Colorado Rockies: A potential first base option just hit the waiver wire

ATLANTA, GA - SEPTEMBER 1: Justin Bour. Getty Images.
ATLANTA, GA - SEPTEMBER 1: Justin Bour. Getty Images. /

On Wednesday, the Philadelphia Phillies placed first baseman Justin Bour on waivers. Considering that Bour is a pretty good first baseman and a middle of the order bat that the Colorado Rockies need, the Rockies need to pounce on him…one way or another.

If you are a loyal reader of this site, Justin Bour is a name that you have seen pop up an awful lot the past year or so as we have mentioned how the Colorado Rockies should acquire him numerous times. He was traded from the Marlins in August to the Phillies and it was a bit of a peculiar trade. They already signed a first baseman (Carlos Santana) in the offseason who displaced their other first baseman (prospect Rhys Hoskins) in a peculiar signing.

Essentially, the Phillies just used him as a pinch hit option as he only started in 9 of the 29 games that he played in with the Phillies.

The 30-year-old left-handed hitting first baseman Bour did have a bit of a down year in 2018 as, in 141 games, he hit 20 HRs and 59 RBI with a .229/.341/.404 slash and an OPS+ of 110, a 33 percent decrease from 2017, when his OPS+ was 143.

Bour is not a particularly good defender (-3 DRS) but in both offense and defense, he is still better than what the Rockies have.

Ian Desmond had an OPS+ of 83 in 160 games in 2018 and he is not a good defender at first base (-6 DRS). However, in the limited acton (20 games) that he played in the outfield, he had 1 DRS.

Even though he would be making much more than Bour, Desmond, with his versatility, should be utilized off the bench as a late inning bat or utilized as a super utility guy to give people some days off.

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How could the Rockies acquire him

If Bour is not claimed on waivers, he will be outrighted to Triple-A. Due to his major league service time, he would be able to refuse the assignment and become a free agent.

The Rockies, as a result, could acquire him in one of two ways. First off, they could claim him off waivers. In this scenario, the Rockies would take him and his arbitration-eligible status. He was projected to make about $5.2 million in arbitration this offseason.

The other option is that once he becomes a free agent, the team can sign him outright and they wouldn’t have to deal with arbitration. As MLB Trade Rumors noted, other left-handed hitting first basemen have not been real successful on the free agent market as of late as all three of Logan Morrison, Matt Adams, and Lucas Duda have only netted themselves one year deals (Morrison also had a team option but the Twins declined it) so Bour could find himself in a predicament in his final year before free agency.

The Rockies should be able to easily sign him to a one-year deal and, depending on how late it is in the offseason, could even sign him to a minor league deal. For reference, he made $3.4 million in 2018 so, with his down numbers, the Rockies might be even able to get him on a pay cut.

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It’s a strategy that they should consider especially with Bour’s past numbers, the team’s need for a middle of the order bat, being able to use Ian Desmond all over the diamond, and, perhaps most importantly, they wouldn’t have to spend much money on him…money that could help lock up Nolan Arenado in the not-so distant future.