Injuries to veterans like Troy Tulowitzki, Carlos Gonzalez and Michael Cuddyer have taken their toll on the Colorado Rockies in 2014. Of a possible 138 games, Tulowitzki has played 91, Gonzalez has played 70, and Cuddyer has played only 34. As a result, the team sits at 55-83 with a sub .400 winning percentage.
Despite their miserable record and glut of injuries, however, the Rockies have had no trouble on offense. As a team, they are the best in the MLB in total bases, second in MLB in batting average with a .274 average, and fourth in MLB in both on base percentage (.328) and runs scored (631).
How have they managed to perform so well offensively without their top three offensive players? Aside from home field factors, which certainly must be taken into account, they've done it on the backs of Justin Morneau and some promising young players.
Corey Dickerson (25) (.306/.362/.558), a former 2010 8th round pick playing his first full season has hit 20 homers. Charlie Blackmon (28) (.287/.333/.437), a second round pick from Georgia Tech in 2008, is flourishing with regular playing time, hitting 17 homers and stealing 23 bases so far. Defensive superstar Nolan Arenado (23) (.294/.334/.492) has fought through a broken finger to put up impressive offensive numbers, clubbing 14 homers and 32 doubles in less than 400 at bats.
Colorado would make for an intriguing trade partner for the Marlins and Giancarlo Stanton. First, the obvious: Stanton has been a monster at Coors Field. Since 2011, he's hit .333 with 7 homers and 13 RBIs, while slugging an eye-popping .974 in 39 at bats at Coors Field.
Second, the Marlins could potentially help the Rockies where they need it the most-- starting pitching. Nathan Eovaldi and Henderson Alvarez have been among the most difficult starting pitchers in the National League to take deep, surrendering 12 and 13 home runs in 2014, respectively. Certainly that is a quality that would be welcomed in Colorado.
A trade that makes sense for both teams would involve the Rockies sending Blackmon, Arenado, infielder Josh Rutledge and outfield prospect David Dahl to Miami in exchange for Giancarlo Stanton and Nathan Eovaldi.
Blackmon could slide into right field, which would be vacated by Stanton, and bat leadoff or hit #2 behind Yelich. Arenado would presumably start at 3B, allowing Casey McGehee to collect some well-earned free agent dollars elsewhere in 2015. Rutledge, a competent offensive player, would compete with Adeiny Hechavarria at shortstop.
The Rockies would immediately become a contender with Stanton in the middle of a lineup that features Troy Tulowitzki, Carlos Gonzalez, Michael Cuddyer, and Justin Morneau, and Eovaldi stepping into a young rotation that has promising players like Tyler Chatwood, Jon Gray and Eddie Butler on the horizon.
Of course, as with any Stanton trade, it needs to be assumed that Stanton would be willing to commit to his new team long term. That said, what do you guys think? Is this a large enough return for the Marlins? Would the Rockies be willing to part with Arenado so early?