The Colorado Rockies are quickly becoming baseball’s version of Pop, a TV channel that plays reruns of old teen dramas such as The OC, Dawson’s Creek and Beverly Hills, 90210.

The situation percolating with outfielder Carlos Gonzalez is another version of the Troy Tulowitzki saga from a season ago. We’ve seen this episode before. The latter isn’t too far from our minds. In fact, during spring training, the former Colorado shortstop continued to vent on last season’s midseason trade to the Toronto Blue Jays.

Tulowitzki dished on his former team in a February interview with Bob Nightengale of USA Today that rivaled Kelly Ripa’s recent hissy fit. Essentially, he feels the Rockies lied to him. Though he’s offered his opinion more gently, Gonzalez seems tired of the losing and the lack of talent around him.

“I’ve been in this business a long time, and it’s never about what the player wants,” Gonzalez told Mark Kiszla of the Denver Post. “I mean, I want Mike Trout and Bryce Harper on my team, but you don’t get what you want.”

But while the Gonzalez situation has the potential to mirror Tulowitzki’s off-field drama, the two already mirror one another on the field.

When the Rockies traded Tulowitzki, he was hitting .300/.348/.471. At 30 years old, he was still young enough to have an impact, even in the context of a three- to four-year rebuild.

Similarly, Gonzalez, 30, is hitting .321/.368/.556 with four home runs and 12 RBI through 21 games this season. But, as they did with Tulowitzki, the Rockies have to weigh the value of trading him.

Gonzalez will make $17 million this season and $20 million in 2017, after which he will become a free agent, according to Cot’s Baseball Contracts. Unloading that salary would give the Rockies money to play with in free agency this offseason.

He also has a checkered injury history, as he’s struggled with knee issues. In 2014, Gonzalez was shut down for the season in August so he could have surgery to repair a torn labrum in his hip. Though last season he played in a career-high 153 games, injuries stymied Gonzalez through significant parts of the previous four seasons.

Despite reason to question his long-term health, Gonzalez’s short-term value and recent play could be attractive to a contending team in need of a bat.

The left-handed hitter has played at least 200 games in each of the outfield positions. So most teams in need of offense could find a place for the 2015 Silver Slugger Award winner. For those thinking teams might devalue his performance this season playing in hitter-friendly Coors Field, Gonzalez is hitting .288/.327/.500 in 12 games at home and .343/.395/.571 through nine away games.

A haul of notable prospects could come in a potential bidding war.

On the MLB trade market, for a team looking to get younger, a star player often is less than the sum of his parts. The Tulowitzki trade, which included pitcher LaTroy Hawkins, netted the Rockies shortstop Jose Reyes and right-handed pitcher Jeff Hoffman, ranked as the No. 49 prospect in baseball by The deal also sent lesser-known pitching prospects Jesus Tinoco and Miguel Castro to the Rockies.

Of course, that all makes shopping Gonzalez seem like a slam dunk.

But, as in the case with Tulowitzki, his age allows for the possibility that Gonzalez could contribute when this team’s load of talented minor league prospects hits the majors. According to Baseball America, Colorado has the No. 6 farm system in baseball.

According to, outfielder David Dahl (ranked No. 43 by the site) and third baseman Ryan McMahon (No. 45) are due to make their MLB debuts next season. Pitcher Jon Gray (No. 30) has already been promoted to the majors this season.

All of this suggests the Rockies will contend soon. Gonzalez would only bolster those hopes. The question Colorado brass is also considering: Can the team contend this season?

While the depth in the Colorado system suggests the Rockies could replace Gonzalez if they were to trade him, it could also be an argument for keeping him.

Though the Rockies have struggled lately, it appears the team could contend for a playoff spot. As of Thursday, Colorado is 9-12 and 2.5 games behind the NL West-leading Los Angeles Dodgers. The Rockies will need to stay within five games of a postseason spot in the coming months for Gonzalez to have any value to the organization this season.

Of course, the organization will wait until it gets closer to the trade deadline to better handicap its fate.

But, if by mid-June Colorado is in the playoff race, it could make waiving the white flag difficult.

Internally, the Rockies could argue that they could build a contender around Gonzalez this season by becoming buyers in July. They have the depth in their system to be a player in the trade market. If the Rockies are ahead in the NL West by then, the decision would be easier. They would add to the roster. If things go the other way, trading Gonzalez would become more likely.

Though the situation looks similar to that of Tulowitzki, Rockies fans and management alike will be hoping the plot takes an entirely different arc and ends with Gonzalez leading the team to the playoffs.


Seth Gruen is a national baseball columnist for Bleacher Report. Talk baseball with Seth and follow him on Twitter @SethGruen.

All stats are up to date through games on April 27.

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