Helton is owed what?

I got about three paragraphs into this column before I had to stop for fear that I might vomit. Bernie Lincicome of the Rocky Mountain News believes that the Rockies owe Todd Helton a trade.

Excuse me? How in the world do the Rockies owe Helton anything beyond the $141.5 million called for in his contract? From Bernie:

Helton ought to be allowed to touch baseball’s real adventure before he is through, as Larry Walker did with the Cardinals, as Andres Galarraga did in Atlanta. Aaron Miles, for crying out loud, was just awash in clubhouse champagne in St. Louis.

Why didn’t you say that earlier? Maybe I wouldn’t have been so skeptical. The logic is impeccable: because Aaron Miles just so happen to land with the World Series winning team, Todd Helton should have his chance to win it all. Never mind the great players who have yet to win it all — Alex Rodriguez comes immediately to mind, along with Vlad Guerrero, Miguel Tejada, and Frank Thomas. Maybe their respective GMs should give them their due and trade them to the Tigers, Yankees, or Red Sox.

Todd Helton is owed nothing beyond what his contract stipulates. Dan O’Dowd is not in charge of doing Todd Helton right; he is in charge of building the best possible baseball team. Right now, I believe, that includes Todd Helton. And if it doesn’t, they don’t need to take pennies on the dollar for him. Trading him for the sake of trading him would be an unmitigated mistake, one that would easily cost O’Dowd his job.


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January 2007
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