On Tuesday, Colorado Rockies general manager Jeff Bridich said (in this article), “I’m focused on a lot of different things to try to make this team better and continue to make it better. I don’t think our offseason is done yet and our winter is not finished but Ian (Desmond) is our first baseman.”
On Thursday morning, a USA Today report said the Rockies are still working on their offseason plan … and may still be looking for a first baseman.
Bob Nightengale of USA Today reported that the Rockies “are in negotations with Mark Trumbo and even Edwin Encarnacion.” Should either of those first basemen signings happen, it would definitely shift Colorado’s outlook on where Desmond might play.
During Desmond’s introductory press conference on Tuesday, Bridich praised Desmond, Colorado’s first big free agent signing of the offseason, for his versatility and athleticism. With Desmond moving from the infield to the outfield last season to fill a need for the Texas Rangers, it’s thought that Desmond could make the move to first base as well, despite Desmond saying on Tuesday that he never remembers playing first base at any level of organized baseball or at any age.
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We knew the rumors linking the Rockies to Trumbo, Encarnacion or any other free agent slugging first baseman would keep up until they were all signed. However, this morning’s report once again fuels the speculation fire.
It also brings up talk that, if Colorado signs another first baseman and Desmond shifts back to the outfield, Charlie Blackmon or Carlos Gonzalez could be on the trading block. Bridich said on Tuesday to take any rumors “with a grain of salt.”
Also in Nightengale’s article, he discusses that the Rockies could be close to signing free agent target Mike Dunn away from the Miami Marlins. As we discussed here, Dunn would be a boost to Colorado’s bullpen and has long been rumored as someone Colorado was very interested in bringing on board.
Colorado’s 40-man roster currently has two openings, meaning there is certainly room for the Rockies to add more talent before spring training arrives.