Monday Rockpile: Rockies News, or the Best of What's Out There

Monday morning, let's check the ol' Rockies news feeds, shall we?

First, Justin Havens of ESPN Stats & Info Blog has a writeup of Carlos Gonzalez and his massive 2010 BABIP - along with other massive numbers. There's a lot of stuff there we already know, but there's some interesting context to take into consideration.

Second, Tracy Ringolsby over at Fox Sports has a piece on the Rockies' big moves this offseason, and how that stacks the Rockies up next to their NL West counterparts. Ringolsby makes the following commentary on Gonzalez' potential salary had he gone year-to-year with Colorado:

Instead of making close to the $420,000 minimum salary in 2011, he will — thanks to a hefty signing bonus — earn $4 million. And next year, instead of a first-year arbitration salary, he will earn $5 million.

I'm throwing this one there: is that $5M that much more than Gonzalez likely would've earned in arbitration?

Ryan Howard earned $10M his first year in arbitration, an absolutely absurd number. Howard accumulated 13.3 fWAR (11 bWAR) through 2007 to make it to that award.

Miguel Cabrera earned $7.4M in his first year, after 16.7 fWAR (14.8 bWAR) through 2006.

Gonzalez has accumulated 9.1 fWAR (7.7 bWAR) thus far in his MLB career. The fans on Fangraphs have Gonzalez projected for another 5.2 fWAR, which would bring him up to 14.3 fWAR accumulated leading up to what would've been his first arbitration case. I have trouble thinking it'd be that outlandish for Gonzalez to make $5M in his first year of arbitration, especially when you consider the fact that he's not a 1B and is generally considered to be solid with the glove.

More past the jump.

Off Topic

Third, Troy Renck responds to a fan question regarding Brian Fuentes via Twitter:

Rox like Fuentes but he's looking to close and looking, as he should, for $5 million a year. Rox aren't in position to do that right now

I'm intentionally reading too much into Renck's phrasing, but I like the "right now" part of that. While I think that Fuentes is going to latch on somewhere as a closer, or at least a setup man lighting fires under his closer, I am suddenly excited about the Rockies somehow landing Fuentes as a lefty setup man. Because that would be a flat-out awesome bullpen:

CL Huston Street
RSU Rafael Betancourt
LSU Brian Fuentes
RH7 Matt Belisle
RH7 Matt Lindstrom
LOOGY Matt Reynolds
Swingman Felipe Paulino
Mopup Franklin Morales

Seriously, look at that bullpen. You have arguably the best 8th inning man in baseball in Rafael Betancourt, and then between the closer and the 7th inning setup men, you have 3 guys with closing experience in Street, Fuentes, and Lindstrom. As it stands, this bullpen has the makings of being a very solid bullpen, whether or not Fuentes is somehow brought back into the fold. I'd still like to see a pure LOOGY like Ron Mahay or Tim Byrdak brought in as kind of a lefty insurance policy for the bullpen. Both Mahay and Byrdak held lefties to a sub-.700 OPS in 2010. Interestingly enough, so did Franklin Morales, and over his short career, lefties have hit him to the tune of a .568 OPS.

That's enough rambling for one Monday morning. Hopefully we'll have something interesting to report about Gonzalez officially signing his contract in the next couple of days here.

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