Baseball’s winter meetings have officially concluded and the dust is beginning to settle from a dizzying amount of signings, trades and rumors. So how did the Colorado Rockies fare during the biggest event of the offseason?
Colorado made one notable splash during the week, signing Ian Desmond to a five-year, $70 million deal. It was a move that few saw coming and seemed to cause more questions than answers.
Reportedly, the Rockies are planning to use Desmond as a first baseman, a position he’s never played in his Major League career. It’s an interesting thought and one that had many people scratching their heads … not only because Desmond isn’t a first baseman but also because the Rockies surrendered their 11th overall pick in next year’s draft to sign him.
With so much of Desmond’s time spent in the outfield last season with the Texas Rangers, his signing immediately started rumors swirling about the Rockies making a trade with one of their other outfielders. Charlie Blackmon and Carlos Gonzalez have been in the middle of trade rumors for months now and that certainly won’t let up with Desmond now a part of the Colorado roster.
Blackmon’s name appeared in a couple of notable trade rumors on Wednesday. First, it was said that the St. Louis Cardinals were very interested in acquiring him to fill the need they have in center field. Later in the day, rumors started flying about Blackmon heading to Toronto in a deal that could send starting pitcher Marcus Stroman to the Rockies.
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Adding fuel to the Blackmon trade rumor fire were the reports that the Rockies were still very interested in acquiring a slugging first baseman like Mark Trumbo, Edwin Encarnacion, Chris Carter or Jose Abreu. This despite just signing Desmond to a big contract and saying he will be playing first for the Rockies.
While Desmond was the only name to join Colorado’s 40-man roster during the winter meetings, he certainly won’t be the last. The Rockies are still looking for pitching help and didn’t address their needs in the bullpen during the winter meetings. Rumors have the Rockies interested in Brad Ziegler and Mike Dunn but nothing concrete has happened yet.
In Thursday’s Rule 5 draft, the Rockies lost Josh Rutledge, who had just been signed days ago to a minor league deal, to the Boston Red Sox.
While the Rockies lost Rutledge, they did sign catcher Anthony Bemboom from the Angels in the Triple-A phase of the Rule 5 draft.
Overall, the Rockies get an incomplete on their grade from the winter meetings. Why? Think of all of the things we don’t know at the moment…
Will Desmond really play first base?
If he does, how well will he learn the position and play it?
Is the only first baseman the Rockies will sign?
If he isn’t, will he move to the outfield?
If he moves to the outfield, does that mean a current Colorado outfielder is on the trading block before the 2017 campaign?
There are still a lot of possibilities for the Rockies now that the winter meetings have ended. While Desmond was the biggest name Colorado signed, expect there to be more movement before spring training arrives.