Denver Submit sports activities author Patrick Saunders posts his Rockies Mailbag each different week on Tuesdays throughout the season and as soon as per thirty days throughout the offseason.
Pose a Rockies — or MLB — associated query for the Rockies Mailbag.
Howdy once more Patrick, Two questions: Are the Rockies contemplating choosing up a catcher that may hit? Is there a pitcher in the minor leagues that’ll come up and shock us subsequent season?
— Thanks, Dan the Biggest Alaskan Rockies Fan (Juneau)
Dan, two excellent, very key questions.
I’m positive the Rockies will take a look at methods to beef up behind the plate, however I don’t sense something dramatic occurring.
In a current session with the media, basic supervisor Jeff Bridich dodged the situation. Particularly, he watered down the concept that Colorado will get into the commerce sweepstakes for Marlins catcher J.T. Realmuto (whom I occur to assume can be an ideal slot in Colorado).
Positive, there are whispers about Realmuto coming to Denver, ever since agent Jerry Berry stated Realmuto gained’t signal a long-term deal and “definitely” shall be traded. However there might be a number of groups asking about Realmuto, and the value can be excessive.
Former main league GM Jim Bowden, writing in The Athletic lately, prompt that Colorado might commerce pitching prospect Peter Lambert and gifted infielder Garrett Hampson to Miami in change for Realmuto. That’s not going to fly. The Marlins would demand a lot more, I consider.
As you’re in all probability conscious, there aren’t very many catchers who can hit and care for enterprise behind the plate. However you’re right that the Rockies’ acquired restricted offensive manufacturing from their catchers in 2017. They completed 12th the Nationwide League with a .657 OPS.
Right here’s what Bridich stated about the 2018 group that included Chris Iannetta, Tony Wolters, Tom Murphy and Drew Butera:
“They have been at occasions actually good for us defensively and streaky offensively — at occasions they struggled as a gaggle. We like totally different parts of what every man brings. Once you put collectively two or three catchers at a time in your 25-man roster, you’re on the lookout for what they will do as a gaggle, a mixture — perhaps even more so than another place on the subject.
“The defensive elements of what they bring are really important, and that’s not lost on us. They just fit into everything else. We have an open mind to everything, but it’s not like we’re looking to move guys. But now is the time in the industry to listen and be open-minded, so we’ll see what happens.”
In different phrases, I don’t assume the Rockies will make a serious transfer behind the plate.
They did, nevertheless, make a minor transfer earlier this week, signing catcher Brett Nicholas to a minor-league deal. He appeared in 36 video games with the Rangers in 2016 and ’17.
Nicholas, 30, hit a mixed .252 with the Rangers. He spent final season with the Padres’ Triple-A membership in El Paso after arriving in an April commerce from the Rangers. Nicholas batted .291 with a .353 on-base proportion and a .485 slugging proportion, 16 house runs and 83 RBIs for El Paso.
As for pitching “surprises” from the minors, I assume you aren’t counting right-hander Jeff Hoffman, who’s been on the radar ever since he was a part of the Troy Tulowitzki commerce in 2015.
The one man who might be shock is right-hander Yency Almonte, who owns a 96 mph fastball. He’s been principally a starter in the minors, however labored as a mop-up reliever for the Rockies in 2018. He flashed plenty of promise, however principally in low-leverage conditions.
Almonte has a vibrant future, however it might take a quantum leap – or accidents to others – for him to be a major-league starter in 2019.
Thanks in your column on the Dodgers’ possession of the Rockies, however you neglected a essential element: Cash doesn’t purchase championships, a minimum of not reliably. Final yr the Astros gained with a gap day payroll that was decrease than the Rockies’ (No. 16 to No. 18). And through these six (rely ’em six) years of NL West titles, the Dodgers have zero (rely ’em zero) World Collection titles. The Rockies appear to hold with just about another workforce, as demonstrated by their historic run of video games towards groups with profitable data in 2018. It was the Braves, however now it’s the Dodgers that simply have their quantity.
— Josh Weiss, Denver
Josh, I don’t see a query right here, however you make some good factors. However I’m not going to low cost the excessive payrolls of the Dodgers, Purple Sox, Yankees, and so forth. for his or her constant success. The enjoying area in the majors could be very uneven. That’s actuality.
Patrick, this must be introduced up once more nevertheless it appears as if the Rockies are nonetheless missing that call maker with out having a staff president. Would love your perception on this, thanks.
Rick, as I’m positive you realize, the Rockies have been and not using a true workforce president since Keli McGregor’s sudden dying in April 2010. That was a subject I used to harp on rather a lot.
Nevertheless, I feel the Rockies’ entrance workplace has been very strong since Bridich turned the GM in 2014. The farm system is in comparatively fine condition and the Rockies simply certified for the playoffs in successive seasons for the first time of their historical past.
I don’t agree with all of the strikes Bridich and his entrance workplace has made, however I feel the franchise is in an excellent place, even with out an official president.
Will this be the yr Bridich lastly admits he made a mistake signing Desmond to play first? By any metric you employ, new or previous, he’s a far below-average participant and hurts the staff by being on the market daily. I can’t help however marvel that if the staff had even a mean first baseman they’d have gained one more recreation, the division, and gotten to face Atlanta in the divisional spherical.
Positive, it won’t have mattered anyway, nevertheless it seems like a wasted alternative simply to be cussed. Does Bridich acknowledge the signing is an abject failure and plan to do one thing about it? Enjoying him and hoping he “breaks out of it” just isn’t a legitimate reply, as he’s at the age the place gamers begin to decline and has performed poorly for 2 full years now. It doesn’t matter how a lot he makes, this have to be acknowledged as a sunk value. If they don’t handle this drawback it’s exhausting to consider the staff is trustworthy about eager to compete for titles.
— Kevin, Denver
Kevin, you, like numerous followers, assume the Desmond signing was a bust. He did, in any case, make $22 million in 2018, making him the staff’s highest-paid participant. He’ll make $15 million in every of the subsequent two seasons. When you think about that DJ LeMahieu made simply $eight.5 million this previous season, it seems like a really dangerous deal certainly.
That stated, Bridich, and even supervisor Bud Black, like the athleticism Desmond brings to the group.
FYI, right here’s what I wrote about Desmond in my end-of-season evaluation:
The veteran’s season started terribly. He hit .154 in April and .215 in Might earlier than he went on a tear in June and July. In 48 video games, he slashed .291/.383/.534 with 10 residence runs. But when any participant epitomized Colorado’s roller-coaster offense, it was Desmond, whose 83 OPS+ was the lowest amongst Rockies regulars. (OPS+ accounts for league and park elements and units the scale at 100 as being common).
Desmond’s penchant for pounding the ball into the floor killed quite a few would-be rallies. His 256 groundouts have been third-most in the NL, and led to 17 double performs (most on the Rockies, tied for eighth in the NL).
Desmond, nevertheless, did steal 20 bases, drive in 88 runs, hit 22 residence runs and had a career-high eight triples, tied for third in the NL. For what it’s value, teammates and supervisor Bud Black gave Desmond bonus factors for his clubhouse presence. Subsequent season, the third of his five-year, $70-million deal, Desmond will make $15 million. Grade: C-minus.
What ought to the Rockies do in the offseason to strengthen the beginning rotation? Assuming they may want some inexpensive bullpen help as nicely.
— Mark Miller, Thornton
Mark, it will go towards the Rockies’ blueprint to make an enormous splash for a beginning pitcher, and I definitely don’t see them making a serious commerce or signing a big-name free agent. Might they ink a veteran for some rotation depth? Positive, perhaps somebody like Wade Miley.
I’ll be curious to see if the Rockies will spend on the bullpen after shelling out $106 million for Wade Davis, Bryan Shaw and Jake McGee final offseason. Shaw and McGee have been busts; there isn’t any different strategy to put it.
It’s more probably that the Rockies will spend cash to beef up their offense and look in-house for bullpen help from guys like Carlos Estevez and even prospects like Peter Lambert or Jesus Tinoco.
Patrick, a lot of followers appear to assume Nolan Arenado needs to remain right here in Denver and assume he’s going to signal once more with Colorado. I’m a realist and know he has his eyes set on free company and enjoying for a winner each season. How can the Rockies handle this concern earlier than the season begins? They both need to signal him long run earlier than the season begins or commerce him in a mega-deal bringing again a haul of gamers/prospects.
It simply looks like that’s the solely option to go about it. If the Rockies go that route they will at the least inform followers, look we tried to work out a long-term deal and he turned down $300 million.
— Jeff, Aurora
Jeff, Arenado’s future stays the largest query mark hovering over the Rockies. He’s stated he expects to be with the workforce when it studies to spring coaching in February, and Bridich has stated the similar factor.
There have been media reviews that the free-agent offers that Bryce Harper and Manny Machdo signal will decide whether or not or not Arenado stays in Colorado. Bridich insists that’s not the case and is just too simplistic a view.
Can the Rockies afford to pay one participant $300 million over 10 years? In all probability not. As I wrote in my final mailbag, that is my answer:
The Rockies’ window to win continues to be very a lot open, and Arenado must be part of it. Nevertheless, if the staff is clearly out the race by mid-summer and Arenado has not been re-signed, than you need to commerce him. Right here is my proposal: make Arenado a good-faith supply on a five-year deal value about $150 million. No 10-year offers, however maybe embrace an “opt-out” clause of some type. If Arenado really needs to remain in Colorado, he’s going to take a tough take a look at the supply. If he balks, I feel that may be a sign that he needs to play elsewhere. However no less than the Rockies would have tried to carry onto a participant who’s on monitor for the Corridor of Fame.
I learn the place Bridich needs to barter with DJ LeMahieu and Adam Ottavino now that they’re on the open market. Why didn’t the Rockies prolong them qualifying gives? Why did Bridich wait till they have been on the open market, when he has to compete with presents from different groups, and it might improve the worth?
If the Rockies don’t re-sign DJ, I’m involved the offense will probably be even more missing in 2019. What about the Rockies going after and signing Daniel Murphy? He can play second or first and takes high quality at bats. He’s additionally acquired postseason expertise and might be an excellent staff chief.
— Steve, Aurora
Steve, I don’t know the place you learn that Bridich “wants to negotiate” with LeMahieu and Ottavino. All he’s stated is that the Rockies would maintain the door open.
As for the qualifying supply, I’m assuming the Rockies didn’t assume both participant was value signing for $17.9 million for one yr of management. I consider there have been solely seven qualifying gives in the majors this season, so the Rockies’ strategy was typical. I by no means anticipated them to make a Q-offer to anybody.
Plus, you must keep in mind that it takes “two to tango” in relation to contracts. As a lot as Ottavino and LeMahieu love Colorado, additionally they need their probability to discover free company. This isn’t all on the Rockies’ entrance workplace.
LeMahieu has advised me he want to keep right here, however I anticipate him getting a three-year deal value about $30 million, and with prospects like Brendan Rodgers and Garrett Hampson knocking on the door, I don’t assume the Rockies have been prepared to shell out that sort of cash for LeMahieu.
Personally, I feel that’s a mistake. The Rockies are going to overlook LeMahieu terribly.
As for Daniel Murphy, I simply don’t like the match. The Rockies have already got a whole lot of left-handed bats, plus Murphy turns 34 in April, he’s not that far faraway from microfracture knee surgical procedure, he’s not very cellular and he’d be an enormous downgrade as a defensive second baseman. The Rockies want offense, however Murphy is just not the reply, for my part.
Hello Patrick, identify three modifications you see the Rockies making earlier than the begin of the 2019 season.
— Renee Dechert, Powell, Wyoming
Renee, listed here are three predictions:
1. Colorado wants a bat and I feel they’ll go after versatile outfielder Marwin Gonzalez.
2. They’ll signal, or commerce for, a left-handed reliever. I’m unsure who.
three. I feel Garrett Hampson might be the beginning second baseman.
Is it truthful to say that Jon Gray is a bust? You say he has upside and that the Rockies consider in him, however to me they like him as a result of he’s low cost and they don’t need to surrender on a primary spherical decide. What do you consider packaging him in an Arenado commerce? Every little thing must be on the desk this winter.
— Jim, Denver
Jim, I feel it’s approach too early to surrender on Gray. He’s acquired numerous expertise, he simply has to determine find out how to harness it. I do know followers need the Rockies to make an enormous splash and land a beginning pitcher, however the 2018 season proved that homegrown pitching is the greatest answer for Colorado.
Why would you package deal him with Arenado? That may make Gray a throw-away piece. He’s value more than that.
Gray can also be prepared to go the additional mile to enhance. He made that clear in the interview I had with him on Tuesday.
Hope your offseason is treating you properly, Patrick. Unsure if there are plans for it however would take pleasure in an offseason scorching range version podcast.
— Will, Parker
Will, sure, as soon as the scorching range season begins boiling I’ll do a podcast, possible from the winter conferences subsequent month in Las Vegas.
If Nolan doesn’t need to keep right here in Colorado I feel the Rockies ought to go after DJ. He’s a Gold Glover who I think about a lunch pail man. Simply exhibits up and does his job each single day.
— Invoice, Denver
Invoice, I’ve a sense LeMahieu will get scooped up earlier than the Rockies and Arenado come to any type of determination. Nevertheless, if the Rockies knew for positive that they have been going to commerce Arenado, then re-signing LeMahieu may be a risk. It isn’t, nevertheless, a chance.
Hello Patrick, I might like to see Matt Holliday return to Colorado subsequent season. Do you want his probabilities of signing with the Rockies once more? Thanks.
— Jay, Canon Metropolis
Jay, Holliday advised me at the finish of the season that he want to return. I feel it’s an actual risk that he might return as a bat off the bench and a part-time left fielder. Nevertheless, I feel signing Holliday would come late in the offseason after issues shake out.
Denver Publish sports activities author Patrick Saunders posts his Rockies Mailbag each different week on Tuesdays throughout the season and as soon as per 30 days throughout the offseason.
Pose a Rockies — or MLB — associated query for the Rockies Mailbag.