Colorado Rockies: The three biggest lessons to learn from the 2020 season
The Rockies need some new faces on the team in 2021
The bottom line is that they need some new faces on the team. They have a lot of things that they need to have in 2021 to contend or if they decide to take a year (or a few years) to rebuild, they need to see some different faces on the team in 2021. They also need to build their secondary starting talent (they still really only have three or four players that are consistent offensively), their bullpen, and their depth.
Every team has injuries. Good teams have depth and can weather those injuries. Mediocre teams do not have depth and cannot weather those injuries.
Seeing new faces could mean that the Rockies make some small free-agent signings or make some small trades but the fact of the matter is that the Rockies likely won’t have much money to spend whatsoever … again.
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Sure, Daniel Murphy is going to be off the books (assuming he isn’t resigned and leaves with his $6 million buyout). Chris Iannetta and Mike Dunn’s buyouts along with Jake McGee, Wade Davis, and Bryan Shaw’s contracts will be off the books and Ian Desmond will make $7 million less in 2021 than he was originally going to make in 2020 (before the pandemic and pro-rated salaries).
But Trevor Story’s salary will more than double in 2021. Kyle Freeland, Jon Gray, Mychal Givens, David Dahl, Tony Wolters, and Carlos Estevez will eat up most of the rest of that money in arbitration. The Rockies, like all teams, didn’t make much money in 2020 due to having no attendance. And, right now, there are plenty of question marks about what attendance and the season in general will look like in 2021.
So they will likely be strapped for cash (or say that they are strapped for cash) and make some minor moves and, in the words of Dick Monfort, “start praying” and the Rockies will hope to be better.
A few weeks ago, when the Rockies released Wade Davis, general manager Jeff Bridich said that there aren’t “any huge lessons” to learn from in their signings of Davis, McGee, and Shaw but there should be: don’t give any huge contracts to players that are on the back nine of their career (aka 30 or older). Also, sign players to play positions they know and don’t try to fit a circle into a square peg.
For the Rockies to get multiple pieces to help them in the near future, they may have to trade Nolan Arenado and with his relationship with the front office and the chance of him opting out rising each day, the Rockies need to figure that out soon too. They wouldn’t have to figure that out if Bridich didn’t insist on Arenado having that opt-out clause in his contract but alas, it is there and it is only one season away.