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The Rockies should trade Carlos Gonzalez?

Jun 18, 2012, 1:31 PM EDT

Carlos Gonzalez Getty Images

That’s the thinking of New York Post columnist Joel Sherman. His belief: the Rockies might be better off having more young parts than having the duo of Troy Tulowitzki and Carlos Gonzalez tied up at $36 million-$40 million from 2015-17.

Personally, I’m not sold.

For one thing, Gonzalez is likely more valuable in Colorado than he would be anywhere else. Look at his home-road splits the last three years:

2010: 1.161 home OPS, .775 road
2011:  .999 home, .757 road
2012:  1.174 home, .847 road

In general, players with significant splits who have left Coors have tended to fare quite a bit better on the road with their new teams. Gonzalez, though, is just so awesome at Coors Field it’d be a shame to take him out of it. Also, his excellent range in left field is more useful there than it would be just about anywhere else (though another team could try putting him back in center).

For the other, $40 million doesn’t seem all that excessive for two players of that quality. And in the meantime, they’ll cost a combined $20.5 million next year and $26.5 million in 2014.

Sherman, of course, puts Gonzalez in play with the Yankees, noting how prospects Manny Banuelos, Gary Sanchez, Eduardo Nunez, Mason Williams and Dante Bichette Jr. could be made available (he even mentions how Bichette’s dad was a Rockies star). And Gonzalez would look nice in pinstripes, just as he would any uniform in the bigs.

The Rockies, though, would need a huge bounty to even consider letting Gonzalez go. It’s doubtful it’s something they’d give serious thought to anyway. If longtime GM Dan O’Dowd ships off Gonzalez now and commits to a full rebuild, there’s a good chance he won’t survive to see the fruits of it two or three years down the line.

  1. Ben - Jun 18, 2012 at 1:34 PM

    He’s no Matt Holliday. As you pointed out with his splits. He’ll fall apart anywhere else.

    • poseidonsfist - Jun 18, 2012 at 2:07 PM

      This is laughably ignorant. The reason Matt Holliday didn’t win the 2007 MVP was his huge home/road splits. They were just as large as Cargo’s.

      In fact, Matt Holliday is the perfect example why you shouldn’t just look at Cargo’s road sit and assume that’s who he is.

      • yahmule - Jun 18, 2012 at 3:28 PM

        The reason Matt Holliday didn’t win the 2007 MVP was because Jimmy Rollins shamelessly campaigned for the award and typical east coast bias did the rest of the work for him.

        He took his queue from Jason Taylor telling everybody he was going to retire in 2006 to garner the sympathy vote over Champ Bailey for Defensive Player of the Year and then hanging around five more seasons.

    • Kevin S. - Jun 18, 2012 at 2:14 PM

      CarGo’s road wOBA over the past three years is good enough to be a top-ten left fielder over that time frame. Even assuming that A) he won’t be better than his road stats playing somewhere else (he probably would be) and B) he won’t be better in his age 27-29 seasons than he was in his age 24-26 seasons (he probably will be), that’s hardly “falling apart.”

      Matt Holliday on the road, 2004-2008: .280/.348/.455, .351 wOBA, 100 wRC+
      Matt Holliday overall, 2009-2012: .305/.387/.518, .389 wOBA, 146 wRC+

      Carlos Gonzalez on the road, 2010-2012: .275/.323/.459, .342 wOBA, 103 wRC+

      Why wouldn’t he do something similar?

      • Ben - Jun 18, 2012 at 2:27 PM

        I didn’t know Carlos Gonzalez had fans.
        Matt Holliday still posted excellent numbers away. CarGo doesn’t. Matt Holliday’s 2007 away OPS+ was the same as CarGo’s home OPS+ in 2010.

        CarGo 2010:
        136 Home
        61 Away

        Holliday 2007:

        195 Home
        130 Away

        Cargo 2011:
        126 Home
        71 Away

        CarGo is 100% a product of Coors. He’s a substantially below-average hitter away from home. Go look at the numbers. The conclusion is inescapable.
        Matt Holliday was better away than CarGo is at home.

      • Ben - Jun 18, 2012 at 2:36 PM

        Just to put it simply:
        Cargo’s career home wRC+ is 164, or 64% better than average.
        Cargo’s career away wRC+ is 96, or 4% below average.

        There is nothing in the data that should make us think he’s anything but Coors.

      • Kevin S. - Jun 18, 2012 at 2:42 PM

        And Holliday’s road wRC+ while with Colorado was 100. Cherry-picking one season doesn’t change that. Or are you going to let me cherry-pick the 122 road wRC+ CarGo’s got going right now?

      • Ben - Jun 18, 2012 at 2:54 PM

        I didn’t cherrypick those numbers, 2007 was the year suggested above, and 2010 was probably Gonzalez’s best year.

      • Kevin S. - Jun 18, 2012 at 2:56 PM

        If there’s nothing in the data to make us think he’s anything but Coors, then there was nothing in the data to make us think Holliday was anything but Coors. Of course, he was better than his road numbers from Colorado, because road stats != context-neutral stats, for any number of reasons, even more so with the Rockies. Players tend to play slightly better at home, controlling for park factors. Rockies players have to adjust to hitting in a very different environment every time they go on the road (I seem to recall a study showing that, as a team, they hit much better in the latter stages of road trips). A significant number of the Rockies road games are played in parks that favor pitchers to varying degrees (Dodger, AT&T, Petco). Don’t just be lazy and assume that CarGo’s road stats are what he’ll be somewhere else.

      • dcornelius5 - Jun 18, 2012 at 3:05 PM

        Like Kevin said, why are you’re going to cherry-pick seasons to help your argument? Look at the other seasons Holliday had at Coors, from his OPS, or his wRC+. They are just as skewed as CarGo’s.

        Holliday wRC+ ’06:
        179 home
        97 road

        Cargo wRC+ ’11:
        163 home
        99 road

        Holliday wRC+ ’05:
        153 home
        83 road

        Cargo wRC+ ’10:
        197 home
        98 road

        Holliday wRC+ ’07,
        186 home
        113 road

        Look how similar those are. From their best seasons in a Rox uni to their worst. We can come OPS, something that most people still use over OPS+, if you want or maybe wOBA or BABIP. The list goes on and on. Don’t just cherry-pick to make yourself look good.

      • ezthinking - Jun 18, 2012 at 4:23 PM

        dcorn, didn’t you just prove CarGo is average on the road and great at home? Pretty much like most superstars, right?

      • dcornelius5 - Jun 18, 2012 at 4:47 PM

        That’s not what I was trying to prove. I know CarGo has some serious issues out on the road, i never said he didnt. I was proving that Holliday was a very similar player when he played in Colorado, and Ben was saying Holliday was a much better player both on the road and home when he was in Colorado. When in fact he wasn’t at all.

  2. randygnyc - Jun 18, 2012 at 1:48 PM

    Under the gun, with something to play for in games that mean something, cargo has been clutch. He’s wasting away his career in Colorado. Playing for a perennial winner, like the Yankees will bring out the superstar that he is.

    • 18thstreet - Jun 18, 2012 at 3:32 PM

      He’s a True Rockie. Doesn’t have the Yankee gene.

  3. deadeyedesign23 - Jun 18, 2012 at 1:55 PM

    “have tended to fare quite a bit better a bit better “

    I’m gonna go get the papers, get the papers.

    • Matthew Pouliot - Jun 18, 2012 at 1:58 PM

      Whoops. Thanks!

      • deadeyedesign23 - Jun 18, 2012 at 9:53 PM

        Hah no problem. I’m not usually one to be the grammar police, but in this case it was all in the name of Jimmy Two Times.

  4. dowhatifeellike - Jun 18, 2012 at 1:58 PM

    Just as absurd as someone saying the O’s should trade Brian Roberts the other day.

  5. professor30 - Jun 18, 2012 at 2:00 PM

    Yeah, and then the Yankees should get Bryce Harper,Clayton Kershaw and Evan Longoria.

    • Kevin S. - Jun 18, 2012 at 2:15 PM

      Works for me!

  6. randygnyc - Jun 18, 2012 at 2:01 PM

    Mathew “two-times, two-times”

  7. randygnyc - Jun 18, 2012 at 2:03 PM

    Professor- that’s just silly. We don’t need/want Longoria.

  8. Mike Luna - Jun 18, 2012 at 2:03 PM

    Funny how New York media (and Yankee fans) are so quick to trade players from other teams. It almost seems expected, like the lowly Rockies are doing poor Carlos a disservice by forcing him to play for their crappy team.

    Of course, he willingly signed the contract and he’ll make a ton of money over the life of said contract.

    Beyond that, why are the Yankees the only fit for a great player like Gonzalez? Any current contender (the Rangers, Reds, Cardinals, Marlins, Angels, Tigers, White Sox, et cetera) could probably use him.

    I hate this sort of “journalism”. It’s pandering to Yankee fan arrogance, while at the same time trolling everyone else.

    Not that we should expect better out of the New York Post.

  9. southpaw2k - Jun 18, 2012 at 2:12 PM

    What’s this? A New York-based columnist making up absurd trade options for the Yankees? No, that NEVER happens.

    The sad reality is that I bet many Yankees fans reading his post all nod in agreement.

  10. mianfr - Jun 18, 2012 at 2:40 PM

    As stupid and impossible as this trade would be, and I hate myself for bringing this discussion along any further, isn’t that kind of a ton to give up for a mega contract?

    • Kevin S. - Jun 18, 2012 at 2:47 PM

      It’s 5/$71MM from 2013-2017. You’d be getting Cargo’s age 27-31 seasons. I don’t think that qualifies as a mega-contract, and you don’t have to pay for any of his decline years. That’s incredibly valuable, probably more than Sherman listed. And as Sherman notes, there’s a somewhat greater utility to the Yankees since for LT purposes he’d count for less than $11.5 million a yaer.

      • mianfr - Jun 18, 2012 at 3:49 PM

        Ah, I thought he signed for significantly more money. My mistake.

  11. yahmule - Jun 18, 2012 at 3:20 PM

    “If longtime GM Dan O’Dowd ships off Gonzalez now and commits to a full rebuild, there’s a good chance he won’t survive to see the fruits of it two or three years down the line.”

    I disagree with this premise in two ways. First, Dan O’Dowd would bungle any attempted rebuild, beginning with the compensation acquired for Gonzalez. Second, no amount of demonstrated incompetence could get Dan O’Dowd fired in Colorado.

  12. sebrng7 - Jun 18, 2012 at 3:41 PM

    cargo shouldn’t go anywhere. him and tulowitzki are the team and the rockies should build around them. kuddyer has been awesome for them. their problem is their pitching. the rockies sign pitchers that nobody else wants

    • dan1111 - Jun 18, 2012 at 5:46 PM

      In fairness to them, what pitcher wants to go to Coors field? Answer: a pitcher that no one else wants.

  13. ezthinking - Jun 18, 2012 at 4:00 PM

    A hitter consistently better on the road than at home isn’t typically a good player. NY, Phil, Cin, both Sox, Tor, Balt, AZ, Mil and a host of others are ‘hitters’ parks and their players better hit better at home. Alos, the 81 games with the same backdrop and your fans going nuts doesn’t hurt home stats either.

    Sherman is a total fool. Why would the Rockies want a bunch of injured/never-will-bes for a young great player? They won’t. There’s a better shot of grabbing Hamilton on the FA market this fall than anything.

  14. chadjones27 - Jun 18, 2012 at 4:20 PM

    Would look good in pinstripes? Doesn’t he currently wear pinstripes?

  15. btwicey - Jun 18, 2012 at 4:46 PM

    Lol at you guys- Ben and Kevin you’re both obviously smart guys – just agree to disagree, one likes cargos chances if dealt , the other doesn’t – who cares its not happening. He is a superstar coors or not, compare his overall numbers the past 3 years to the top guys and he’s right near the top and that’s including the 50% of games he plays at home and 50% away

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