The Colorado Rockies are 25-38, four months removed from trading Nolan Arenado and look poised to miss the playoffs for a third consecutive season; it’s reasonable to ponder whether the Rockies will be sellers at the MLB trade deadline.
What players could be dealt in the scenario that the Rockies get busy on the phones? Of course, impending free agent Trevor Story will be mentioned, but Charlie Blackmon is also a name to keep an eye on.
The 34-year-old is still one of the best outfielders and pure hitters in the sport. His contract situation is murky for prospective trade suitors given the $21 million and $13 million player options he has for the 2022 and 2023 seasons, respectively (information per Spotrac).
With that said, we’re talking about a player in Blackmon who can be a leading catalyst for a contending offensive attack. Here are three teams that should trade for Charlie Blackmon.
St. Louis Cardinals trade for Charlie Blackmon
The Cardinals have the talent to contend for the National League pennant but continue to stagnate and puzzle. They’re a veteran team invested in veteran players and might as well continue doing so in the form of trading for Blackmon.
In a move that would reunite Blackmon with Arenado (the two players were teammates with the Rockies from 2013-2020), manager Mike Shildt would be getting a player who presents an upgrade at all three outfield positions. Blackmon has a smooth, power swing from the left side that would add a left-handed complement to an offense that’s reliant on a handful of righties.
Defensively, Blackmon is adept at playing both center and right field, the latter being his most frequent position in recent memory. In all likelihood, he’d start in right field and possibly move to center on days that a healthy Harrison Bader or Dylan Carlson get a day off (maybe in the scenario there’s a right-handed starter and the Cardinals want to beef up the order with left-handed hitters?).
What could prevent the Cardinals from making a move for Blackmon, however, is them just making a concerted effort in the offseason to limit spending. Plus, they may feel more comfortable waiting until the offseason to make another profound move, rather than forcing the issue this season.
New York Yankees get an offensive godsend in Charlie Blackmon
There are few, if any teams in MLB feeling the heat to win a World Series with their deep-rooted core more than the Yankees, which could lead to them taking a chance at the deadline. Charlie Blackmon is everything the Yankees need.
New York has two positional problems: their outfield has been severely spotty at the plate outside of Aaron Judge and their offense is right-handed heavy. Blackmon assists them in both regards. He could start in center field from the jump, significantly beefing up their outfield rotation.
Meanwhile, he can produce anywhere in manager Aaron Boone’s offense, whether it be setting the table for the sluggers in the middle of the order or being one of the primary run producers (Blackmon sports a career .303 batting average).
Overall, this offense has been one of the least productive units in baseball, which is shocking considering its power tendencies in years past. With the stiff nature of the American League East this season, the Yankees have no margin for error. Blackmon would boost their play in multiple aspects of the game.
What may stop the Yankees from making a blockbuster-like move for an outfielder is their surplus of young outfielders near or in the big leagues – albeit they’re yet to make a difference with the big-league club.
San Francisco Giants make bold divisional trade for Charlie Blackmon
Making a trade within the division is daunting and usually avoided, especially one that involves a premier player like Charlie Blackmon. That being said, the outfielder could take an emerging Giants’ team to the next level.
At 38-23, the Giants own the best record in the sport. Their starting rotation has been sturdy, the bullpen has gotten the job done and their offense has held its own. The offense could use improving, though. Outside of Steven Duggar, manager Gabe Kapler’s outfield rotation has left much to be desired. Mike Yastrzemski and Alex Dickerson have been inconsistent at the plate and are each on the injured list, and Mike Tauchman has been up and down.
Blackmon has started at all three outfield positions in the big leagues. He can begin in right field and maybe move to left when Yastrzemski returns to the diamond, or vice versa. All the while, he adds another proven commodity to the mix, specifically an impact bat.
The way the Giants are winning games is sustainable (great starting pitching and respectable offense). At the same time, a team whose experience is all over the place would very much benefit from the presence of a Steady Eddie player like Blackmon.
Again: making a trade within the National League West would probably be a bit uncomfortable for both the Giants and Rockies. But the Giants have fostered exponential growth over the last two years, and a move for Blackmon would fortify their contention status.