Let's not be mistaken, the Rockies need added help on the field if they expect to turnaround anytime soon, therefore it should be unsurprising that any number of elite MLB free agents would be seen by baseball reporters as "fits" for the team. Heck, in that sense, we're a fit for almost all of them. The issue, of course, would be in any sort of expectation that Colorado, with it's mid-market payroll, death for pitchers environment and Grand Canyon sized gap between where they're currently at and playoff contention will wind up being seen as a "fit" by any of these free agents. So when Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe sees the Rockies as possibilities for top FA's Anibal Sanchez and Nick Swisher, I wouldn't put much thought into it until both the players and the team also indicate it's so. Still, we don't have much else to talk about in these long, dark and cold months, so I'll usually post these mentions anyway.
I'd of course love to have Sanchez on the team and it's pretty easy to see how he would fit even if he's not going to be signing here. Swisher? That requires a bit more faith that another current Rockies outfielder can be moved for equivalent talent elsewhere on the field, but if so, the signing would also represent an upgrade, plus according to Cafardo, he apparently prefers to "go West," so uhm, dream on?
Between the time I post this Rockpile and my next one on Thursday, a great and vital decision will have been made in America, possibly the most important of our lifetime. The Rockies will likely have decided on their new manager, and let me tell you, it will change everything. Patrick Saunders has the rundown on the four candidates, including the two front runners, Walt Weiss and Jason Giambi, and the two third party candidates, Matt Williams and Tom Runnels. Williams will interview Monday, after which the decision should shortly follow.
In another move yesterday, Cleveland turned their scrapheap find of former infielder Esmil Rogers into current infielders Mike Aviles and Yan Gomes. Rogers as a pitcher was the same type of hot potato that Franklin Morales was, that Zach Putnam now is, where they're not good enough for the majors for awhile, but too talented to let go easily. So they get passed around from team to team burning whoever touches them in the majors until suddenly they're ready and somebody puts some sour cream and bacon on them and gets a nice meal out of it. Putnam and Rogers are once again evidence that the Rockies talent evaluation is fine: they're recognizing the raw ability and getting it into the system; it's their pitcher development operation that's been the big issue. Hopefully Mark Wiley fixes that, which is why I see his hiring as far more important than whoever winds up with the manager position.