Colorado Rockies: three offseason needs and potential targets

DENVER, CO - SEPTEMBER 17: Carlos Gonzalez #5 of the Colorado Rockies stands a first base with first base coach Tony Diaz #43 of the Colorado Rockies following an infield hit during the first inning of a regular season MLB game between the Colorado Rockies and the visiting San Diego Padres at Coors Field on September 17, 2017 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Russell Lansford/Getty Images)
DENVER, CO - SEPTEMBER 17: Carlos Gonzalez #5 of the Colorado Rockies stands a first base with first base coach Tony Diaz #43 of the Colorado Rockies following an infield hit during the first inning of a regular season MLB game between the Colorado Rockies and the visiting San Diego Padres at Coors Field on September 17, 2017 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Russell Lansford/Getty Images) /
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PHOENIX, AZ – SEPTEMBER 12: Catcher Jonathan Lucroy #21 of the Colorado Rockies walks off the field during the MLB game against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field on September 12, 2017 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
PHOENIX, AZ – SEPTEMBER 12: Catcher Jonathan Lucroy #21 of the Colorado Rockies walks off the field during the MLB game against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field on September 12, 2017 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) /

Catcher

Just before the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline, the Rockies addressed their catching situation with acquiring Jonathan Lucroy from the Texas Rangers. He will be a free agent so the situation looms again for the Rockies.

Lucroy has expressed his interest in returning to Denver and the Rockies obviously have a need for him so, perhaps, he could return. Without him, the Rockies starting catcher would be Tony Wolters. He struggled defensively in 77 games behind the plate in 2017 (-1 Defensive Runs Saved according to Baseball Reference) and offensively (an OPS+ of 58).

With the exception of on-base percentage, Rockies catchers, offensively, were in the bottom ten teams in nearly every category at catcher. For slugging percentage, they were 27th in the game.

Other than Lucroy, Alex Avila, Tyler Flowers, and Matt Wieters are really the only catchers that are starting catchers on the free agent market that are available so the market is pretty slim.

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Right Field

Carlos Gonzalez will almost assuredly not be resigning with the Rockies as he under-performed and was over-paid for most of the season. He was paid more than $20 million in 2017 according to Patrick Saunders. The Rockies could allocate that money more effectively and add a slugger for right field, through free agency or trades. Gonzalez had an OPS+ of 87 on the season (and that was after an excellent September) so, obviously, the Rockies can improve there.

On the free agent market, current Cleveland Indian Jay Bruce, current Arizona Diamondback J.D. Martinez, Andrew McCutchen, and Justin Upton could all play right field for the Rockies and provide them with some offensive thump. For Martinez, it would be a double threat: he would help the Rockies and hurt the D’Backs since he would be leaving them.

Final Thoughts

The Rockies could also make some trades that could help them tremendously. One team to keep an eye on, in my opinion, is the Miami Marlins. Especially on the outfield front, the Marlins could potentially trade outfielders Giancarlo Stanton, Christian Yelich, or Marcell Ozuna this offseason. All three of them would be able to help the Rockies offensively (and defensively). Also, their catcher JT Realmuto could really help the Rockies too.

Next: Which Rockies could head to arbitration?

Obviously, there are 28 other teams that could make trades with the Rockies but I think that the Marlins could be an intriguing trade match this offseason.

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