As many of you reading already know, Jeff Bridich has stepped down from being the Colorado Rockies GM. Of course, this has resulted in some very passionate responses from fans.
In the aftermath of the news, I thought we could take this time to look back at the Bridich years and analyze every single one of his signings. I then looked more into it, cataloged every signing and trade I could find, and realized that an article about that might be a book instead of an article, so I decided to make the list publicly available and go over the highlights of each year, showing how and why the fanbase turned on him so quickly.
Jeff Bridich has been involved with the Rockies for more than 15 years. During that time he rose through the ranks and, for his loyalty, he was an internal hire for general manager after Dan O’Dowd stepped down following the 2014 campaign.
This is where the analysis starts, for each season we will look at the numbers of each type of contract and touch on the major ones from each year.
2014 – 2015:
Number of Minor League Deals: 53
Number of Major League Deals: 3
Number of Trades: 10
Number of Waiver Pickups: 2
Signed Draftees: 36
Most important deal: The Tulo Trade (Troy Tulowitzki and LaTroy Hawkins for Jose Reyes, Miguel Castro, Jeff Hoffman, and Jesus Tinoco)
Jeff Bridich’s first signing as GM came on October 15th, 2014, and was a minor league deal to pitcher Simon Castro. Castro actually would go on to play that year for the Rockies and appear in 11 games. Aside from a few games with the A’s after his stint with the Rockies, Castro now appears to play in the Dominican Winter League and the Atlantic League. However, I will give him credit because he had a record of 2-0 for the Rockies.
Following that is the draft, which we have finally seen start to reach the big leagues here in 2021. Brendan Rodgers, Sam Hilliard, and Peter Lambert were all drafted this year and signed with the Colorado Rockies. While these names have been around for a while, how well they will perform is still up in the air. Rodgers was the Rockies’ top prospect for several years and, just as he has started to reach the big leagues, he has been hit by a bit of an injury bug. Hilliard has proven himself to be a good bench guy, and Lambert is just starting to make his way up to the Show but is currently recovering from Tommy John surgery.
As far as Major Signings go, Daniel Descalso, Kyle Kendrick, and Nick Hundley were Bridich’s go-to guys. These were decent names at the time but, unfortunately, Hundley was the only one to be somewhat decent for the Rockies and all were off the team after at most two seasons.
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Finally, the trades. The most important trade in Rockies history, at least until February 1, 2021, happened on July 28, 2015. The Troy Tulowitzki trade was one of the most panned in franchise history, and it happened in Bridich’s first year. New GMs often try to shake things up and make things more fitting to their style. At the time, the trade was still in the Blue Jays’ favor, but not nearly as lopsided as it looks in hindsight. Sure, Tulowitzki had an injury bug, but he was one of the best shortstops in the game, so much so that, when he retired, the baseball world mourned a career that could have been.
For many, this was the immediate breaking point with Bridich, trading a generational player for what turned out to be peanuts. That said, there is a bright side to the trade that many people could not see coming, it opened the way to the new great Rockies shortstop, Trevor Story.