We hear his name pop up every offseason, it seems. We heard it before the Cubs acquired Dexter Fowler. We heard it last year when they expected to lose Fowler in free agency. And now we are hearing it again as Fowler once again hits the open market.
That name is Charlie Blackmon and it was Bruce Levine who mentioned it on The Score. Blackmon is a left-handed hitting, offensive first CFer, though he does have a penchant for making the spectacular play at times. And as it did with Fowler, playing in a much smaller CF should help minimize his defensive shortcomings. Where Blackmon cannot replace Fowler is at the top of the order. He is a free swinger who won’t walk much. His OBP has been very good, but unlike Fowler, it is largely batting average dependent.
In case you are wondering, last year Blackmon hit lefties almost as well as he did righties and unlike many Rockies’ players, was a better hitter on the road than at hitter friendly Coors Field.
The assumption is that Blackmon would split time with Albert Almora, but given Blackmon hits lefties well, that may not be a given. If Blackmon is targeted as an everyday player, then it would give Almora more time to refine his approach at AAA.
As for what the Rockies would want, they are imbalanced on offense, featuring a LH heavy lineup. The Cubs certainly have young RH bats to help them even things out. The Rockies also believe they aren’t all that far from contention, so they may want MLB ready talent in return. Like most teams, they are also seeking pitching and bullpen help. There are obvious starting points when it comes to matching the two teams up, but putting the finishing touches on this one may get tricky. The Cubs aren’t really in a position to help them with pitching, but they may be able to give them a couple of MLB ready bats. The Rockies don’t necessarily need a CFer in return because LF David Dahl may be able to move to CF. They may also need an upgrade at 1B and the Cubs may have some candidates who can help there as well.
It’s not a perfect fit and Blackmon may end up batting somewhere further down the lineup, but that could make it easier for the Cubs to bump Zobrist up to the leadoff spot. The bigger question is whether the two teams can agree on a deal if there is indeed interest on both sides.
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