The first player listed by ESPN who could help the Rockies in the outfield is Carlos Gonzalez, currently a free agent but one of the offensive forces for Colorado since he came to the Mile High City shortly after the end of the 2008 season.
CarGo had a great run in Denver … but it does appear to be over. Last season’s struggles before the All-Star break (.221 and just 22 RBI) seemed to cement his fate, despite coming back to life when the Rockies needed him most (.377 average in September). He made $20 million last season in the last year of his seven-year, $80 million contract. At the age of 32, CarGo is likely to sign a shorter-team deal with a team who is willing to take a chance he can recapture that September magic. No, that team won’t be the Rockies, a team who seems to believe its youth can pick up the slack and save some of the money for upcoming contract discussions with Charlie Blackmon, DJ LeMahieu and Nolan Arenado.
The other player mentioned was Carlos Gomez, who has played center field in 1165 games while seeing action in just 60 games in left field and 30 games in right field in his 11 seasons). Another 32-year-old CarGo, but this one hit .255 with 17 homers and 51 RBI in 105 games with the Texas Rangers last season. Gomez signed a one-year, $11.5 million contract with Texas last offseason and produced, ranking fourth on the Rangers in steals (13) and eighth in both runs scored (51) and RBI. He also put together a .994 OPS in June and later while logging a .333 average with a 1.007 OPS in September.
MLBTradeRumors.com predicted Gomez would net a two-year, $22 million this offseason. With the current free agent market trends (which we argued are benefitting the Rockies in this article), it’s likely that Gomez will sign for less.
Still, if the Rockies didn’t bite on Christian Yelich or Lorenzo Cain and their potential impacts on Colorado’s payroll, it’s unlikely they will move toward Gomez. This is a team that made a swap at catcher, bringing in Chris Iannetta at a lower price over Jonathan Lucroy, in an effort to save some money, partly to use on the back end of their bullpen and partly to prepare for the trio of big contract decisions upcoming with Blackmon, Arenado and LeMahieu.
Neither CarGo appears to be the answer for the Rockies in the outfield. Rather, Colorado’s season will likely revolve less around another free agent signing and more on five big bets that involve players currently on the roster.