LAS VEGAS – Over the past two seasons, the Colorado Rockies have both succeeded and failed on capitalizing on a limited contention window. The franchise snapped its long postseason drought but has failed to make the National League Championship Series.
In a wild, wild National League West, the Colorado Rockies have themselves a new opportunity. For a division which has featured seven playoff teams in the past three seasons, 2019 is shaping up to be the weakest West in years.
Superstar slugger Paul Goldschmidt‘s departure is the leader of a parade that seems to be headed out of the desert. Meanwhile, in the Bay, they’ve lost a few to free agency and there is buzz about a bargain on their Bum. And, of course, the Padres are … still … well, you know the Padres.
It’s shaping up to be a race between the two teams there were required to play a 163rd game against each other in 2018.
What does that mean for their the Rockies and their limited championship window?
Pretty simple if you want to stop reading now: Cash in to win now or double down to extend the window.
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The Rockies have stayed between this line the past few years, not selling many of their prospects in trade while also staying pretty smart while spending some cash.
But the time should be now to cash in.
The Dodgers still have a top 10 farm system and much of their talent is young. The West may not be any easier to win than it is now, albeit maybe it was with the winning number being 92 last season.
Coming off of two straight postseason runs, there is forward momentum, talent and experience on the Colorado roster.
"“Our payroll has grown a lot over the past half-decade,” Jeff Bridich said at the Winter Meetings on Monday. “We’re continuing to plan on, as I’ve said in the past, responsible growth. We’re not in a holding pattern. We’re not where we’re drawing back on our payroll. We believe that we can continue to grow responsibly.”"
The Rockies have some capital to tap into, both in money and prospects and there are plenty of players available in areas of need. Following a winter in which Colorado spent more than just about anyone, Jeff Bridich and Company might be best to do the same again.
"“The plans about growth of our payroll it doesn’t happen on a year to year vacuum it happens more broadly than that,” Bridich continued. “But the postseason definitely helps and the things that come along with that, the great fan support, are being able to welcome north of three million fans into the ballpark and what that means to us and our players in terms of support. It certainly helps but we’ve had those plans in place and we can massage those plans short to mid term and that helps that growth. You adjust a bit with success but all those things point up and that’s the nice thing.”"
Colorado has never won the National League West and, after coming closer than ever, there should be a fire lit under the whole organization.
Over the next few weeks, we’re going to find out just how serious the Rockies are about winning. They’ve done nothing over the past several years to question their want … but a lackluster offseason might.
Bridich chilled some hype, saying it wouldn’t a huge jump in payroll and that the Rockies are comfortable with most of their roster, saying they will be choosy.
But should they be, given a poor offense and only so much guaranteed time with Nolan Arenado left? Who is to say. But given Colorado’s chips and odds, it might be time to move their chips all in this offseason and get that process in place here at the Winter Meetings in Las Vegas.