MLB.com Columnist

Tracy Ringolsby

5 reasons Rockies should keep CarGo

5 reasons Rockies should keep CarGo

DENVER -- Rockies general manager Jeff Bridich got the attention of the baseball world in advance of the non-waiver Trade Deadline a year ago.

Bridich dealt shortstop Troy Tulowitzki, the face of the franchise, to the Blue Jays for pitching prospects Jeff Hoffman, Jesus Tinoco and Miguel Castro and shortstop Jose Reyes.

That has created an anticipation for what Bridich might do to add some life to the Deadline party this year, and the focus has been on the possibility of moving Carlos Gonzalez.

There are no guarantees in baseball. But as of today, the odds are Gonzalez will still be in a Colorado uniform come Aug. 2.

Here are five reasons why the Rockies would keep Gonzalez instead of moving him at the Deadline:

1. On the horizon
The Rockies have one of the better upper-level crops of prospects in baseball, and it is heavy on quality arms. The current rotation provides a foundation for the future with the return of Tyler Chatwood from Tommy John surgery, along with homegrown products Chad Bettis, Jon Gray and Tyler Anderson. And there is more where they came from.

The Rockies have a hand full -- if not more -- of legitimate candidates for the big league rotation at the Double-A and Triple-A levels. Given the inexperience and youth of the starters, Colorado could feel the value of keeping Gonzalez and a strong offensive/defensive segment of the roster together to help the transition of the young arms to the big leagues is worth more than a player or two in a trade.

That's not saying they will be primed to win the National League West next year, but to take a step above .500 and have the young pitchers gain the confidence of pitching at Coors Field is one of those esoteric benefits that cannot be overlooked in this era of statistical overkill.

2. What's the hurry?
The Rockies have control of Gonzalez for another year. He will make $20 million in 2017, which isn't outlandish in the current market. With the feeling the team's depth keeps getting better, the decision could be made to at least wait for another year and see where things are in advance of the Deadline next July.

Statcast: CarGo's cannon home

The fact Gonzalez would only have two months left on his contract at that time could actually expand the market for him, because teams without the room to add a $20 million salary for Opening Day could take on the money in the final two months, feeling success down the stretch would drive revenue to cover the expense. And with more teams interested, Colorado's return could be as strong, if not better, than now.

3. Feeling the Draft
With the idea that Gonzalez can help the young pitchers get their feet on the ground in the big leagues next year, the Rockies could keep him and allow him to become a free agent, and the worst-case scenario would be a top Draft choice in return.

Rest assured they would make Gonzalez a qualifying offer, and even if that would be $20 million or so, it would only be for one year, which does not have a long-term impact on a budget.

4. Feeling at home
Yes, Gonzalez's contract is only for one more year. Yes, he could become a free agent. Yes, Scott Boras is his agent. No, that doesn't mean there is no chance Gonzalez will sign an extension with Colorado. If the Rockies' young arms speed up the adjustment to the big leagues and were to be particularly competitive next year, it's not out of the question that Gonzalez could decide he wants to stay in Colorado.

Statcast: CarGo tees off

It was, after all, in the offseason between the 2010 and '11 seasons that Gonzalez and his father worked out a seven-year deal with the Rockies -- when he had fewer than two years of service time -- that guaranteed him $80 million. He said he felt at home with Colorado, had financially protected his family if something were to happen to him, and if things went well, he'd be able to explore the open market for a deal that would start at the age of 32.

5. No deja vu
This isn't the Tulowitzki situation all over again. Gonzalez has one year and $20 million guaranteed after this season, not seven years and $100 million. That long-term commitment, along with growing concerns about Tulowitzki's durability in light of the torn muscle he suffered in his left thigh, were motivating factors in the decision to move him to the Blue Jays a year ago.

Gonzalez battled knee problems, but he underwent surgery during the 2014 season. He took some time to adjust in the first half of '15, ended up having a strong season and has more than reaffirmed his health since.

Since last year's All-Star break, Gonzalez ranks eighth in the NL with 161 games played, ninth with a .304 batting average, first with 46 home runs, third with 118 RBIs and fifth with an OPS of .938.

Tracy Ringolsby is a columnist for MLB.com. Read his blog, Write 'em Cowboy. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.