According to MLB Network insider Jon Heyman, the Colorado Rockies are one of a handful of Major League Baseball teams that are “monitoring” potential options for center fielders.
In a tweet from Friday, Heyman says that the Rockies are one of five teams who are keeping an eye on adding a potential upgrade to the roster in center field. Among the other teams listed by Heyman are the New York Mets, Boston Red Sox, Philadelphia Phillies, and Houston Astros.
Heyman mentions a potential connection between the Mets and Jackie Bradley Jr. (commonly referred to as JBJ), who is considered the elite free agent center fielder left this offseason after George Springer signed a six-year, $150 million deal with the Toronto Blue Jays. After JBJ, the list narrows considerably. However, at the top of the “others” is Kevin Pillar, a player the Rockies brought over before last season’s trade deadline and took over center field for much of the last month of the campaign.
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The Rockies have acknowledged that conversations with Pillar about a potential return happened early in the offseason, but there has been little noise about a reunion since then. We broke down the case for and against the Rockies signing Pillar in this article shortly after last season ended.
Whether Pillar or someone else, any kind of center field addition for the Rockies will likely have to be budget-friendly, knowing Colorado isn’t looking to add a high-priced player into its already top-heavy salary mix.
If the Rockies choose not to bring back Pillar (or chase any of the other free agent center fielders), they will likely rely on a mixture of Garrett Hampson, Sam Hilliard, and Raimel Tapia at the position.
There has been talk about the Rockies adding “another big bat, if possible,” according to manager Bud Black. Could that come in center field? It’s possible but, if it does, it could mean a reunion with Pillar on a one-year contract that would fit into Colorado’s budget.