If you’re one of the few Colorado Rockies fans who’ve yet to look forward to free agency, hold your breath. Before checking the free agents at first base, take a full breathing class – it’s bad.
Major League Baseball is the land of hard-hitting corner infielders. Colorado Rockies fans know it well in Nolan Arenado. Todd Helton sends his regards as well. Now, at least the spot across the diamond from Arenado, is a wasteland.
Daniel Murphy, Ian Desmond, and even Josh Fuentes have made their cases. Outside of an occasional diving play, the resumés are rife with problems. Ryan McMahon also tried out, but looks suited to be a DJ LeMahieu of sorts at second base – a lanky fielder with an elite glove, though he lacks the contact skills of the former All-Star.
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Last year, Murphy and Fuentes tried, but produced at below-league-average levels. They combined for negative-0.5 wins above replacement, per Baseball Reference. Desmond sat the year out but has roughly a season’s worth of stats at first base. In 627 plate appearances, he’s slashed .248/.322/.446. He’s also been a below-average fielder in 165 games.
Murphy is a free agent after the Rockies declined his option for 2021, but remains one of the only proven, albeit on a sharp decline, players available on the market. Remember, breathing class.
Ahead, I’ll break down the in-house options for the Rockies at first base, as well as take a look at the options on the market.