Holiday wishlist for the Colorado Rockies
By Ben Macaluso
Heading into the month of December in baseball is like a lobster getting into a pot of boiling water. The hot stove is normally crazy this time of year. So why has it been so frigid this offseason? This is most likely because of the seemingly inevitable trade of the NL MVP Giacarlo Stanton. Once the Stanton domino falls, it’s a completely different atmosphere. Here’s to wishing things heat up heading into the Winter Meetings.
Wish 1: Free Agents stay away from NL West
Of course it would be nice to have the Marlins outfielder especially because he dominates at Coors Field. But the Rockies can not develop other areas they need to improve on if they take on his more than $300 million salary. That’s why the first thing on the holiday wishlist for the Rockies is for Stanton not to end up in the NL West. If the Dodgers get him, the division seems out of reach for the next five years. Not to mention if they get the great hitting and pitching prodigy Shohei Ohtani.
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Wish 2: Sign Jonathan Lucroy yesterday
As much as this signing would help the young pitching staff, this would benefit Tony Wolters and Tom Murphy as well. Bud Black likes the way he handled the pitching staff and Lucroy benefitted from a change of scenery after playing for the Rangers. He also has said he wants to compete for a contender being in the later stages of his career. He has mentioned he feels like the Rockies can be that team. So no downsides here, right? Well his hometown Houston Astros have expressed interest and they know a little about winning a championship.
Wish 3: Solidify first base
While there have been great performances at first base since Todd Helton left (Justin Morneau, Mark Reynolds) there hasn’t been a player that brought longevity to the position like the Toddfather. Our own Noah Yingling makes a great argument to bring in Carlos Santana. Eric Hosmer would be a good edition if it wasn’t for the cost. It might be nice to entertain the idea of bringing in Mike Moustakas. Sure the Rockies have the best third baseman in the league but Jeff Bridich isn’t afraid of converting former infielders to the first baseman. Mark Reynolds made the conversion from third to first. At the end of the day, this is a wishlist, right?
If you want something more conventional, how about bringing in Logan Morrison? He had his breakout season last year with the Rays hitting nearly 40 homers and a 135 OPS percentage. He is bound to regress but he is the same age as Santana and his salary will be significantly less. It’s not the biggest splash but he has the potential to bring some stability and gives you more room to improve other parts of the team.
Wish 4: Solidify the bullpen
The Rockies would be lucky to have Greg Holland back. But after his 2017, he deserves to test the free agent market and get the money the Rockies probably won’t pay him. If Holland is gone, this makes the resigning of Jake McGee imperative. McGee improved dramatically from his first injury-riddled season with the club. For how much they gave up for him in Corey Dickerson, it’d be nice to see him here longer than two seasons. Brandon Morrow would be a perfect well-tested addition to the club.
The Rockies were smart not to sign Mark Melancon last season. While he would have undoubtedly been a great addition, throwing a lot of money won’t solidify this bullpen. The ultimate goal is to find the next Greg Holland. Someone who may be undervalued and they give you strong outings for most of the season. Peter Moylan from the Royals could be that guy. He won’t be a closer and he is 38 but he also had the highest ground ball rate of any free-agent reliever in 2017. More experienced arms will help Chris Rusin and the bullpen.
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Wish 5: Keep Carlos Gonzalez until the end of time
Thank you Santa.