ROCKIES

Rockies designate key piece in Nolan Arenado trade for assignment

Jun 30, 2024, 11:16 AM

Elehuris Montero Rockies Nolan Arenado trade...

(Photo by Alika Jenner/Getty Images)

(Photo by Alika Jenner/Getty Images)

When the Colorado Rockies traded Nolan Arenado in 2021, they received five players from the St. Louis Cardinals in the deal.

Now, just one remains.

The next-to-last piece left in the trade, first baseman/designated hitter Elehuris Montero, was designated for assignment on Sunday. This leaves starting pitcher Austin Gomber as the only player left from the deal remaining with the Rockies organization.

The move corresponded with the Rockies reinstating catcher Elias Díaz from the 10-day injured list. Díaz landed on the landed on the injured list June 14 due to a calf strain.

Díaz will handle designated-hitter duties Sunday as the Rockies attempt to avoid a sweep at the hands of Major League Baseball’s worst team, the Chicago White Sox.

ELEHURIS MONTERO WAS A KEY PIECE IN THE NOLAN ARENADO RETURN

Montero displayed plenty of power on his path through the minor leagues. In three seasons at AAA Albuquerque since the trade, Montero was a force, posting a .317/.390/.592 line over 128 games and 580 plate appearances. He had monster numbers during a 35-game AAA stint in 2023, logging a 1.129 OPS on a .359/.411/.718 line.

But he failed to demonstrate that on a consistent basis over the last two years at the major-league level. While Montero improved his strikeout rate and his walk rate this season, his power numbers plummeted, reflected in a meager .305 slugging percentage. His OPS of .716 last season with the major-league Rockies represents a career high.

With that, here’s how the Rockies’ trade of Nolan Arenado to the Cardinals turned out:

  • Infielder Mateo Gil: Now in Mets organization; never advanced higher than high-A with Rockies.
  • LHP Austin Gomber: Has a plus-3.2 MLB WAR over the last four seasons, including a career-best plus-1.4 this year. Has struggled recently, with a 9.39 ERA in June.
  • RHP Tony Locey: Traded to Tampa Bay on March 28, 2023; out of baseball. Never advanced higher than AA with Rockies.
  • 1B/DH Elehuris Montero: In 204 games over three Rockies seasons, had a total WAR of minus-2.2 (per baseball-reference.com).
  • RHP Jake Sommers: Announced his retirement on June 2. Ended his career at AA Hartford. Advanced to AAA Albuquerque earlier this season. Had a 2.206 WHIP and 11.12 ERA over 10 relief appearances so far this season.

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