Closer Rafael Betancourt could become prominent in trade reports. The Rockies have made left-handed second-year man Rex Brothers their eighth-inning setup man and could slide him into the ninth inning as a trial if they deal Betancourt. Pinch-hitter and backup first baseman Jason Giambi also could be of interest to contending teams, either before the Deadline or in a waiver deal. In waiver deals, a player who is on the new club's roster before Sept. 1 is eligible for postseason play.
Interestingly, it's not as if players subject to the reports are in a particular hurry to leave. Injuries and inexperience to the pitching staff were the biggest reason for the poor early record.
"I want to be a part of this here, but you don't know what's going on beyond all this. I wish I knew," said Scutaro, who had pedestrian numbers early in the season, but moved to No. 2 in the order and built to a .277 average and .330 on-base percentage by the All-Star break. "You prepare to win, and when it doesn't happen, it's frustrating.
"On the other hand, we've had some injuries with our pitchers. But I think we have very good talent and we're going the right way here. In the future, this team is going to be good."
The Rockies aren't expected to make a blockbuster deal like the one they pulled off last year, when they sent former ace pitcher Ubaldo Jimenez to the Indians for left-hander Drew Pomeranz, right-handers Alex White and Joe Gardner, and utility man Matt McBride. Pomeranz and White were former first-round Draft picks.
Reports of talks with the Mets about Hernandez -- in the first year of a two-year, $6.4 million deal -- speculated on multiposition infielder Justin Turner being a Rockies target, as well as a list of mid-level pitching and outfield prospects.
There were media musings during the first half of the season centered on All-Star left fielder Carlos Gonzalez, but ownership has said he will not be dealt. Gonzalez is in the second year of a seven-year, $80 million contract. He and shortstop Troy Tulowitzki, who is in the second year of a deal that will pay him $157.75 million through 2020, are considered the heart of the Rockies' lineup for years to come. Tulowitzki has missed much of this season with a left groin injury.
Another veteran the Rockies are unlikely to move is outfielder/first baseman Michael Cuddyer because of the a three-year, $31 million contract he signed during the offseason. The amount of time and money remaining on the contract would make dealing him problematic.
Where it could become interesting is if teams pursue right-handed reliever Matt Belisle, who has been reliable and productive for three straight seasons and could help a contending club. However, Belisle is considered an influential leader of a bullpen that figures to be young, and the Rockies value him highly.