Should the Rockies trade for an arm or a bat at the MLB dead­line?

The Denver Post - - SPORTS -

Kiz: It’s on. The Na­tional League play­off race has be­gun in earnest. There are five spots avail­able. The Dodgers and Na­tion­als are locks for two of the berths. The re­main­ing three will al­most cer­tainly be claimed by these five teams: Brewers, Cubs, Di­a­mond­backs, Rockies and Car­di­nals. If Colorado doesn’t want to be left out of the Oc­to­ber fun, gen­eral man­ager Jeff Bridich needs to make a trade by July 31.

Groke: Now’s the time, Kiz. It’s not time to trade the fu­ture for a rental, mind you. But the Rockies are in a solid po­si­tion for a post­sea­son spot, and a smart trade for help this sea­son and, ide­ally, next, could go a long way to help­ing turn around a seven-year play­off drought (with just one win­ning sea­son). One big hitch though: This trade sea­son has turned into a seller’s mar­ket. Also-ran teams might be con­tent wait­ing un­til the win­ter to un­load their as­sets.

Kiz: The Rockies are le­git as play­off con­tenders. But here’s the rub: The Dodgers are so strong that any­body else in the NL will have to get lucky to keep L.A. out of the World Se­ries. Colorado has to make a push for that wild-card play-in game. But Bridich would be fool­ish to mort­gage the farm to do it. (Look at me, all grown up, ar­gu­ing on be­half of re­straint.)

Groke: The key to trades: You can­not fo­cus on what you’re giv­ing up, only on what you get. And if what you get makes you bet­ter, go for it. A proven hit­ter like Mi­ami Mar­lins out­fielder Mar­cell Ozuna would make an im­me­di­ate splash. He’s hit­ting .319 this sea­son, and his .943 OPS would rank sec­ond among Rockies, be­hind only Char­lie Black­mon. Ozuna is un­der con­tract for two more sea­sons. And the Mar­lins are weird enough to ac­tu­ally con­sider trad­ing him.

Kiz: Colorado needs an­other arm in the bullpen. Not next week. Right now. Left-handed Ori­oles closer Zach Brit­ton is a nice dream. But his price point, both in salary ($11.4 mil­lion) and prospects (say good­bye, Ri­ley Pint) is too rich for Colorado’s blood. Righty A.J. Ramos of Mi­ami might be a more rea­son­able al­ter­na­tive. But my choice is a short-term rental with Phil­a­del­phia’s Pat Neshek, a 36-year-old, side-arm­ing, base­ball­card-col­lect­ing vet­eran who won’t cost Bridich an arm and a leg.

Groke: Well, if you’re go­ing to be all re­spon­si­ble and thought­ful, then Neshek is a great idea. His funky de­liv­ery could play well in Colorado’s bullpen, throw­ing off the rhythm of an op­pos­ing lineup at Coors Field. And the Rockies’ re­lief corps is their most press­ing need. I get it. But wow, imag­ine the pos­si­bil­i­ties of a dude like Ozuna (23 homers this sea­son) hit­ting be­hind Black­mon, DJ LeMahieu, and Nolan Are­nado. Dream big.

Getty Im­ages

Pat Neshek, left, of the Phil­a­del­phia Phillies proved his value in the re­cent All-Star Game by throw­ing a score­less in­ning. Mar­cell Ozuna, right, of the Mi­ami Mar­lins has al­ready matched his ca­reer high of 23 home runs.

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