Free falling from playoff contention toward rock bottom, if the Rockies make a big move in 2014 it will be to trade shortstop Troy Tulowitzki or outfielder Carlos Gonzalez.

"If one of us gets traded, you never know what's going to happen. One of us might end up winning a World Series," Gonzalez told me as he sat in the Colorado clubhouse.

Tulo and CarGo are the Rockies. But their team seems doomed to failure. It has left them frustrated and open to a change of uniform.

The two Colorado stars, whose combined salaries total nearly $27 million this season, understand what immense value they could have on the trade market. In separate interviews Thursday, Tulo and CarGo talked frankly about the possibility of leaving Denver.

"In Todd Helton, there's someone who's easy to look at his career here and how it played out. I have the utmost respect for Todd, but at the same time, I don't want to be the next in line as somebody who was here for a long time and didn't have a chance to win every single year," said Tulowitzki, reviewing the 17 years Helton spent as the face of a franchise that never won a division title. "He played in a couple postseason games and went to one World Series. But that's not me. I want to be somewhere where there's a chance to be in the playoffs every single year."

By almost any metric, CarGo and Tulo rank among the most talented 25 players in the major leagues. Their highly competitive natures, however, have been severely tested by a sad stretch that saw Colorado lose 28 of 38 games, with a rash of bad-luck injuries and wretched starting pitching the ruination of a once-promising season.

Combine his usual golden touch at shortstop with one of the NL's hottest bats, and Tulo- witzki profiles as the league's No. 1 candidate for most valuable player except for one glaring deficiency: His team stinks.