You've heard it before: the Oakland A's need an outfielder. As the outfield free agent dominoes start to fall and major league rosters take shape, it becomes more apparent from where a potential player could come. The most recent outfield signing was that of Gerardo Parra for three years, $27 million to the Colorado Rockies. On its face, it's a puzzling deal for a Rockies outfield loaded with young talent. On its butt, it's dumb as Parra is a defensive butcher. At any rate, the move likely means a move of one of the Rockies' incumbent outfielders. Should the A's make a run at one of those players?
You are all too familiar with Carlos Gonzalez, a centerpiece of an unfortunate A's win-now trade. After a horrid start to 2015, Gonzalez finished the year with an absolute flurry, strong enough to hurt your soul even six years later. The rightfielder finished with 40 homeruns on his way to a Silver Slugger award. Throughout his Rockies career, Gonzalez has put up solid number away from Coors Field and his bat should play at any MLB stadium. Defensively, the reviews are mixed but he's no butcher. Plus, he only needs to be better than Mark Canha defensively (or Billy Butler all around).
What would he cost? Cargon is under contract for two more seasons at $17 million and $20 million respectively. So at the very least he's a pretty penny. Coming off a season in which he hit 40 bombs and at what looks like his prime, the price tag to acquire him will likely be high as well.
Dickerson is a 26 year old left fielder who oozes talent. Like CarGon, Dickerson's swing is pure porn. Since his entrance to the league in 2014, Dickerson has been an impressive hitter. In his first season he put up a wRC+ of 140 and in 2015 followed it up with a 119 wRC+ performance. Injuries shortened his 2015 season but he's likely to be healthy and good to go in 2016 and is under contract until 2019. He'll be pre-arbitration next year and represents a cheap outfield option in terms of contract. Dickerson also has a proven ability to play a solid center, meaning he could backup Billy Burns and and turn Super Sam into Superfluous Sam.
Dickerson splits are more pronounced than CarGon, but almost everyone hits better at home than away so it doesn't mean he's a product of Coors Field.
In terms of price tag in a trade, Dickerson's four years of team control and high talent level will likely cost a significant prospect.
The Rockies centerfielder has been a beacon of consistency. He's also been the most talked about in terms of trades with rumors of a move to the Orioles or LAAAAAAAA. Since his full time arrival in the league in 2013, Blackmon has been slightly above average offensively and has held his own defensively. As such, he's a proven steady and average big league centerfielder.
Blackmon is under contract for the next three seasons and could help sure up the A's potentially barren outfield.
How close are the Rockies to a move?
So far, the Rockies have been in conversation with both the Angels and the Orioles. It seems like the Orioles are intent on trading for one of the players and have a deeper farm and better trade chips than the Angels. Otherwise, trade talks have been quiet with the news of Parra's signing being very recent. Look for talks to increase in the coming days.
Should the A's throw their hat in the ring?
If the A's were to pursue one of the Rockies' outfielders, I'd prefer they shoot for Dickerson. Gonzalez is expensive and older, plus I can't look at him without sobbing and throwing darts at my personalized Matt Holliday dartboard. Blackmon is firmly average and Billy Burns can hopefully put up similar numbers. Dickerson is extremely talented but has the warts to drive down his trade value. He's shown the major league success to prove he can be a stud but hasn't sustained it long enough to be a hugely costly acquisition. That said, don't kid yourself. Dickerson won't come cheap and the conversation would likely start around a prospect like Renato Nunez.
Personally, I'm somewhat averse to making a trade at this junction. The A's are still in a position of transition looking towards the future. A move for any of those outfielders would inevitably cost a prospect (or multiple) and can affect the A's future.
Of course, each outfielder is around for longer than a season and could be part of the contention window, presuming that target is around 2017 and 2018. Dickerson or Blackmon could conceivably be a win now and win later move.