The core should absolutely come back next season. There needs to be further development for these young pitchers and many of them went down to injury in 2019. Expect to see Kyle Freeland, German Marquez, Jon Gray and Tyler Anderson back. The Rockies need a veteran starter that can eat up innings. It doesn’t have to be a top of the rotation guy but one that legitimately brings a veteran presence to a core that needs any help they can get.
Marcus Stroman seemed to be a great candidate last offseason but was ultimately traded to the New York Mets at the trade deadline. Here are some upcoming free agents that might fill a similar role of what Stroman could have been with the Rockies.
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While he’s had a slow week, Wade Miley has benefitted tremendously from the stats driven Astros. He has a 3.74 ERA and while never a bad pitcher in his career, he has taken it to another level. With his nearly decade-long career, he can build stability in the rotation. Homer Bailey is having a similar career revival in Oakland. While he’ll never be back to his peak in Cincinnati when he threw two no-hitters, he has the appetite to eat a lot of innings for this staff. Finally, Jake Odorizzi of the Minnesota Twins could be the best option of all. He has the best WAR (3.0) and ERA (3.60) of these three upcoming free agents that aren’t enough to break the Rockies bank.
Speaking briefly about behind the plate, Tony Wolters has proven his tremendous defensive capabilities and even improved hitting. But the Rockies need some more veteran leadership to help the maturity of this young staff to have a bounce back season. Not someone who came up through the system with them. Think bringing in someone more like Jonathan Lucroy in ’17 than Chris Iannetta in ‘19. Yasmani Grandal would have brought the excitement but maybe not the stability. Brian McCann would be the opposite. J.T. Realmuto was a giant missed opportunity in the 2019 offseason. Sign a veteran catcher. End of story.