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Rockies Not Trading McMahon, Didn’t Talk Quantrill

The Rockies enter this year’s trade deadline in familiar territory. They sit at the bottom of the NL West, 20.5 games out of first place and nine games out of fourth place. Their 27-51 record ranks behind the Marlins for worst in the National League. Only the White Sox (21-58) have a worse record among MLB teams. They face a 12-game deficit in the Wild Card race. Colorado isn’t statistically eliminated from the postseason just yet, but the final nail in any faint playoff aspirations they might have been put in the coffin.

Usually, this will set up a team that will consider itself a pure trader at the appointed time. The Rockies certainly look at themselves in that light to some degree, but not to the same degree that observers might expect. Reports more than a month ago revealed that the team was unlikely to trade a third player Ryan McMahon, for example, and Patrick Saunders of the Denver Post is doubling down on that idea in his latest look at the Rockies and the trade deadline, writing that there is “almost a chance” that McMahon will leave. Specifically, he lists McMahon as a favorite of owner Dick Monfort, suggesting that even if GM Bill Schmidt and his staff wanted to make offers to the potential All-Star player, a deal would not be in the cards.

On a similar note, MLB Network’s Jon Morosi reports that the Rockies have yet to hold off on any trade talks surrounding the right-hander. Cal Quantrill. The club’s decision to buy the right man after stewards nominated him for the job last November – over a tender – has paid off handsomely. Quantrill sports a 3.50 ERA in 90 innings outside of manager Bud Black’s rotation. His 17% strikeout rate and 9% walk rate are both worse than average, but Quantrill’s career-low 46.9% is a career-best mark. His move to Coors Field also didn’t dampen his ability to keep the ball in the yard; Quantrill’s 0.90 HR/9 mark is not only better than the 1.06 mark he carries this season — the career best rate for the former No. 8 draft pick.

Quantrill’s success is one of the Rox’s best developments this season, but he’s also not far from free agency. The righty is due $6.55MM in 2024 and has just one year of team control. He could command around $10MM in settlement this winter and could become a free agent following the 2025 season. Given his extension in 2024, the reduced control of the club and the rising price tag, that would make him a logical candidate for a multi-club trade.

The Rockies, however, have a history of extending this type of veteran. They did so Daniel Bard, CJ Cron again Elias Diaz where they all previously stood as reasonable deadline trade candidates. Colorado has been particularly aggressive in extending pitchers, shutouts Kyle Freeland, Antonio Senzatela again Marquez from Germany on long-term deals. Of those first three pitcher extensions, only the Marquez deal worked out for them. The Rockies failed to complete the extension with Jon Gray but still held on to him at the deadline three years ago (despite trade interest) in hopes of getting a long-term deal.

While there’s no firm word that the Rockies have approached or plan to approach Quantrill about an extension, it’s a reasonable conclusion based on both their performance history and the lack of trade talks thus far. Add to that what Quantrill has previously talked about being motivated to stuff at Coors Field, and it’s even easier to see the Rockies brass warming to the idea.

Indeed, Saunders writes in that weekend piece that both Quantrill and his colleagues Austin Gomber would be candidates for such an agreement. Gomber, like Quantrill, is enjoying a repeat campaign and deserves a deal for the 2025 season. The 30-year-old southpaw has a history of consistency and limited results but also has a low price (both contractually and in trade) as a result. It goes without saying that there are no strong indications yet that the Rockies will steadfastly refuse to listen to offers for any pitcher, but history tells us that the odds are much less likely.

All of that raises the question of which players the Rockies might consider moving. Saunders notes that one Elias Diaz or Jacob Stallings the best bet is to change hands, as is the case with the reliever Jalen Beeks and foreign player Jake Cave. Diaz, Stallings and Beeks could be free agents this winter. The cave is controlled until 2025.

The two veteran players are having solid years at the plate — Diaz is hitting .303/.352/.439 (107 wRC+), Stallings is at .293/.371/.466 (123 wRC+) — even though Diaz is currently there. shelf with muscle damage. Diaz earns $6MM to Stallings’ $1.5MM. Stallings was once ranked as one of the game’s best defensive hitters, but his glove work has fallen off in recent years and it’s actually Diaz who gets the better grades now.

Beeks, 30, stepped up as he moved closer to Black’s bullpen after most of the relief staff had completely struggled. He pitched to a 3.76 ERA and saved six games in 38 1/3 innings but did so with subpar strikeout and walk rates (18.8% and 10%, respectively). Beeks has an affordable $1.675MM salary and a good record besides a 5.95 ERA last year, but it’s unlikely that other clubs will consider him an option for the same type of senior role he currently holds for the Rockies. . The 31-year-old Cave, on the other hand, is a career backup who is hitting .258/.312/.336 (68 wRC+). He can play all three outfield positions and first base, but he hasn’t even changed offensively since 2019 with the Twins. It’s doubtful he’ll get much in exchange, but Beeks could draw a bit of hope from a club looking for left-handed bullpen help.

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