How the Colorado Rockies will use the lockout as an excuse to do absolutely nothing
The Colorado Rockies were one of only three MLB teams prior to the MLB lockout that did not add anybody from outside of the organization on an MLB free agent contract or via trade.
This probably doesn’t come as any surprise to Colorado Rockies fans as they did little in each of the three offseasons prior. The moves they did make (involving MLB contracts) were lambasted from the get-go (e.g. the Nolan Arenado trade) and/or ended up being big disappointments (e.g. the Daniel Murphy free agent signing).
On December 2, 2021, the MLB owners enacted a lockout of the players and put an embargo in place on all transactions for trades and signings of any MLB players or players on 40-man rosters currently or at some point last season. And it won’t be ending anytime soon.
Sure, the owners came to the table with an “offer” for the MLBPA on their key economic issues on Thursday but, as Jeff Passan of ESPN reported on Thursday night, the offer did “little to sway players” and the “reaction among the players was not positive.”
So the lockout will continue to carry on and, seemingly, with no end in sight.
The Colorado Rockies won’t get anything done this offseason to improve the MLB team, claiming the lockout hurt them
With there being no end in sight to the MLB lockout, the chances of MLB pitchers and catchers reporting to Spring Training on time are dwindling by the day, as are the days that the Colorado Rockies can make offseason moves.
Make no mistake about it, it would have been next to impossible to fill in all of their holes (there are a lot) but the Rockies thought they “just need more pieces” to compete in 2022. But with Jon Gray gone (after the Rockies continually shot themselves in the foot) and Trevor Story seemingly leaving too, the Rockies have undoubtedly regressed on paper. With making no moves before the lockout, they already lost out on some great players that could have helped them going forward.
They also didn’t “cut bait” with many of their poorly performing players after the season ended if they played poorly like Dick Monfort quipped last February when the Rockies traded Nolan Arenado to the Cardinals.
"“I truly in my heart believe that this is a very talented team that underperformed the last couple years,” said Monfort. “We have a lot of guys that, to be quite honest, it’s time to cut bait. So this could be the challenge they need. They need to step up and fill this void.”"
Guess what? They didn’t step up. They didn’t win the 94 games that Monfort “interpolated” that they would win in 2020 before the pandemic or in 2021. They weren’t the “snake in the grass” that would “shock the world.” They won 74 games. They went 26-34 in 2020 and 71-91 in 2019. Three years in a row of mediocrity is not a fluke. It is a pattern and it is indicative of the talent (or lack thereof) on the team.
They desperately need help in the bullpen and they let some very high-quality relievers sign with other teams for very competitive deals, like Colorado native Mark Melancon to the Rockies divisional rival (the Arizona D-Backs) and reliever Corey Knebel to the Philadelphia Phillies.
They desperately need a bat in their outfield and Starling Marte and Mark Canha would have been great fits, but both signed with the New York Mets. Additionally, Avisaíl García signed with the Miami Marlins and Chris Taylor re-signed with the Dodgers.
There are some good players in each category (and in the infield as well) that the Rockies could sign but when the lockout ends, it very well could be like the final week before the lockout: a free-for-all with all of the teams trying to get as many players as they need/want for their 2022 team in a short amount of time before Spring (or Summer) Training begins.
Especially if the MLBPA gets their way on a lot of things in the new CBA, the Rockies could do exactly what they did in the last week of November: be M.I.A. at the wheel.
Reportedly, the Rockies were in talks with some players (like Steven Matz, who went to the Cardinals, and Alex Wood, who went to the Giants). And maybe they were even close to signing them … but, as they say, “close only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades.”
The Colorado Rockies have to do something when the MLB lockout ends to improve their team but also boost fan morale, which is virtually non-existent due to the recent moves and lack of moves from the team. But as the MLB lockout continues, it looks more and more like the Rockies could just use the lockout as an excuse just to field, virtually, the same team for a fourth straight year.
And even though Albert Einstein didn’t truly say it, doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results is truly the definition of insanity.