Looking around other Rockies' bloggers shows the usual offseason lull -I took care of my lull in August and September to just make it look like I'm more hardcore than everybody else- so entries are sporadic, but several of the blogs continue to produce some quality stuff to make up for what they might lack in quantity.
I suppose I should start by deferring to the award-winners (look at that, no respect, what's a girl got to do to get some attention around here -oh, wait, there it is, thank you Gabe at RDR) and point out that I seem to be in the minority opinion among Rockies bloggers that Elmer Dessens can be a useful signing for the Rox as both Dan at Up in the Rockies and Mark at The Good, The Bad and the Barmes are a bit less supportive. It looks like there's not quite unanimity when it comes to Shawn Estes either: TGTB&TB, UitR, and I all say no, while Roxhead says yes.
That last link to Roxhead brings up several interesting hot stove propositions, but one in particular catches my eye: that the Rockies trade for the Rangers' Alfonso Soriano to plug the hole in both the leadoff spot and second base. Now, in general, I think this move and the rest of Head Bum's proposed makeover will mainly result in gutting our depth and stretching our payroll too far for a one or two year run, but the Soriano part at least seems temptingly feasible and would seemingly result in a dramatic difference in our team's expected performance next year. But how much of a difference over Luis Gonzalez and would it be worth the nine to ten million dollars that Soriano is going to command in arbitration?
Now this is where you get into a quagmire. If you're a disciple of statistical analysis you will likely say no way, Soriano creates too many outs with his undisciplined approach at the plate and his defense is barely passable. His power numbers are largely a result of playing half his games in a bandbox at Arlington. In fact, according to his Win Shares, as computed at the Hardball Times, Soriano was merely middle of the pack as far as Major League second basemen go despite being a 30/30 guy. A full season of Gonzo should give you about as much when you factor in Luis' solid defense, and the difference between the two is certainly not worth the millions added to the payroll.
And yet Roxhead and thousands of other Rockies fans would see such a move as a clear sign that the Rockies were in fact trying to take the steps necessary to compete in this division and you would definitely see a spike in ticket revenue which would offset some of the losses. What's more, with his tools at the plate and on the bases already evident, there's at least a pretty decent chance that Soriano will be able to take that next step to the elite (top two or three in the majors) level in the next year or two, whereas Gonzalez' tools aren't nearly of the same caliber.
So what do you do as the GM? Obviously the Rockies have already made their decision to take small steps this winter (and given the talent available this offseason and especially given the relative unreadiness of the core of the team, I'm okay with this) but as I've said in the past at some point the Rockies will have to make a clear good-faith move of the ilk that Roxhead suggests before the casual fan believes they are serious about competing. Until then, expect the attrition at the box office to continue, even if minor improvements occur in the standings.
Alright, now that I've gotten that off my chest, I should point out that Diamond in the Rox has undergone some layout changes and with the new look is also posting a bit more frequently, while Tom (Roxfan in TN) at Tap the Rox is posting less due to the demands of education, but is thankfully still commenting here on occasion.
If any readers know of (or have) other Rockies blogs be sure to let me know so I can add you to my links. Later this weekend I'm going to try to link some other blogs covering the other major Denver sports teams, so your suggestions on those would be appreciated as well.