Colorado Rockies: New Year’s Resolutions for 2020 and beyond
By Ben Macaluso
Sure, we’d all like to forget the 2019 Colorado Rockies season if we could. But hey, that’s the best part about the new year right? Hope springs eternal into the next decade. Here’s to hoping that 2019 was an aberration similar to the down season in 2008 and not the ones after 2010 and didn’t end until the ’17 season.
In that spirit, here are our Rox Pile resolutions for 2020.
Keep Nolan Arenado at all costs
If you’re new around here, we have quite the affinity for the best third baseman in the game and think he should be wearing purple pinstripes for the rest of his career. When Arenado signed a multi-year extension before the 2019 season, no one could have predicted that by the trade deadline, there would be so much talk about moving one of the greatest Rockies of all time. By the end of the season and finishing 35 games back in the division, the rumor mill put every scenario on the table.
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Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic laid out expertly why trading Arenado isn’t such a crazy idea anymore. That doesn’t mean it’d be easy to pull of though. Essentially the Rockies would need to pay a significant portion of Arenado’s remaining $234 million salary. Next, they would need to receive an outstanding group of prospects that only a multi-team trade would potentially be able to fulfill. Then on top of all of that, you have to persuade Arenado to move, who has a full-no trade clause, who has explicitly stated he wants to remain in Denver. One bad season shouldn’t mean abandoning a multi-year plan and a core of players that made back-to=back playoffs for the first time in franchise history.
Add and Subtract
Since all resolutions are meant to be broken, the first to go is the Rockies’ front-office self imposed 2020 budget. Building around Nolan is the answer even if it is arguably more difficult. Everyone knows that pitching is a priority. The Rockies will forever feel burned from Mike Hampton and Denny Neagle free agent signings. But the Rockies don’t need a high profile free agent in their rotation. They need a veteran-middle-of-the-rotation arm who can help build up the staff. Most of the the free agent pitchers with a positive WAR are signed so that’s another subject for another article.
Instead, the Rockies need to add a starting catcher and first basemen. You can read more of that here, but the same problem exists. Most great free agents are off the market and Daniel Murphy isn’t the answer. Maybe he can work back at second but a natural first basemen is the ultimate remedy. As for catchers, no one is saying to get rid of Tony Wolters. But similarly to how Chris Ianetta developed the staff, the Rockies need his replacement. Jason Castro formally of the Minnesota Twins seems like the most viable option of the remaining free agents.
Finally, and it’s incredibly hard to say, but it may be time to subtract Ian Desmond from the starting lineup with two years remaining on his contract while not posting a positive WAR with the team. He is one of the best presences in the clubhouse and may better serve in a role that Jason Giambi did as a motivator and occasional fill on the field.
New Look for a new decade
Not sure how controversial this is but and this may be a measure to take the pulse of the fanbase but it is time to consider new uniforms entering a new decade. Is this likely to happen? No, not at all. But we can dream right? And at least we’ve moved on from those horrendous black vests from 2005. Remeber when they wore it with purple sleeves? The teams that have come into the league during or after the Rockies have all considered several new looks. The Marlins who came into the league the same year as the Rockies is on their third uniform iteration. The Rockies uniforms look virtually unchanged since the 90s and look ready for an update.
Yes the purple is unique in the majors but the pinstripes are nowhere near original. The cross-town Colorado Avalanche and their alternate jerseys should be the inspiration here. It would have been great for the baseball team to fondly paying homage to the original Colorado Rockies hockey team that moved to New Jersey in 1982. The color scheme is traditional and doesn’t liken itself to any crazy technicolor dream coat vision the D’Backs or Marlins have had recently. Just imagine those navy and burgundy unis on the backdrop of Coors Field and those green seats. I wouldn’t know how to change the top of that logo at the top of the scoreboard though. Also, you can’t get rid of that purple row. Purple row for life.
Even though the jerseys are unlikely to change, some variation would be nice. If you don’t like the Avs inspired jersey’s is this enough change for you? What are your Rockies resolutions for the new decade? Either way, here’s to a happy 2020 to you and the Rockies!