Colorado Rockies: Predicting what they will do at first base in 2021

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DENVER, CO - SEPTEMBER 12: Josh Fuentes #8 of the Colorado Rockies plays first base during the game against the St. Louis Cardinals at Coors Field on September 12, 2019 in Denver, Colorado. The Cardinals defeated the Rockies 10-3. (Photo by Rob Leiter/MLB Photos via Getty Images)
DENVER, CO - SEPTEMBER 12: Josh Fuentes #8 of the Colorado Rockies plays first base during the game against the St. Louis Cardinals at Coors Field on September 12, 2019 in Denver, Colorado. The Cardinals defeated the Rockies 10-3. (Photo by Rob Leiter/MLB Photos via Getty Images) /
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DENVER, CO – AUGUST 30: Todd Helton #17 of the Colorado Rockies stands at first base in the ninth inning of a game against the Cincinnati Reds at Coors Field on August 30, 2013 in Denver, Colorado. The Rockies beat the Reds 9-6. (Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images)
DENVER, CO – AUGUST 30: Todd Helton #17 of the Colorado Rockies stands at first base in the ninth inning of a game against the Cincinnati Reds at Coors Field on August 30, 2013 in Denver, Colorado. The Rockies beat the Reds 9-6. (Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images) /

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.

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