Most MLB teams made a lot of moves in the last week or so before the lockout was put into effect on Thursday morning. The keyword being “most.” One of the few teams that did virtually nothing was the Colorado Rockies. In fact, the Rockies are one of only three MLB teams to not sign an MLB free agent from outside of their organization thus far in the offseason (Oakland and Cincinnati are the other two teams).
This past week, all the Rockies did was come to terms with Daniel Bard and Tyler Kinley, who are their own arbitration-eligible relievers, and tender contracts to their other arbitration-eligible players so the Rockies spent exactly zero dollars and zero cents of the (roughly) billion dollars spent by teams in free agency since Thanksgiving.
Colorado Rockies fans in Denver saw it coming all the way from Aspen but still were stunned at how many players that would help the Rockies and should be in the Rockies “price range” fly off the board to sign with other teams.
The Colorado Rockies are continuing to show that they are not willing to spend on free agents.
There are countless players that could have helped the Colorado Rockies out in 2022 and beyond via free agency but the Rockies, for whatever reason, did not sign them.
Maybe some of the players didn’t want to come to Denver and play for a team that is stuck in the middle. Maybe the Rockies gave the player an offer but lowballed him. Or maybe the Rockies weren’t even in discussions on some players.
There could be other reasons as well but considering that the Rockies didn’t land anybody, that’s not a good sign for the rest of the offseason. For all we know, there may be a week of a signing period before spring training games start up in March because the lockout could last that long. After all, the two sides are still far apart in negotiations.
In the last week, Jon Gray left the Rockies to join the Texas Rangers. We’ve already chronicled how the Rockies mishandled him from the get-go. They could have re-signed him if they gave him close to a fair market value. They didn’t.
Starling Marte and Mark Canha could have helped the Rockies on offense and in the outfield but both signed with the Mets.
Avisaíl Garcia could have been a target but, admittedly, the price that the Marlins got him for (four years and $56 million) was viewed as an overpay by most in the industry.
Relievers Kendall Graveman, Héctor Neris, Yimi García, Mark Melancon, Raisel Iglesias, Daniel Hudson, Michael Lorenzen, and Corey Knebel all signed on or after Thanksgiving. Another player that the Rockies could have used but signed elsewhere was super utilityman Chris Taylor, who re-signed with the Dodgers for four years, and $60 million.
If there was one player that the Rockies should have signed, it was Taylor. He would be an offensive upgrade for the Rockies and he can play nearly every position on the field. He also signed for a below market value deal and losing him would have been another big blow to the Dodgers, who have already lost Max Scherzer and Corey Seager this week.
The Rockies signed Ian Desmond an awful five-year deal worth that ended up being for $70 million to, essentially, be a super utility guy when (in breaking news) he was not.
Desmond was 31 at the time the Rockies signed him and Taylor is 31 now.
Desmond had an OPS+ of 96 in the three years before coming to the Rockies. Taylor’s OPS+ in the last three seasons: 112. Oh, and he actually is a super utility guy.
Things can always change in an instant in baseball but it looks like the lockout is going to last a while. If it does, it will be a long, cold winter for Colorado Rockies fans but, frankly, if this past week was any indication, it may have been long, cold winter for Rockies fans anyways because the Rockies are seemingly doing what they’ve done best in recent offseasons: do little to help their team.