Colorado Rockies – Business as Usual
Like sipping a cold microbrew in the cheap seats at Coors Field, I can still taste the success of last year’s Colorado Rockies. With a 87-75 record and our first playoff game in almost ten years, Spring couldn’t come soon enough. I doubted the Monfort family, I didn’t want to “trust the process”, but the organization proved me wrong. The 2018 Rockies brought almost everyone back and even opened up their wallet to sign the top reliever in baseball, Wade Davis, to a huge contract. Blake Street is booming, roof top bars are stocking up, kids are dusting off their gloves, but there’s one problem. Showbiz is a show business.
Charlie Blackmon signed a one year/$14 million deal to stay with the Rockies in 2018, but after hitting .331 with 37 HRs and 104 RBIs Blackmon will be a free agent in 2019 and looking to get paid. While Charlie would probably give the Rockies a hometown discount, it’s hard to see the Rockies matching what a Yankees or Red Sox may offer.
DJ LeMahieu has turned himself into an All-Star and Gold Glover after hitting well over .300 for the past few years. But the second baseman is also a free agent in 2019, and after making $8.5 million this year he’ll be looking for a substantial raise after the season. Considering that the Rockies have a top prospect named Brendan Rodgers who is projected as a shortstop or second baseman, LeMahieu is probably gone.
Starting pitchers Jon Gray, Jeff Hoffman, Kyle Freeland, Tyler Anderson, and Antonio Senzatela all have very team-friendly, longer-term contracts that keep the rotation young and affordable for at least the next three years. But after the Chicago Cubs signed former Rockies pitcher Tyler Chatwood to a 3yr/$38 million contract this off-season after posting a record of 8-15 with an ERA of 4.69, it’s difficult to see Colorado locking anyone up long-term, even Gray.
And what about Nolan Arenado? The good news is that Arenado’s contract has him eligible for arbitration in 2019 after making $17.5 million this season, meaning the Rockies could retain him for one more year. But with Bryce Harper asking for 10yrs/$400 for his next contract, even the Rockies new television agreement may not be able to keep Nolan here for the long-term, making him trade bait.
Add the fact that Carlos Gonzalez is on a one-year-to-prove-yourself contract, Mark Reynolds and his 30 HRs have been replaced by prospect Ryan McMahon, and the Rockies will do anything to dump Ian Desmond’s contract if he struggles again this year the Rockies may look very different next season and thus, only have one option. As Jake Taylor so elegantly stated in the classic baseball movie Major League, they need to win the whole f***ing thing.
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