Who’s on First? Options for the Colorado Rockies in 2017

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Apr 10, 2015; Denver, CO, USA; General view of used baseballs being branded outside of Coors Field before the start of the game against the Chicago Cubs. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 10, 2015; Denver, CO, USA; General view of used baseballs being branded outside of Coors Field before the start of the game against the Chicago Cubs. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports /

The Colorado Rockies seem primed to sign a free agent first baseman at this year’s winter meetings. Jeff Bridich has been reported by multiple sources to have two priorities this offseason, improving the bullpen and adding a first baseman.

It seems logical that the Rockies would target a right-handed guy to plug into the lineup at first as the outfield includes only lefties in Charlie Blackmon, Carlos Gonzalez and David Dahl. The hypothesized fourth outfielder, Gerardo Parra, also bats from the left.

Luckily for the Rockies, this year’s free agent class includes many sluggers that could play first. Initially there was some momentum behind the idea of signing old friend Matt Holliday to play first base, but this never seemed realistic and news broke earlier today that Holliday has signed with the New York Yankees. So now, who should Bridich try to sign? There are still quite a few options.

Edwin Encarnacion would be an absolute treat to watch play. The guy can hit and I would smile and cheer each time he took his “parrot for a walk” after a dinger. He hits for a fair amount of average, especially compared to his fellow American League home run leaders at .263 with an OBP of .357. He started more games last year as a designated hitter than at first base so he could be a bit of a defensive liability.

It is hard to imagine the Rockies being willing to sign him to a multi-year deal worth as much money as an American League team that could have him DH more and more as he continues to grow older. He would also cost the Rockies a future draft pick secondary to the qualifying offer he received from the Blue Jays.