Colorado Rockies: The case for signing center fielder Lorenzo Cain
Defensively, Blackmon has not been that great as, according to Baseball Reference, he has had between 1 and -7 Defensive Runs Saved per season since 2014 (he had -5 in 2017). Most of that time has been spent in center field.
If the Rockies were to sign Cain to a deal, the Rockies would be gaining a very good offensive player as well as an elite defensive player. With Cain playing center field, since 2013, according to Baseball Reference, Cain has had between 5 and 24 Defensive Runs Saved. Also, by Statcast metrics, in which Petriello is in charge of, Cain was fifth-best in baseball in Outs Above Average, the Statcast outfield metric that is a “range-based metric of skill that shows how many outs an outfielder has saved over his peers, accounting for not only the number of plays an outfielder makes (or doesn’t), but also the difficulty of them.”
Cain will be turning 32 in April so he will be on the back nine of his career sooner rather than later but he has had between 26 and 28 stolen bases in his last three non-injury plagued seasons (he still had 16 stolen bases in 2016, when he only played in 103 games).
However, as Petriello notes, Cain is still in the top four percent of baserunners by sprint speed at 29.1 feet per second. In comparison to the players on the 2017 Rockies, the only qualifier who was fast than that was Raimel Tapia at 29.5 feet per second.
More from Rox Pile
- A Colorado Rockies Thanksgiving
- Colorado Rockies: What if Todd Helton had played football instead?
- Colorado Rockies: Charlie Blackmon out for the season
- Colorado Rockies: Injuries shift look of roster ahead of Dodgers series
- Colorado Rockies: Has Sean Bouchard earned a second look in 2023?
If the Rockies were to sign Cain (and that’s not a given considering that other teams are interested in him), he would be an excellent addition. One thing that should be noted with Cain as well is that he has extensive postseason experience in his time with the Kansas City Royals. He has played in 31 postseason games and he has a .295/.376/.377 slash line with 36 hits and 19 RBI in postseason games. In the 2014 ALCS, he was even named the MVP of the series.
With that, his ability to get on base, his defense, and his baserunning, he should get a good contract on the market. MLB Trade Rumors predicted in November that he would get a four-year, $70 million deal from the San Francisco Giants.
Next: Tim Lincecum is making a comeback. Could the Rockies be interested in him?
If I had to put a number on a contract for him, I would probably put it around where they did. The Rockies should have the revenue to be able to sign him to a contract but whether or not they decide to use it on Cain or for another piece or pieces remains to be seen.