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Sunday Morning Rockpile:

How important is Garrett Atkins to the team? Well, his friendship with Tulowitzki played a part in the youngster signing his long-term deal, and Matt Holliday will include Atkins' future in his decision to stay with the team. This leads to, Why didn't Atkins sign that long-term deal last off season?

"The (Rockies) obviously made me an offer last year, but it was probably more in line with the (Jeff) Francis contract, and less in line with what they have done with (Aaron) Cook and Tulo. The owners seem to be more willing to pay more money this off-season and pay the fair market value," [Atkins said].

So he wants a deal "in line" with the ones Cook and Tulo signed, there's nothing wrong with him trying to get the money he believes he deserves. However, the problem with the comparison between deals given out during the two off seasons is that Atkins couldn't have known Cook and Tulo would receive deals like those a year later. At that point it would have been a bit risky to believe the owners would open up their checkbooks to sign a number of players to long-term deals this off season.

Discussions on signing players to long-term deals "are nice problems to have," as Troy Renck writes in an article concerning deals for Corpas and Hawpe, but how many players would the Rockies look to sign for more than couple of years this off season if the team won, say, only 86 games? Cook, maybe.

I don't know, I guess I see Atkins banking on something that wasn't readily apparent at the time.


Going back to the second link, we receive a few pieces of information:

  • Those vying for the second base job better get off to a good start early if they hope to have chance at the job, because Hurdle only has so many innings to give each player. So, as the article indicates, Baker and Stewart will need to show something in February if they want to stick around for the March competition. But, even if they do, Jayson Nix will surely receive more playing time than most.
  • Tulo will be more aggressive on the base paths this season now that he'll be second in the lineup. Adding this to what he already does for the team, he's still living up to the unofficial nickname of his college team: Dirtbag.


Oh, and Woody Paige came up with a kind of, sort of good name for a possible Rockies DP combination: The NTH Degree.