Colorado Rockies: A Closer Look at Jeff Bridich’s Master Plan
Jeff Bridich has been around the game of baseball for a long time and has a degree from Harvard, but does he have a serious plan in place to turn the Colorado Rockies in to a contender? Let’s take a year-by-year look at his most notable moves as Rockies General Manager.
Notable 2015 Moves
In his first offseason as GM of the Rockies, Bridich made a couple early moves by signing veteran catcher Nick Hundley and pitcher Kyle Kendrick. Hundley had traveled around the league a bit, but was familiar with the NL West from his time in San Diego. Hundley was a productive player in his time in Colorado, and was a perfect first signing by Jeff Bridich.
Kyle Kendrick started the season as the “ace” of the Rockies’ pitching staff, but it soon became very clear he had no business atop any rotation. Strike one for Bridich.
More from Colorado Rockies News
- Colorado Rockies: Charlie Blackmon out for the season
- Colorado Rockies: Injuries shift look of roster ahead of Dodgers series
- Colorado Rockies: 3 things we appreciated from Tuesday in San Francisco
- What Bill Schmidt’s comments mean for the Colorado Rockies in 2023
- Colorado Rockies podcast: What to make of Bill Schmidt’s comments
In one of the biggest moves in franchise history, Bridich traded perennial All-Star shortstop Troy Tulowitzki to the Toronto Blue Jays. The Rockies received pitchers Jeff Hoffman, Miguel Castro, and Jesus Tinoco, as well as shortstop Jose Reyes. The trade has been scrutinized in recent weeks and reached a peak when the Rockies designated Castro for assignment. Fellow Rox Pile team member, JD Jensen, explains why the trade was a bust for the Rockies in this full story.
By the end of the 2015 season, the Rockies looked like a team poised to embrace a rebuild mindset and roll with some young talent in to the next season, but Bridich voiced his optimism about the team competing in 2016.
Notable 2016 Moves
The Rockies struggled to find consistency from the bullpen in Bridich’s first season as GM, so his first two major signings in 2016 addressed the need specifically. Veteran pitchers Jason Motte and Chad Qualls were signed to two-year deals and were expected to anchor an inexperienced and struggling bullpen.
Motte, a former closer, showed some promise early, but his performance never lived up to the expectations of the team. He was designated for assignment before the 2017 season, and the Rockies will pay the veteran $5 million to pitch somewhere else next season.
Qualls struggled a bit more in his first season with the club, and did nothing to change his image during Spring Training this year. He is currently on the Disabled List, but it is not likely he will return to pitch for the Rockies this season. Strike two for Bridich.
Bridich wasn’t done with big moves before the season. He signed journeyman outfielder Gerardo Parra to a lucrative three-year deal worth $27.5 million. Parra showed the ability to be a difference-maker in his time with the D-Backs and Orioles, but didn’t exactly stand out as the premier starting outfielder the Rockies needed.
Since joining the club, Parra had a terrible first season with the Rockies and was demoted to the bench as reserve outfielder in favor of David Dahl. He has shown improvement in a small sample size this season, but it will take a breakout year to make this signing make sense.
In the same offseason, Corey Dickerson was traded to the Tampa Bay Rays for reliever Jake McGee and prospect German Marquez. Dickerson showed serious pop at the plate with the Rockies, but struggled as a fielder with a less than desirable arm in a big outfield.
McGee was a dominant late-inning reliever for the Rays and was set to challenge Adam Ottavino for the closer spot in Colorado. Since coming over in the trade, McGee has shown some bad and some good, but could make the trade a success simply by remaining on the team.
The wild card of the trade is Marquez, who blew up the minor leagues in his first year with the Rockies and earned Eastern League Pitcher of the Year in AA. If he becomes a solid fixture of the rotation in the future, Bridich may have pulled off an impressive trade.