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Rockies business model strong. The team? Not so much.

Troy Renck digs a little deeper and asks Keli McGregor some of the hard questions that have been left unanswered for some time. Namely, what have the Rockies been doing with all the MLB revenue that's being generated and tossed around these days and why haven't the Monforts gone out on a limb for a decent starting player or top/middle of the rotation pitcher the last three seasons. Not even our own decent starting players or top/middle of the rotation pitchers:

If free-agent forays are limited - McGregor provides a compelling argument when pointing to 2004 busts such as Russ Ortiz - fans want the Rockies to keep homegrown talent. As such, concern sprouted when Jason Jennings' name surfaced in trade talk as the team attempts to work out a long-term deal with the right-hander.

"Let it play out with (Jennings). I am not convinced as others might be that (he will be traded)," McGregor said.

I think this off-season in particular the Rockies are wise not to go out on a limb. Next year, when players like Vernon Wells (please) and Andruw Jones (maybe, defense is scary) are available in a deep center field class or multiple upgrades would be available for second base and the rotation, the story will be different. O'Dowd says that for the right impact player, the team will spend, but I'll believe that when I see it. Anyway, the good news from the article is that the team is trying to work out long term deals with Francis and Atkins (woohoo!) which is fantastic, but it's a bare minimum and might not ensure our future competitiveness. I'd like it if Cookie were extended beyond his two year contract as well, although I'm actually still kind of ambivalent about locking up Matt Holliday long term given his extreme home/road splits.

Just a reminder of who might be available in the 2007/2008 off-season, here are the pending free agent center fielders who I see as an upgrade over Cory Sullivan:

  1. Wells
  2. Jones
  3. Torii Hunter
  4. Corey Patterson
  5. Milton Bradley
  6. Eric Byrnes
  7. Aaron Rowand
That sure beats the short Gary Matthews Jr/JD Drew list of this season (both of whom are going to get vastly overpaid). I'm beginning to believe that it's in the best interest of the club to stick with Sullivan/Salazar/Spilborghs/Freeman in center for 2007 and hope that Tulo develops quickly as a hitter that can be moved up in the lineup or wait until some of these 2008 names are dangled at the July trade deadline in search of a bargain. That's not exactly a winning strategy, but this season it might be the best strategy for that particular position.