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Keeping Drew Stubbs and doing nothing else in the outfield
In good health, the Colorado Rockies had five outfielders worthy of regular playing time this season. They gave six outfielders regular playing time because of their collective man crush on Brandon Barnes and his propensity to hustle.
Barnes is a perfect 4th/5th outfielder. You could argue the same for Stubbs and Charlie Blackmon.
The Rockies had the chance to trade Stubbs at this year’s deadline, with things getting hot and heavy with the Seattle Mariners at one point. Stubbs had an incredible season, so on the face of things it seems perfectly reasonable to have decided to keep him. Then again, does it make chance to pass on the chance to sell high on a guy whom you continue to deploy as a 4th outfielder?
Would it have made more sense to get value for Stubbs when it might cost you $6 million (pending arbitration) to keep him as a 4th outfielder next season?
This issue is an indictment of the lack of outfield moves in general as much as it is an issue with Stubbs specifically. The Rockies had, and continue to have, a golden opportunity to use a ridiculously talented outfield to get creative and improve the rest of their roster.
If their answer to that opportunity is to let Cuddyer walk in free agency and do nothing else, it is a complete failure by the front office. Unfortunately for Bridich, his hands might be tied thanks to the inaction of his predessors, in this case even more than those previously outlined.
Possible solution: it seems obvious, but the Rockies can still trade an outfielder this off-season. Problem is, that situation has been complicated in a significant way by CarGo’s health and Cuddyer’s free agency.