I came across this
over at Bleed Cubbie Blue.
(Don't forget to VOTE NEIFI!)
To sum up, Todd Helton
would be willing to move to left field if traded to a contender. The Rockies have reached the point of considering moving their franchise player, with first base prospect stud, Ryan Shealy tearing up AAA ball. As with any trade, this is wrought with obstacles such as...
1) He hasn't played left field since 1997, where he played 13 games
2) His contract runs until about 3001 for something like $800 million a year (actually 2011 with a club option for 2012 at about $16 million a year)
3) He'll turn 32 this year and is having a rather awful year, particularly a massive loss in power so far.
4) Career road splits: .296/.392/.519 Career Home Splits: .371/.464/.688
Now if the Cubs have the opportunity to make such a deal, do they pull the trigger?
I say yes but with all sorts of stipulations....
1) The Rockies aren't getting out of Helton's contract anytime soon, they need to pay about three-quarters of it. He's due roughly $102 million over the remaining 6 years (not including this one). The Rockies pay $75 million of that, we pick up the rest. Assuming we don't restructure the years of the deal (something we should look into), that's about $4.5 million a year that we're on the hook for through 2011. That sounds about reasonable, especially since he'll be 38 when the contract runs out. Plus if we can get him and be responsible for so little, then trading him in a few years should not be too difficult.
2) Colorado needs power arms if they ever have hope to succeed in that thin air. We have a farm system full of them. I think we certainly have the advantage over any other team thinking about trading for Helton. Two pitchers should be enough, I'm thinking Sergio Mitre
and Ricky Nolasco, but we have plenty more. We can throw in Jeromy Burnitz
as far as I'm concerned but I'm sure they'd prefer Jason Dubois
3) I'm not worried about the defense. He's a Gold Glove first basemen and former college QB. Certainly a top notch athlete and I think he could adapt to left rather easily.
This is all heresay and rumor but my major concerns are his age and loss of power. Hendry likes players in his prime (somewhere between 26 and 32 in his book, I believe) and well Helton is just about to pass that. The loss of power this year is very concerning as well, but I'd like to believe that he's just sick of playing for a perennial loser. I love a good rumor and this is the best one I've heard recently. I'm sure Hendry is still holding out that the D-Rays will part with Aubrey Huff
in the near future, but this is certainly something worth considering.