It’s a new week, but still the same old story for the Rockies, as they continue to take losses in more than one way. Game-wise, the Rockies started off the week with a couple more losses being handed to them by the Diamondbacks. Personnel-wise, the team took a couple more losses.
First, starter Kyle Freeland left his start on Tuesday night with a groin strain. The Rockies placed him on the 10-day IL on Thursday.
If that wasn’t bad enough for the Rockies, one of the few bright spots for the team this season, Jon Gray, was placed on the 60-day IL. The pitcher miss the remainder of the season with a fracture in his foot.
It’s evolved from being really bad to being a terrible year for the Rockies. The worst part is that the Rockies may endure the same fate in 2020. Meaning, general manager Jeff Bridich and the Rockies front office will have some critical decisions to ponder during the final part of the season.
As the Rockies sit right now, they don’t feel like a team that is going to have any upside projections heading into next season. The team doesn’t even feel like one that would be projected to be mediocre next season.
Currently, the Rockies are constructed of a bunch of former prospects (Nolan Arenado, Trevor Story, Charlie Blackmon and others) who have worked out and then some, which is the positive part of the team. Then, you have the other half of the team, mostly constructed by a ragtag group of free-agent signings (Wade Davis, Ian Desmond, Daniel Murphy and others) by Bridich and Company. That’s the bad part of the team right now.
To make matters worse with the bad part of the 2019 Rockies, most of those pieces are under contract through at least next season, with quite a bit of money still on their deals. That’s where the team will have to make some decisions down the stretch in 2019.
As things sit right now, the Rockies can go one of two ways going into next season. They can either keep all of the teams past signings (such as Davis, Desmond, Murphy and others) and hope for a rebound from those players or the club could elect to cut bait with some of the team’s bad free agents from the past.
Sadly, the Rockies may have no choice with how much money is left on most of their veteran contracts. But to just bring the same players back next season and hope for a resurgence, or hope that they can maybe trade those players at next year’s trade deadline. If I was Jeff Bridich, though, I would take a hard look at being aggressive this offseason with Murphy, Davis, Desmond and other past free-agent signings he made.
This upcoming offseason’s free-agent class is not all that terrible, but it’s also not a completely stellar one, either. There are some interesting options, such as pitchers Gerrit Cole, Aroldis Chapman, Stephen Strasburg, Zach Wheeler and others. There are also bats like Anthony Rendon, Jose Abreu, Yasmani Grandal and others available. But, after most of these names mentioned above, there’s not a lot left. This is where the Rockies could swoop in and take advantage of the market.
Maybe there are some teams out there that will miss out on the free-agent bats or pitchers and still need to make a move or two. That’s where the Rockies could possibly sell some pieces and get slightly out from under some of the free agent contracts they’ve signed in recent years.
The money left on some deals, such as $17 million for Davis and $23 million for Desmond, could still be a huge hindrance in teams wanting to take on those salaries. But maybe if the math is right, the Rockies could find a way to eat some of the money on those deals, while the team they trade Davis or Desmond to would pay some of it for a chance at strengthening their ball club. After all, even someone like Davis, who is older and hasn’t pitched well, still has to have some value on market with how bad bullpens in general are in baseball. Even if those guys still aren’t valuable or tradable, someone like Murphy, who is still owed $8 million, would not be that huge of a detractor for a team that is looking to win now and needs first base or DH help next season.
It’s something that Rockies should look at it and be aggressive about. Once again, I know those big and terrible contracts might not be moveable, but it’s worth a try. If the Rockies don’t find a way to hit the reset button in 2020, it could be another lost season for the Rockies.
That wouldn’t be good considering third baseman Nolan Arenado’s player option after 2021. If the Rockies waste a season losing, then somewhat rebound in 2021, is that enough to keep Arenado around? Or will he choose to go get paid and play for a perennial contender?
These are all things to consider for Jeff Bridich and the Rockies over the next few seasons. And they are a big reason why I would move or be as aggressive as possible in getting these players/contracts off of your books moving forward for 2020.
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