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Are the Colorado Rockies built to win right now? Or should they be a team that is rebuilding for the future?
As Ben Lindbergh, Sam Miller and Russell Carleton discussed on the Colorado Rockies preview episode of Effectively Wild, it seems like the franchise is not totally sure which kind of team it is right now. As such, they are stuck in a dreaded middle ground, one where they have enough good pieces in place, namely superstar players in Carlos Gonzalez and Troy Tulowitzki, that they are probably too good to rebuild. But they also aren’t really close to being a contending team either. They are stuck in the middle.
Will we see moves from the Rockies that indicate a drastic move one direction or the other? Signing free agent starting pitcher Ervin Santana would certainly be a sign that this team thinks it is built to win right now. That makes it interesting, then, that Jon Heyman of CBS reports that the Rockies checked in on Santana today after getting bad news about Jhoulys Chacin yesterday:
Presumably the main “check” here was whether or not Santana’s asking price has dropped enough for the Rockies to realistically have a shot at him; I can envision no scenario where they pay him the four year, $50 million range that Ubaldo Jimenez got from the Orioles, even with the possibility of being without Chacin for part of the season.
There is also the compensatory draft pick issue to consider here. As we have noted before, the Rockies’ first round pick (8th overall) is protected, but signing Santana would cost them their second round pick, which is still 34th overall (a valuable pick, to be sure). If they give up that pick plus the money to sign Santana, they better be darn sure they are on the verge of the playoffs as they are built right now.
I don’t know about you, but I’m not so sure about that.