LAS VEGAS — Shortly after Colorado Rockies manager Bud Black finished his discussion with the media at the Winter Meetings, Jim Bowden of The Athletic tweeted out that the Rockies are looking at options for improving the team at first base.
The tweet mentioned four specific players: Wil Myers of the San Diego Padres, Jose Abreu of the Chicago White Sox, Edwin Encarnacion of the Cleveland Indians and Carlos Santana of the Seattle Mariners. There is also an “etc.” at the end of the quote, meaning there could be others in the mix.
Abreu and the Colorado Rockies have been mentioned many times over the previous two seasons while Santana and the Rockies have been linked at times as well. Additionally, Colorado general manager Jeff Bridich discussed with the media on Monday (including Rox Pile) how the franchise had checked in with the Philadelphia Phillies on Santana’s availability before he was traded to Seattle.
Myers would be an intriguing option for a number of reasons, including it being an in-division trade and the 28-year-old having played one season for Black during his time managing the Padres.
The first base market in free agency isn’t as strong as the outfield position, making the possibility of a Colorado trade stronger than acquiring the answer the Rockies might need at the position through free agency.
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For the Rockies to make any kind of trade, however, Colorado will have to likely part with some of its prized prospects. It has been said that the asking price for both Santana and Abreu has been high in the past. Is anyone in the Colorado organization truly untouchable, including top prospect Brendan Rodgers? That could be the test for any trade to actually happen.
First base has been one of the positions many feel the Rockies need to upgrade before next season. Ian Desmond put together a -0.6 WAR last season while playing 138 games at first base. Ryan McMahon was expected to play a bigger role at first base heading into last season, but the late signing of Carlos Gonzalez shifted Desmond from the outfield to first and kept McMahon’s playing time more sporadic.
Will the Rockies make a splash at the Winter Meetings? That remains to be seen, whether that’s at first base, catcher or corner outfielder.