The Rockies trading away Nolan Arenado was not surprising. They are beginning a rebuild around one of the best young shortstops in the game in Trevor Story and to be able to afford his impending free agency, moving on from $215 million seems like a no brainer. What was really surprising is the reported return for the 5-time All-Star. The Rockies did not get any of the top 7 prospects in the Cardinals system. They got one major league ready player in Austin Gomber but injuries and inconsistencies have made him a question mark at best as to what he will be in the future. Still the Rockies did add more prospect depth to their system and freed up a lot of money, they still have a lot of work to do to raise their farm system ranking (currently 27th). If they are committed to full rebuild they have a few players that could bring them value. I am going to rank the best value they have excluding Trevor Story.
5. Ian Desmond, 35, OF
Three years ago Ian Desmond wouldn’t have been worth the paper his contract was written on. Desmond sat out the 2020 season and is building off of a solid 2019. Desmond has versatility and an affordable contract for $8 million in 2021. He has a club option for 2022 which can be exercised if he has a productive season. Desmond has versatility and power that teams are looking for. He won’t bring in the top prospect for any organization but his 20 homers over the last two active seasons still gives him value. He can get a few nice pieces at the lower level, with the current situation the Rockies are in they need a lot of depth.
4. Kyle Freeland, LHP
Kyle Freeland looked like a pitcher that the Rockies were going to build around after a stellar 2018 season. The former first round draft pick stumbled hard in 2019 and was up and down in 2020. Freeland is still just 27-years-old and has arbitration for the next two years.
Freeland has had trouble getting out right-handed hitters, giving up big power numbers to the opposite side of the plate. A large portion of those fingers were given up at Coors Field. Take Freeland out of Coors and he could return to his 2018 form. If he is anything close to that he can be a great addition for a playoff team looking for a fourth starter with years of potential.
3. Scott Oberg, RHP
Scott Oberg dealt with some serious injuries in the 2020 season, which forced him to miss the entire year. The 30-year-old right hander began a throwing program in November and should be ready to go for 2021. Oberg’s last two active seasons he was a high level reliever in a place that is not friendly for pitchers. Oberg had two straight seasons with elite level ERA+ with 193 (2018) and 230 (2019). Oberg will be a commodity if healthy at the trade deadline. If he comes back from his injury and shows the ability that he has he can be a great trade deadline piece for a team that needs bullpen help.
2. Charlie Blackmon, OF
Charlie Blackmon has been a part of trade rumors for multiple seasons. Blackmon has two years left on his current contract with $44 million due. His player option for the next two seasons makes him a gamble for most teams, which will reduce the cost on the market for the 34-year-old.
Blackmon is still an effective player at the plate. He is matchup proof, having no problem with lefties, crushing 14 homers against them in 2019. His numbers away from Coors Field are always a question mark, but his OPS in away games is still above league average and his ability to play multiple OF spots also makes him an asset.
1. German Marquez, RHP
German Marquez is a 25-year-old starter with three years left on his current contract. He has 41 wins over the last four years. Marquez has great swing and miss stuff that will translate to any team and any park. Over the last three seasons Marquez has featured an xFIP of 3.83 or below. His contract has two years left on it with a third year club option, any organization that makes a move for him will get him in his prime years for his second contract.
Marquez is an asset, he has the most potential of anyone on the Rockies pitching staff. Teams like the Twins, Yankees, Braves and Rays are all loaded in the farm system and could really use more starting pitching help.