The Colorado Rockies should sign free agent left-handed reliever Tony Watson
Tony Watson is the best veteran left-handed reliever left on the market and in recent years, the Rockies’ bullpen has been remarkably non-left-handed.
They had Lucas Gilbreath and Ben Bowden in 2021. Both were rookies but only Gilbreath proved himself. Now, they have Ty Blach as well in a long relief role but Watson would be more of a middle reliever or setup man.
Watson, 36, has had an ERA+ of 101 or better in each full season in his career (since 2012) and he has been reliable too (at least 60 games per season in that period with the obvious exception of 2020). In 2021, he split the season between the Angels and the Giants (for his second stint with the team) and he had an ERA of 3.92 in 62 games (111 ERA+). He had a 3.48 FIP and a 1.012 WHIP as well.
Watson is not a huge groundball pitcher (50th-highest groundball rate among relievers with at least 100 innings pitched from 2019 through 2021) nor does he have a low spin rate (2310 RPM on his four-seamer in 2021, which was 369th lowest among the 567 pitchers to face at least 250 batters in 2021 but he has something that is more important: proven success at Coors Field.
Watson has been with the Dodgers (for a short time) and the Giants (for parts of four seasons) in recent years so he has pitched a lot at Coors Field (22 games and 23 2/3 innings, to be exact). He has a 2.28 ERA at Coors in his career so he has success in a fairly large sample size for someone who has never been with the team.
Depth and some additions of some (relatively) cheap free agents (especially in the case of the pitchers) is something that the Rockies should really contemplate, especially since the team will have some injuries throughout the season. The best teams in baseball win because they have the depth to weather those injuries. As things stand, the Colorado Rockies, by and large, do not have that.