Before I get into the links, here's some fuel for your Hot Stove. As the GM meetings unfold this week, the SB Nation Mock Simulation Project 2014 - an exercise in which 30 people (most of whom are fans of their major league team) take over as GM for the off-season - is also in full swing over at Royals Review (it ends today at 11). If you're curious in the madness that has overtaken us, click the link above to check out all the mock transactions.
As someone who did quite well in 2012 in this same project (acquiring Carlos Gomez, Kris Medlen, and others on the cheap) and who was passable in 2013 (getting Rick Porcello, Jon Niese, and others), I can tell you that I did a relatively bad job in 2014. So far I've acquired a good reliever, a decent starter, Brett Anderson (for less money), and a back-up catcher - but I'm bumping up against my payroll ceiling and my starting second baseman right now is either Charlie Culberson or Cristhian Adames. In any case, I'll have a full write-up on the experience sometime soon.
As I wrote earlier, this morning, Michael Cuddyer did the Rockies a solid by rejecting their qualifying offer to him to sign with the Mets. Nick Groke writes that this might have been more about Cuddyer not wanting to play for the Rockies, who apparently made him a multi-year offer to stay, than it was a crafty move on the part of the Rockies. Groke proceeds to concisely list out the ways in which this was an excellent outcome for the Rockies (and a disastrous one for the Mets).
Groke clarified his position further when he wrote that Cuddyer made it very clear yesterday why he spurned the Rockies' for a new contract with the New York Mets. It had plenty to do with New York's "eagerness to win".
With Cuddyer's departure, the Rockies will scoop up an additional supplemental first round pick in the 2015 MLB draft, giving them four picks in the top 45.
Let's just say that I'm pleased with the way this whole thing turned out and leave it at that.
Thomas Harding writes about the fact that among the new GMs in the NL West, only Rockies GM Jeff Bridich has in-depth familiarity with the organization he's leading. Harding goes on to reiterate some of the possible priorities for Bridich in the next few months.
In this Patrick Saunders article, Bridich really gives some good information, saying that the Rockies won't just be looking at groundball pitchers this off-season, and that they could be in the running for second tier starters like Jason Hammel and Brandon McCarthy.
Ryan Hammon takes an in-depth look at some potential factors for pitching success and how each of these factors have impacted the Rockies over the last ten years. Plenty of colorful charts!
It's certainly better than the alternative...
Harding writes about the excellent MLB debut season for 2009 first round pick Tyler Matzek - who matched MLB-caliber stuff with that magic grit that coaches love.
Kyle Tucker of Roxpile wants the Rockies to commit to rebuilding, perhaps by trading Carlos Gonzalez and/or Troy Tulowitzki.
Jake Shapiro gets some sick burns (one might say they were zingers) in on the Rockies front office with this one.
With an 8-4 win on Monday, the Rockies prospects in the Arizona Fall League are divisional champs! This was thanks in part to two doubles by 1B/C Ryan Casteel, who will most likely be added to the 40 man roster this off-season. There's some nice quotes from Casteel in Spencer Fordin's article above.
Chris Gigley writes about the situation that unfolding (and is still unfolding) with the Rockies and their fan base in Colorado Springs with the movement of their AAA affiliate to Albuquerque.
Right-hander Kenta Maeda (a potential free agent this off-season) held the team of MLB All-Stars scoreless to lead Samurai Japan to a 2-0 win in Game 1 of the Japan Series on Wednesday at the Kyocera Dome in Osaka, Japan. Justin Morneau went 0-4 and left four on base.
Finally, Clayton Kershaw will likely receive the NL Cy Young award tonight, while the AL award will be given to one of Felix Hernandez, Corey Kluber, and Chris Sale. My guess is that Hernandez gets the hardware.