The Rockies’ offseason rumors have been little more than quiet whispers of speculation thus far.
While the Rockies are exploring possible trades, it’s highly doubtful that slugging first baseman Carlos Santana will end up in Colorado. The same goes for powerful Mets right-hander Noah Syndergaard.
It is true that the Rockies had some initial interest in Santana last winter before he signed a three-year, $60 million deal with Philadelphia. Recently, Thomas Harding of MLB.com wrote that the “Rockies can envision Santana … providing big-time offense production at first base.” On Monday, however, the Phillies shipped Santana to Seattle as part of a multi-player trade that netted the Phillies all-star infielder Jean Segura.
General manager Jeff Bridich said last month that his top offseason priority was improving Colorado’s inconsistent offense. Monday’s trade, however, would seem to derail any chance of Santana playing for the Rockies, a move that would have enabled them to move under-achieving Ian Desmond off first base and make him a true utility player.
Syndergaard, the talented but oft-injured 26-year-old, is another player the Rockies have reportedly kicked the tires on. Andy Martin of New York’s SNY TV recently tweeted: “The Rockies and Brewers have shown some interest, but there is skepticism that Colorado would be able to assemble a package strong enough to nab Syndergaard.”
Ken Rosenthal, the veteran reporter for The Athletic and the MLB Network, has also mentioned the Rockies as possible trade partner with the Mets for Syndergaard. The problem, of course, is that the Mets are asking for a lot in return and the Rockies traditionally like to hold onto their best prospects.
A potential roadblock to any Syndergarrd trade is the blockbuster trade between the Mets and Seattle that became official Monday. The Mariners sent all-star second baseman Robinson Cano and all-star closer Edwin Diaz to the New York for outfielder Jay Bruce, reliever Anthony Swarzak, right-hander Gerson Bautista and prospects Jarred Kelenic and Justin Dunn.
It’s clear that new Mets GM Brodie Van Wagenen is in a win-now mode, and that could mean he wants to keep Syndergaard in the rotation. However, there are some in the industry who believe a trade for Syndergaard is still on the table. And should the Mets be able to pull off a trade with Cleveland for veteran starter Cory Corey, Syndergaard’s availability could increase.
Here is what MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand tweeted Monday: “After Cano/Diaz trade, Mets are clearly still thinking big. Could be a sign they plan to trade Noah Syndergaard, then turn around and bring in Kluber. Brodie Van Wagenen appears to be exploring every possible avenue to improve his team.”
Reviews on Syndergaard’s future are mixed. In 25 starts last season, he posted a 3.03 ERA and a strikeout-to-walk ratio near 4.00. For his career, he has a 132 ERA+ and 4.94 strikeout-to-walk ratio. Syndergaard, however, has been limited to just 32 starts since 2017 due to injury. The good news for a potential trade partner: he won’t qualify for free agency until after the 2021 season.
The stumbling blocks to the Rockies pulling off a major trade of any kind is that rivals have been asking for some of Colorado’s top young players, including starting pitchers Kyle Freeland, German Marquez and Jon Gray, and top infield prospect Brendan Rodgers.
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