The San Francisco Giants made one of the biggest splashes of the offseason on Monday afternoon, reportedly acquiring All-Star outfielder Andrew McCutchen from the Pittsburgh Pirates. It was another bold move by the Giants, who also grabbed Evan Longoria in the offseason. The biggest question is … how does this affect the Colorado Rockies, if at all?
McCutchen has terrorized the Rockies at Coors Field throughout his career (we talked about it in this article), but he is also joining a Giants team that was a complete wreck at times last season, finishing last in the National League West with an NL-low 64 wins. Will Longoria and McCutchen make that much of a difference in a team that was so bad at times in 2017?
There is little doubt that the Giants will be better in 2018. Not only do they add McCutchen and Longoria into the lineup but Madison Bumgarner will also be back for a full season after a dirt bike accident in Colorado cost him some of the 2017 campaign.
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?
How much better will San Francisco be with these moves? FanGraphs is now predicting the Giants to have an 81-81 record in 2018. The Dodgers come in at 94-68 and the Diamondbacks are projected at 83-79. Colorado? They are currently projected at 80-82. That is not only fourth in the division but also out of the playoffs for 2018.
Perhaps the McCutchen deal will serve as a bit of a warning bell to Colorado general manager Jeff Bridich. Another team in the division has improved its lineup for 2018. So far, the same can not be said for Colorado. The Rockies signed Chris Iannetta as their catcher, their only position player signing of the offseason.
Is it worth giving up massive amounts of prospects in order for the Rockies to keep up with other teams in the division? Not necessarily. However, there is seemingly a window that the Rockies need to keep in mind within their own ranks. Charlie Blackmon and DJ LeMahieu are free agents after this season. Nolan Arenado is a free agent after the 2019 season. None are guaranteed to be a part of the Colorado organization two years from right now. Think about that for a moment.
Absolutely, there is talent in the Rockies farm system. We’ve heard the talk of what Brendan Rodgers and other prospects can bring to the table in the future. But if the Rockies are truly in “win now” mode, today’s move by the Giants should be a nudge that there is still work to be done in the lineup … now.
Remember, last year’s lineup outside of Arenado, Blackmon and LeMahieu produced a 0.0 WAR. Improvements need to be made.
Colorado has put together a bullpen that has as much potential talent as any bullpen in Major League Baseball. However, there are still free agents out there who can help make sure the Rockies actually have a lead to hand over to the bullpen to nail down the win.
There is still work for the Rockies to do before spring training begins. McCutchen’s signing on Monday is a reminder that other teams are doing plenty to catch Colorado. What are the Rockies going to do to stay ahead of the pace?