Of the top 50 free agents listed by MLBTradeRumors.com for the offseason, the Colorado Rockies are predicted to sign just one of them. And that signing is not exactly something that would excite Rockies fans … or help the team move forward, it seems.
According to this article, the Colorado Rockies are predicted to sign catcher Martin Maldonado to a two-year, $8 million contract. While Rockies fans may be at first excited about the Rockies working to upgrade their personnel behind the plate, the 32-year-old Maldonado would likely not provide that much of a boost to Colorado’s offense.
Last season, in 129 games split between the Los Angeles Angels and Houston Astros, Maldonado hit .225 with nine home runs and 44 RBI. He logged a 0.5 WAR and, as MLBTradeRumors.com says, “his value is entirely in his defense.”
A defensive-minded catcher is seemingly the last thing the Rockies need if they’re looking to upgrade behind the dish. Colorado catchers Drew Butera, Chris Iannetta, Tom Murphy and Tony Wolters combined for a .206/.307/.349 slash line last season and Murphy’s 0.3 WAR led the group.
Yes, Maldonado did win a Gold Glove in 2017 with the Angels and was lauded for his ability to throw out potential base stealers when he was dealt to the Astros last season. However, in eight big league seasons, he has a .220/.289/.350 career slash line.
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As Colorado general manager Jeff Bridich alluded to in Friday’s conference call with local media members (including Rox Pile), the Rockies will be focusing on offense in the offseason. The disappointing showing in September and October by Colorado at the plate is something that simply can’t be repeated in 2019. Adding Maldonado’s bat would not give the Rockies an edge as they try to unseat the Los Angeles Dodgers for the National League West crown.
There are other catchers out there who could help the Rockies on offense … but they will not come cheap. We talked about J.T. Realmuto and what a trade might look like in this article. MLBTradeRumors.com has Yasmani Grandal heading to the Washington Nationals on a four-year, $64 million deal. Wilson Ramos is projected to be in Houston with a three-year, $36 million deal.
Those are some dollar figures the Rockies likely would not match. But does that mean they’ll spend money on a player who wouldn’t be a difference-maker? Let’s hope not.