The calendar has turned to December and the Colorado Rockies still have a number of balls in the air, as they say. Justin Morneau, the free agent first baseman previously of the Minnesota Twins and Pittsburgh Pirates, is the number one target. Dexter Fowler might get traded. Perhaps most interestingly, owner Dick Monfort decided to release a line-by-line team budget to the Denver Post this morning.
Here’s what else is happening with the Rockies and around the rest of the league:
This past season, the Rockies ranked 24th in baseball in opening-day payroll, a figure Monfort calculated at $84 million — his accounting includes in-season call-ups and free-agent additions — which amounted to 49.4 percent of the team’s $170 million in revenue. Monfort framed those figures in context with his business model, saying it’s his rule of thumb to spend “50 percent of revenue on the players’ salaries.”
“For the 2014 season, he said he’s willing to stretch the payroll to about $95 million while attempting to add an impact bat, a starting pitcher and another reliever to join veteran LaTroy Hawkins, who was signed last month.”
No, the major impact of a MLB manager is the ability to get the most out of his players’ considerable talent. It’s giving players the right coaching, motivation, and tools so that they can perform to the best of their abilities. The problem then with evaluating a manager’s performance is then figuring out what the benchmark their team should be shooting for is.
In Colorado’s case, the Rockies were coming off of the worst season in franchise history in 2012, a 64 win campaign marred by injuries and poor performance across the board. That’s the situation Walt Weiss found himself in upon being given a one year contract to be Colorado’s manager – leaping from coaching at the high school level to the big leagues.
Colorado appears to be focusing on rebuilding their bullpen. They just signed one-time Rockie LaTroy Hawkins to a one-year deal, and they have their eye on Jose Veras, Brian Wilson, and Grant Balfour.
As previously stated, they also need a first baseman. There are a couple of avenues they could traverse on this front.”