Rockies not attempting to deal Helton

Rockies not attempting to deal Helton

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- The Rockies insist they are not attempting to trade first baseman Todd Helton, but they did listen and do "due diligence" as the Angels inquired about him.

Newspaper Web sites in Los Angeles and Denver reported Wednesday that the Angels backed off on pursuing Helton because of his recent health history. But a Rockies official familiar with the situation said there was little substance to the discussion between the clubs.

Although one report mentioned players the Rockies could have received, the Rockies official said names of Angels players were never discussed in the conversation between the teams.

Even if a team wants to go through with a trade and the Rockies were willing, the completion of any deal involving Helton, 33, would face obstacles.

To deal for Helton, any club would require that the Rockies pay a significant portion of the $90.1 million Helton is owed through 2011. Also, Helton has a complete no-trade clause.

The Los Angeles Times reported that the Angels could have sent first baseman Casey Kotchman, utilityman Chone Figgins and shortstop Erick Aybar to the Rockies, but the Denver Post reported that talks never reached the point that names were exchanged.

A back problem that flared before the 2005 season, a strained calf muscle that sent him to the disabled list late that season, and a stomach ailment last season that forced him to the DL early and robbed him of strength and power all year led to the health concerns.

Helton hit at least 30 home runs each season between 1999 and 2004, including 42 in 2000 and 49 the following year. His .302 batting average in 2006 was the lowest in his nine full seasons.

Thomas Harding is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.