The Colorado Rockies are infamous for their inability to understand the trade deadline. Those days may have finally changed.
Somehow, the Rockies figured out that they can trade players when they are out of contention. They sent Pierce Johnson to the Braves in exchange for pitching prospects Victor Vodnik and Tanner Gordon, showing signs of a pulse for the first time in years.
Colorado Rockies actually make a deal ahead of the deadline
This is not exactly a franchise changing deal. Johnson has a 6.00 ERA and a 1.846 WHiP over his 39 innings for the Rockies. While his 58 strikeouts are impressive, he also has 25 walks as he has struggled to find the plate this season. His 13 saves, the first ones of his career, show the state of the Rockies bullpen. However, given his strikeout rates, and the fact that this is the Braves we are talking about, Johnson has a chance to be a solid piece over the final few months.
Vodnik and Gordon give the Rockies a couple of arms that they can hope turn into something. Gordon is a 25 year old who has been roughed up in his first taste of Triple-A action this season. A three pitch arsenal that grades out relatively average gives him a floor as a back of the rotation starter or a middle reliever. Vodnik has a plus fastball and changeup, but his command and slider are questionable. However, he is someone to keep an eye on as a potential late inning weapon.
To a degree, the return almost does not matter. Vodnik is a nice piece, but focusing on what the Rockies got back almost obscures the larger story. What matters is that, after years, they have finally figured out that they should trade players at the deadline. While it is too late to get anything for Trevor Story, Jon Gray, and other pieces that could have fetched a respectable return, at least the scarecrows in the Rockies front office finally found a brain. Better late than never.
The Colorado Rockies have finally figured out what the trade deadline is for. Maybe this year will be different after all.