The Colorado Rockies have long made it a philosophy to stay away from large, blockbuster-type signings in free agency. The stinks of the Mike Hampton and Denny Neagle contracts continue to inform that philosophy.
Nothing is forever, of course, and these types of philosophies tend to be cyclical. Furthermore, the Rockies will benefit as a franchise if their front office realizes that each player’s situation is distinct and that each player must be considered individually, instead of employing a blanket approach.
At some point, the Rockies will once again make a big, splashy signing. Could that come this off-season? Would Max Scherzer of the Detroit Tigers be the type of ace whom the Rockies should aggressively pursue in free agency?
In a column released earlier this month, Jim Bowden of ESPN suggested that the Rockies should do just that (insider subscription required). The move is offered as one of seven to fix the Rockies, along with promoting Jon Gray and Eddie Butler and trading Charlie Blackmon to the Reds for Mat Latos, among others.
The idea here is not to go point by point through those moves, since many are far-fetched and the idea of signing Scherzer is only one in that series of suggestions. The idea is to look at what Bowden suggests it would take for the Rockies to sign Scherzer or another ace, and look at the pros and cons of that potential move for the Rockies as things stand now.
In order to do so, we must note two key points about Bowden’s suggestion:
- He notes that the Rockies would need to offer the most years and the most money, overpaying to get Scherzer’s agent Scott Boras to recommend signing.
- He argues that Scherzer’s stuff would translate to Coors Field. This is important in terms of the philosophical conversation that follows.
With those factors in mind, here are the arguments for and against trying to sign Scherzer this off-season.