Former Colorado Rockies first baseman Todd Helton is arguably the best player in franchise history, as he has a legitimate chance to get inducted into the Hall of Fame next week. Helton spent his entire career in Colorado, but apparently, the Rockies came very close to trading him at an inopportune time.
Colorado and the Boston Red Sox reportedly came close to a trade agreement that would have sent Helton to Boston, according to The Athletic’s Stephen J. Nesbitt. Part of the Rockies intent was to trade Helton, who was in the middle of a nine-year, $141 million, to get out of the final five years of the deal.
Rockies legend Todd Helton was almost traded to Boston ahead of the 2007 season.
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In return, the Rockies would’ve gotten back veterans Mike Lowell and Julian Tavares, but the two sides couldn’t agree on Boston prospects to include in the deal. Among the young players discussed at the time were Jacoby Ellsbury, Jon Lester and Clay Buchholtz, and then-Rockies general manager Dan O’Dowd even said the deal was “far down the road.”
The 2007 season turned into the best in franchise history, as the Rockies won the National League pennant for the first time, winning 90 games and two playoff series as a wild card. However, they got swept in the World Series by those same Red Sox and, ironically, Lowell had a strong series that earned him World Series MVP.
Helton ultimately played 17 seasons in Colorado, totaling 369 home runs and a .953 OPS while winning three gold glove awards. If he does make the Hall of Fame, he would only be the second player in franchise history to receive the honor, joining Larry Walker.