become one of the most visible stars to wear a Colorado uniform in team history, and has thrived during his time in Denver. Though his average has taken a noticeable dip over the past couple of seasons (.238 in 2014 and .271 in 2015) from the .300 average he demonstrated from 2010-2013, Carlos Gonzalez remains one of the premier power bats and run manufacturers in the majors.

-= Related: Rockies Re-Sign RHP Jordan Lyles to 1-Year Deal =-

With the Colorado Rockies actively looking to solidify their starting rotation and add pitching to their farm system, could GM Jeff Bridich decide to move Carlos Gonzalez during the Winter Meetings? There is a distinct possibility that the Rockies may bid adieu to their venerable outfielder.’s Thomas Harding reports that Colorado is shopping Gonzalez ahead of this week’s Winter Meetings.

With only two more full seasons under control, trading Carlos Gonzalez to net an impact starter that is under team control for a longer period of time makes sense. If Gonzalez was to bolt after the 2017 season (which is a distinct possibility), they would have lost a golden opportunity to build for the future.

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A similar analogy to what is coursing through the mind of the Rockies’ front-office is what the Atlanta Braves did last offseason in trading Jason Heyward and Justin Upton: two impact bats with only one year left on their contracts. Knowing that they would not have a realistic chance of re-signing either player because of a prohibitive price tag that both would most certainly require in free agency, the Atlanta Braves traded one year of Jason Heyward to the St. Louis Cardinals for a young front-line starter in Shelby Miller and a top pitching prospect in Tyrell Jenkins. Miller was under team control for four years at the beginning of the 2015 season, and produced a 3.02 ERA in an All-Star campaign.

The Braves also traded one year of Justin Upton to the San Diego Padres for a top pitching prospect in Max Fried, and an top positional prospect in Mallex Smith. The Rockies may initiate a similar type of re-structuring in Denver these season, deciding to jettison the two years left on Carlos Gonzalez’s contract in order to acquire either a bevy of young pitching prospects or a top of the line starter. 

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As aforementioned, Carlos Gonzalez’s batting average has diminished over the past two seasons; but in 2015, it saw an uptick from .238 to .271, while Gonzalez’s power numbers remained statics. Last season Carlos Gonzalez hit 40 homers and drove in 97 runs, making him one of the better power bats in the league. Though his 133 strike outs are a knock against him on the trade market, the fact that he continues to produce at this rate means that the Rockies could definitely a team willing to take two years of Carlos Gonzalez and send some pitching talent to Coors Field.

Whatever happens with Carlos Gonzalez this offseason, it’s clear that the Colorado Rockies clearly possess a dearth of impact pitching. The re-signing of Jordan Lyles this week is solid move to retain a young pitcher; but the Rockies and GM Jeff Bridich must look ahead to future. The game of baseball is now predicated on impact starting pitching, and teams like the Atlanta Braves have caught on to that reality.

Next: Mike Minor: Low Risk, High Reward SP for Rockies?

Trading away your established stars and impact bats is painful, but teams like the Kansas City Royals, New York Mets and Houston Astros have proven that starting pitching is everything in today’s game. If a team builds around starting pitching, there future is bright. Stay tuned for ongoing updates as the MLB Winter Meetings commence this week.