Colorado Rockies: 3 Thoughts From Monday’s Winter Meetings
3) Jeff Bridich says the Rockies are being “more aggressive”
Bridich’s words on Monday were music to the ears of Rockies fans desperate to see the team make a splash this offseason. When asked how Colorado’s current approach differed from years past, Bridich said the team was being “more aggressive and maybe more opportunistic than we’re used to, or have been used to over the last four, five, six years.”
The most obvious place to apply this aggression is Colorado’s hole at first base. When Bridich was asked a question about right-handed slugger Mark Trumbo, the Rockies GM declined to confirm or deny the team’s interest in Trumbo specifically, but he did say, “In terms of adding talent right now, we’re wide open — we’re open to all avenues.”
It’s great to hear that Bridich and the Rockies are serious about putting a contender on the field soon, but they also need to be careful not to go overboard in their pursuit of a big name at first base.
Edwin Encarnacion and the previously mentioned Trumbo are both extremely dangerous home run hitters, but they’ll be expensive … and not just in dollars. Signing either would cost Colorado the 11th overall pick in next year’s draft. Both players are also liabilities on defense and on the base paths, and players like that generally don’t age well. A team with Nolan Arenado and Trevor Story patrolling the left side of the infield (not to mention Charlie Blackmon and Carlos Gonzalez in the outfield) doesn’t need to break the bank for a risky long-term bet at first base.
The Rockies likely realize this, so when Bridich says “we’re open to all avenues,” he’s probably talking about players other than Encarnacion and Trumbo. Thomas Harding reported that the Rockies contacted the White Sox about Jose Abreu, but so far nothing has progressed past preliminary discussions.
Of all the first baseman linked to the Rockies this offseason, perhaps the most logical fit is Chris Carter. He’s the right-handed power bat that Colorado is seeking, and both the length and cost of what it would take to sign him (probably something like 2-year, $20 million) fits in to their budget and timeline for contention. The Rockies could also consider Mitch Moreland, although that would be adding another left-handed to a roster that’s already got more than a few of them.
Next: Our Exclusive Chat with MLB Insider Chris Cotillo on Colorado's Offseason Strategy
Ultimately, this author believes that Colorado will end up with a cheaper option like Carter or Moreland, who can them most of the production of the big name guys for a fraction of the cost. That may frustrate some of the fans that want to see the team make a splash during the Winter Meetings for once, but in the long term, it’s probably the right move.