The trade deadline came and went on Friday with not a bit of movement from the Colorado Rockies. All of the scenarios and rumors about Carlos Gonzalez and a few other Rockies (including struggling reliever John Axford) went silent as 3 p.m. Central time came upon Busch Stadium, where the Rockies were hoping to shake off the memories of the night before when Axford’s latest blown save resulted in a 9-8 win for the host St. Louis Cardinals.
Now, as the Rockies end July and enter the last 62 games of their schedule, some big questions still remain. Will CarGo be traded later in the season? Will Jose Reyes be dealt? Is the Troy Tulowitzki trade bombshell the only move the Rockies will make? If so, was it enough to change the Rockies’ fortune in the near future?
On Friday afternoon, I was able to take part in a conference call with Colorado general manager Jeff Bridich. On the call, Bridich had some very interesting comments about the recent trade deadline and the Rockies’ participation in it.
Bridich reiterated the fact that while the July 31 trading deadline had passed, there was still a possibility of some movements later in the season.
“It’s definitely a soft deadline,” Bridich said. “Just because we reached the deadline doesn’t mean it’s the end of the trading season.”
Bridich was asked about Colorado’s attitude heading into the trade deadline and he described the Rockies’ involvement as “mildly active. Stuff would come in and conversations happened that nothing ever serious happened with. It was neither overwhelming nor underwhelming. It was just whelming.”
Many of the questions on the call focused on Gonzalez and the fact that he was still with the Rockies when Friday evening rolled around.
“It was really two parts. First, we were gauging our own interest in trading CarGo. It wasn’t like we were doing a full court press internally to make the trade. We treated him like everyone else on the team. We would think about it and have a discussion when it was warranted. It wasn’t like it was some huge orchestrated effort on our part. And, with the pedigree of CarGo, it can be tough to find dance partners in a trade.
“Second, it was a very hectic time period. It can really be a frantic process. The value of a player during trade deadline can change in a hurry. When we moved two players that had been asked about, that changed our week.”
One of those two players was Troy Tulowitzki and, when the subject of his trade to Toronto was broached, Bridich’s tone changed a bit, especially when he was asked about some of the former Colorado shortstop’s comments about being blindsided by the trade.
“Most if not all of my communication during that time was through his agent as requested,” Bridich said. “I think if we could’ve drawn up the night of the trade differently, we would have. Could we have done it before or after a game? Could we have done it when the team was at home? The conversations between us and the Blue Jays had roller coasted then became very serious very quickly. I think the only people not shocked by the trade were the people involved in it.”
In the Tulowitzki trade, Reyes came to the Rockies as part of the deal. It had been rumored in recent weeks that Reyes would be flipped, but Bridich didn’t indicate that was in his plans.
“Jose’s status hasn’t changed since he came to us,” Bridich said. “We were very happy to get a player of his caliber in the deal. He’s our starting shortstop and that’s how we will proceed. Thus far in just a couple of games with us, he’s shown he is a top of the order hitter with his hitting and base stealing. He’s also created energy and made plays in the field.”
But will Reyes and CarGo be a part of the Colorado lineup when the 2016 season rolls around?
“I don’t know,” Bridich said. “If I could make those predictions, I would be predicting the stock market. So much can happen between now and next season. It’s tough to put odds on any of that.”
When asked about the remainder of the 2015 season, Bridich seemed to still have optimism about Colorado’s chances of turning things around from their current 43-57 mark.
“Record-wise, things haven’t gone as well as everyone was hoping but there’s still time to play well,” Bridich said. “Moving forward, this is a new team with a new feel and will have new faces as players come up from the minors in September. We always leave open the possibility of winning 21 of 22 (like in 2007) but we’re not hanging our hat on that. We know trading Troy and LaTroy (Hawkins) had large ramifications that have a lot of breadth and depth. We also know that there are now people who will have a chance to play without Troy in the lineup or in the field.
“We are not in full blown rebuild mode. All sorts of things can happen and our goal is to build as much depth as possible, especially at positions like shortstop.”