ROCKIES

It’s time for the Rockies to trade Charlie Blackmon, Kyle Freeland

Jun 25, 2024, 4:00 AM

Charlie Blackmon...

(Photo by Brandon Sloter/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

(Photo by Brandon Sloter/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

The Colorado Rockies should do the right thing for the two most recognizable names on their roster in Charlie Blackmon and Kyle Freeland.

It’s time to trade both out of town, and let them chase a championship ring.

It’s certainly not happening here in Denver.

Sure, diehards will know guys like Ezequiel Tovar, Ryan McMahon and Nolan Jones, but the casual fans still identify the Rockies with Blackmon and Freeland.

Blackmon’s been here since 2011 and has a legitimate case a top-10 Rockies player ever. Some might even argue he’s in the top-5.

Freeland is the local kid from Thomas Jefferson High School, rising rapidly to the big leagues and being Colorado’s best pitcher on a team that had a chance to be really special in 2018.

Freeland finished fourth in Cy Young voting that season and pitched incredible in the wild card game at Wrigley Field against the Cubs. The Rockies won 2-1 that night in 13 innings behind Freeland, but unfortunately got swept by the Brewers in the divisional round.

They haven’t sniffed the postseason since.

And they won’t in the near future.

That’s why the 37-year-old Blackmon and 31-year-old Freeland should be given the best gift that owner Dick Monfort and GM Bill Schmidt can provide. A new jersey on a new team.

Blackmon’s on the IL right now, but he’s hitting a respectable .266 with a .337 on-base percentage. The power has dipped a bit, as Blackmon has just three home runs, but he can still help a contender off the bench looking to make a World Series run.

Freeland was brilliant in his return to the rotation on Sunday, going six innings against the Nationals and allowing just one hit and no runs. He threw only 69 pitches, clearly being eased back into action by manager Bud Black after missing more than two months with an elbow strain.

Freeland isn’t going to be an ace for any team. Heck, he might struggle to get into the rotation for a squad with championship aspirations. But a smart GM would take a shot on him to work long-relief or for a spot start in the playoffs.

In another lost season, this is what the 27-51 Rockies should do. Give these guys a shot somewhere else.

Colorado is 20.5 games out in the NL West. They’re 12 games out of a wild card spot, dead last in the National League behind the pathetic Miami Marlins. Coming off a 3-7 homestand, it’s going to be another hot summer wondering if they’ll reach 100 losses.

And if you’re Blackmon or Freeland, why would you want to stick around? This club, and its misguided “leadership,” is going nowhere fast.

For Blackmon, he might only be able to play another year or two. For Freeland, the injuries are adding up, he’s not getting younger, and he can still get hit hard. Just look at the Opening Night debacle and Arizona and his three starts in April.

Their stories are fun. Charlie Blackmon has played his whole career at 20th and Blake. Freeland grew up during “Rocktober” and always dreamed of pitching for his local team.

But this isn’t a Disney movie, and the Rockies won’t have a happy ending anytime soon. By the time they’re good again, Blackmon and Freeland will be long out of the big leagues.

The return for both players won’t be great, but who cares? It’s not like Schmidt has a track record of making amazing trades. This is more about giving two solid players for the Rockies a chance to win. And doing it now.

In the next month, we need to say goodbye to Charlie Blackmon and Kyle Freeland. It’s best for all parties involved, particularly for two of our favorite Rockies.

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