The longer that Carlos Gonzalez remains as a free agent, the more steam a potential return to the Colorado Rockies will pick up.
A recent article on MLB.com proclaimed that Colorado was the best fit for the 32-year-old outfielder. Part of that was because of the shifts in the market that have happened with recent trades within Major League Baseball. Part of that is because of the long relationship that has existed between the Rockies and CarGo.
However, the Rockies are looking ahead rather than looking back, it seems. Baseball is a business and relationships are often not the decision-maker. Jonathan Lucroy, Pat Neshek, Mark Reynolds and CarGo were all key veteran presences in last year’s Colorado locker room and well respected by their teammates. None of the four are currently on the Rockies roster and only Neshek has found a new home (as of this writing). They were needed in 2017. General manager Jeff Bridich seemingly believes there are better options in 2018.
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Colorado seems intent to ride an outfield that could well include Raimel Tapia, Gerardo Parra, David Dahl and Ian Desmond as its cornerstones in the corners. Tapia has shown well early in spring training while Dahl has shown he has recovered from last season’s rib injury that kept him away from Denver all season.
I talked in this article about what could happen if CarGo returns to the Rockies. It’s likely he would return as a platoon player rather than a full-time starter. He showed flashes of his former self last September when the Rockies needed him most, putting together a slash line of .377/.484/.766. However, the early parts of the season were brutal and forced manager Bud Black to often play with the lineup and answer countless questions before and after games about CarGo and his physical and mental conditions.
Certainly, it’s a possibility that CarGo could return for the Rockies. Reports show that the two sides are staying in communication so the flicker of hope for a reunion in many Colorado fans burns bright. But for a franchise that has shown huge leaps of faith in its young, homegrown players so far, CarGo’s time in Denver could well be limited … if he returns at all.