As Colorado Rockies fans already know, the team is going to be looking at a slew of outfielders this offseason because they want to address their offense. They believe that addressing their offensive woes will be best addressed in the outfield. The Tampa Bay Rays could be a fit for the Rockies and being able to address their outfield with outfielder Kevin Kiermaier.
MLB Trade Rumors was recently trying to find a trade match for Kiermaier and they mentioned the Colorado Rockies as a team that could be a match.
Kiermaier, 31, is the most tenured member of the Rays as he made his debut with the Rays in 2013. The Rays could be looking to trade him because he is entering the final season of his contract. Before the 2017 season, Kiermaier signed a six-year contract extension for $53.5 million.
Kevin Kiermaier would be a defensive dream for Colorado Rockies fans
Kevin Kiermaier has been a defensive wizard for the Tampa Bay Rays in his long career. He has won three AL Gold Glove Awards. In each full MLB season that he has played in, he has had at least 10 Defensive Runs Saved. That would be a huge positive for the Colorado Rockies and patrolling the vast expanse of the Coors Field outfield.
But Kiermaier is not a perfect fit.
As mentioned, he is a free agent at the end of the season so unless the Rockies were to be able to extend him, the Rockies may not look to trade for him.
Also, his bat has not been great. Since the beginning of his extension (start of 2017), Kiermaier has hit .243/.307/.399 with an OPS+ of 94 (wRC+ of 93). In other words, ideally, he would be an eighth or ninth hitter in the Rockies lineup. Frankly, the Rockies already have enough players that fit that mold.
Additionally, he has an extensive injury history. He has played in 130 or more games in an MLB season once in eight full seasons in the majors. For the Rockies, players tend to have more injuries due to going into and out of altitude.
If Kiermaier has those issues when playing at sea level (outside of Coors Field and Arizona’s Chase Field where Kiermaier has played a combined two games, the next highest MLB stadium by elevation is Minnesota’s Target Field at just over 800 feet), then he will likely have more issues at elevation.
While it would be a dream for Rockies fans to have Kiermaier patrolling Coors’ center field, otherwise, he is not a great fit for the Rockies, especially with Kiermaier being a free agent next offseason.