Colorado Rockies: Why first base should be the real free agent focus

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DENVER - JUNE 14: A general view of the exterior home plate entrance to Coors Field, home of the Colorado Rockies on June 14, 2004 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Brian Bahr/Getty Images)
DENVER - JUNE 14: A general view of the exterior home plate entrance to Coors Field, home of the Colorado Rockies on June 14, 2004 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Brian Bahr/Getty Images) /
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DENVER, CO – APRIL 09: Dick Monfort, Owner/Chairman and CEO of the Colorado Rockies, looks on during batting practice as the Rockies host the San Francisco Giants on Opening Day at Coors Field on April 9, 2012 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
DENVER, CO – APRIL 09: Dick Monfort, Owner/Chairman and CEO of the Colorado Rockies, looks on during batting practice as the Rockies host the San Francisco Giants on Opening Day at Coors Field on April 9, 2012 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images) /

According to a recent article in the Denver Post, published by Patrick Saunders, Dick Monfort has informed fans that 2018 would include a ‘modest increase’ in ticket prices. Monfort also goes onto say in that article, the ticket price increase would ‘Hopefully, this will allow us to sign and retain players who will get us over the top“.

From my perspective, the Rockies will be looking to build a long-term, more sustainable roster focusing its objective on winning now.

With the pending free agent losses of Jonathan Lucroy, Mark Reynolds, Carlos Gonzalez, Tyler Chatwood, Jake McGee, Pat Neshek, Greg Holland and the more than $36,000,000 in dead money coming off the books, the Colorado Rockies will be in great position to fill roster needs. With a 2017 payroll in excess of $145,000,000, the Colorado Rockies will be looking either match, or increase payroll for the 2018 season.

Colorado Rockies
Colorado Rockies /

Colorado Rockies

Currently, there is only $67,000,000 allocated to the current roster. This gives Colorado Rockies more than $87,000,000 in flexible spending to bring in valuable pieces to fill five or six holes. That is a MUCH better position to be in than from a year ago.

The window to win is now, with core All-Stars such as DJ LeMahieu, Nolan Arenado, and Charlie Blackmon fielding their positions and with multi-position veterans such as Ian Desmond and Gerardo Parra, the Rockies will build around a stable of young arms led by Chad Bettis, Jon Gray and Tyler Anderson. With the natural growth and development of Kyle Freeland, German Marquez, and Antonio Senzatela, and continued development of prize pitching prospect Jeff Hoffman, the Rockies pitching rotation includes the best collection of talent the organization has ever had.

With LeMahieu and Blackmon entering their final years of player arbitration (and team control), both are expected to see significant pay raises. The Rockies will likely sit down and speak to Blackmon and his team about a long-term extension. Arenado enters the final year of a two-year contract he signed in the offseason of 2016, but still has one final year of arbitration eligibility afterward, keeping him under team control until after 2019. The Rockies brass has said they plan to initiate the conversation with his team as well about a long-term deal.

While the majority of fans and analysts believe Colorado needs to target a right fielder, catcher, and bullpen help, I want to look at a different position I believe is equally important to Colorado’s long-term success … first base

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