Now that we can turn the page on the 2014 season, it's time to look forward to next season's roster. OK, most of you were doing that since July. In any case, the first domino in Colorado's quest to dominate the offseason fell yesterday...
Exercising the $2.25 million team option on soon to be 42 year-old closer LaTroy Hawkins was presumed by many after Hawkins provided some measure of competence to a bullpen in much need of it. The righty will likely serve as closer again next season - here's hoping the Rockies hand him plenty of leads. Colorado also outrighted OF/1B/C Matt McBride, a player who is best known as a player involved in the Ubaldo Jimenez trade in 2011.
Thomas Harding takes a look at new Rockies GM Jeff Bridich's to-do list this offseason. Number one on said list appears to be upgrading the quality of the pitching staff. To that end, Bridich has a big decision ahead of him with erstwhile staff ace Brett Anderson, who has a $12 million team option for next year. If the Rockies decline the option, Colorado will pay Anderson's $1.5 million buyout and he will become a free agent.
Anderson, who will be 27 in 2015, provided an above average to elite left-handed complement to Jorge De La Rosa in his eight starts in 2014 (posting a 2.99 FIP and 147 ERA+). He is an injury risk for the Rockies (having sustained a broken finger and a back injury that limited him to those eight starts), but he is exactly the kind of talented starter with a game suited to pitching at Coors Field that Bridich should be pursuing. The big question is - could the Rockies put that net $10.5 million to better use than a lottery ticket next year?
I'm in the camp that hopes the Rockies could come to an agreement with Anderson on a two year, $14-17 million deal, but if that isn't an option I wouldn't mind having Anderson back next year if the budget allows.
In addition to Anderson, Harding writes about whether Colorado will be bringing Michael Cuddyer back and looks at some other free agent options at pitcher and catcher in particular as well as some potential trade assets the Rockies possess. Fire up that hot stove, Rockies fans - you'll need it in the cold winter!
Ryan Hammon looks at the success of the Royals this year and wonders - could that be the Rockies next year? To which I say, we'll never be Royals.
Hayden Kane is not optimistic about the scenario in which 2014 surprise Michael McKenry is the starting catcher next season.
Myron McLaughlin looks at the 2014 season of Trevor Story, who is currently starring in the Arizona Fall League and who could be a major league contributor by 2016.