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Rockies rumors: Colorado exploring trades with Angels, Royals

Center fielder Dexter Fowler appears to be the club's primary trade chip, though discussions with the Halos are probably centered on Colorado's young pitching.

Tom Lynn

The Colorado Rockies have been unsuccessful so far in their attempts to add pieces on the open market, so now are trying their hand on the trading block. The club is talking to the Angels about acquiring first baseman/outfielder Mark Trumbo and has also explored a deal with the Royals that would send center fielder Dexter Fowler to Kansas City in exchange for a bullpen arm or two, reports Troy Renck of the Denver Post.

More Rockies: O'Dowd calls out Fowler

Fowler appears to be the Rockies' main trading chip at the moment, a decision that was likely spurred by general manager Dan O'Dowd's proclamation that the center fielder lacks the "edge" necessary to be successful.

While Fowler is the club's prime bait, he's unlikely to be involved in the discussions with Anaheim about Trumbo. The Halos just traded one of their outfielders away because of a glut on the roster, so their talks with Colorado are more likely to involve a young starting pitcher than Fowler.

Trumbo, 27, is coming off of his third consecutive season of 29 or more home runs, and could be a solution to the Rockies' search for a new first baseman in the wake of Todd Helton's retirement. The free-swinging slugger struggles to get on base at anywhere close to an average clip -- .299 OBP for his career -- but his prodigious power and plus defense at first base more than make up for those woes.

Trumbo has been something of a hot commodity on the trade wire this winter, so if the Halos do decide to part with him rather than Howie Kendrick or another cost-controlled player, the Rockies won't be alone in bidding for his services. The club has also been linked to Mike Napoli, James Loney and Justin Morneau as first-base options.

Colorado signed LaTroy Hawkins last week to shore up the back of their bullpen, but are still on the prowl for more relief... uh... relief. So if the Rockies are set on dealing Fowler, they'll probably have much more luck working something out with a club like the Royals. Kansas City has reportedly let it be known that right-handed relievers Aaron Crow and Tim Collins are available, and could potentially move Wade Davis now that Jason Vargas has been added to the rotation.

The Rockies were tied to Davis on several occasions while he was still with the Tampa Bay Rays, but it's unclear if they're still interested after his very disappointing showing (5.32 ERA in 135⅓ innings) in 2013. The other two aforementioned right-handers had much better seasons working exclusively out of the 'pen: Collins posted a 3.54 ERA in 53⅓ innings, while Crow put up a 3.38 ERA in 48.

Fowler, 27, batted .269/.369/.407 with 12 home runs in 119 games for the Rockies last season. The switch-hitter began the season on a tear -- he hit eight of his dingers in April -- but his power stroke disappeared as the season went on. A Super Two player, Fowler is owed $7.35 million next year and will still have one season of arbitration eligibility remaining after that, so he isn't exactly cheap. Crow and Collins, on the other hand, are both entering their first years of arbitration.

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