June 18, 2021

Predicting Which MLB Team Will Trade for Rockies' Trevor Story

Even with six weeks left until the 2021 MLB Trade Deadline, it seems like almost a given that the Colorado Rockies are going to trade star shortstop Trevor Story.

The Rockies are going nowhere this year and clearly don’t have the funds to re-sign Story this winter, especially after the fiasco with Nolan Arenado after he got a massive extension.

In all likelihood, Story will end up being the best position player who gets traded this summer. But where is he going to end up? With a trade destination far from certain, let’s take an early look at each team’s chances of working out a deal for Story before the trade deadline.

Cleveland Indians: 15%

Few teams need a hitter like Story in the middle of their lineup as much as the Indians do. With Franmil Reyes on the IL, Jose Ramirez is carrying the Cleveland offense with the Indians just hoping that some other players get involved. Shortstop Amed Rosario has had a decent year, although he could also be moved to center field if the Indians can acquire Story. 

Once Reyes gets back from injury, Cleveland could have Reyes, Ramirez, and Story in the middle of their lineup. That would be quite formidable considering how good Cleveland’s pitching has been this year.

The question is whether a small-market team like the Indians would be willing to spend the prospects it would take to acquire Story, who they would have virtually no chance of re-signing this winter.

Oakland Athletics: 20%

Oakland took a leap of faith in making Elvis Andrus the team’s everyday shortstop this season. But Andrus has disappointed, continuing his decline from the last few years in Texas. Even though he’s started to pick it up in June, Andrus is still hitting just .224 with an OPS of .567 on the season. That’s simply not going to cut it for a team that leads the AL West and appears to have legitimate championship aspirations. 

Unless Andrus can spend the next six weeks hitting the way he has over the last two weeks, the A’s will need to explore their options at shortstop at the trade deadline. Obviously, there will be no better option than Story.

Much like Cleveland, the caveat with Oakland is they’ll never be able to afford to re-sign Story. But if the A’s want to go for it in 2021, they need to make an aggressive move and trade for an impact player at the deadline.

St. Louis Cardinals: 15%

The Cardinals are fading fast at the moment and will surely need outside help to get back on the right track and get to the top of a crowded NL Central.

At this point, pitching might be a bigger priority, although getting some offensive help around Paul Goldschmidt and Nolan Arenado would work too. Current shortstop Paul De Jong has been beyond dreadful this year, currently hitting .168 with an OPS of .622. It’s hard to envision St. Louis making the postseason with so little production at shortstop.

The obvious catch is that De Jong is signed long-term, so unless they can convince Colorado to take him, they would have to sit him the rest of the season and push the reset button in 2022. Of course, there’s no question that Story would provide a significant upgrade to the St. Louis lineup, potentially being the difference-maker in a tight division. There’s also at least some possibility of the Cards being able to sign Story this winter, so trading for him this summer wouldn’t hurt.

Tampa Bay Rays: 10%

The Rays typically don’t make blockbuster trades at the deadline as buyers, but after coming so close to winning the World Series last year and looking so good this year, perhaps they take a shot. In fairness, Tampa isn’t exactly desperate for offense right now, but that doesn’t mean they couldn’t use a player like Story. He’s someone who could help put them over the top when they face teams with high-level offenses in the postseason.

The biggest variable for the Rays is the performance of shortstop Taylor Walls. The Rays traded Willy Adames to make room for Walls, who’s started to come around in June. But if he starts to struggle, that could change Tampa’s need for Story. The club could trade for Story while still planning on Walls being the shortstop of the future. That doesn’t make the Rays the most likely destination for Story, but they still need to be mentioned as a possible destination.

New York Yankees: 30%

If there is a big-time player available on the trade market, the Yankees are going to be one of the favorites to acquire him. Obviously, Story is no exception to that.

While it’s too soon to give up on Gleyber Torres, who’s just 24, the Yankees might be running out of patience with him with his OPS under .700. Given their current state of desperation, the Yankees might have to make a bold move and trade for Story to help reboot their lineup.

In theory, the Yankees could ship Torres to Colorado as part of a trade for Story with the expectation of signing Story or one of the other marquee shortstops on the free-agent market this winter. Given his age and potential, the Rockies would surely jump at the opportunity to acquire Torres.

A trade centered around Story and Torres makes too much sense for the Yankees not to be a serious candidate to acquire the Colorado shortstop this summer.

The Field: 10%

We’ve named five teams, but it’s far too soon to fully eliminate several more from at least entertaining the possibility of trading for Story this summer. For instance, the Dodgers and Phillies currently have shortstops on the IL. The San Francisco Giants could potentially go after Story if they move some pieces around in their infield.

There’s also no telling if other injuries could happen or teams in need of offense get increasingly desperate or creative in trying to find space for Story. The only thing for sure right now is that it’d be shocking to see Story still playing for the Rockies after July 30.

Photo: Getty Images