Congratulations! You made it through one more week without baseball, and you're now down to just about twelve weeks until Spring Training. Time flies when you're thinking about hot stove rumors and free agent acquisitions, right?! Hey, speaking of that, let's jump in on today's links and notes:
José Fernandez might be available. (Or he might not!) His availability may also be about his (bad) attitude. (Or maybe it isn't!) Just like everything that's good and confusing around the hot stove, there are conflicting stories and opinions. All I know is a player like Fernandez could conceivably do pretty well in Colorado, and it'd be fun to watch him hit here, too. The Rockies wouldn't ever really make this type of move though... would they?!
There are a few pros to any hypothetical Fernandez trade, most notably that, um, he is very good. There are also cons; the Rockies would have to give up multiple prospects (which means if they actually did acquire Fernandez, they had damn well better make several more moves this winter to win now!). Fernandez is also only under control through 2018, after which some team on the free market will offer him $7.5 billion to pitch (so the Rockies would only get three years of Fernandez, meaning the team would have to speed up their contention window).
Honestly, there's no way the Rox actually go get Fernandez (who maybe isn't even available, after all!), but damn he'd be a nice arm to build around, wouldn't he? (Then again, I have zero concern about a random "bad attitude" problem that only recently popped up strongly enough to warrant trade rumors, and y'all may well feel differently about that.)
In reality — **sigh** — he'll probably end up with the Dodgers, because damn the Dodgers.
Patrick Saunders hypothesizes whether the Indians and Rockies might have a natural fit for each team's respective needs this winter. Of course, this is already something we've examined this week on this here website, too.
Brandon Barnes is hanging out this offseason as he trains for the spring, where he may well fit in as a fifth outfielder once again for the Rockies. Here's a light video interview with him (and his daughter!) about his offseason plans, the holidays, his admirable off-field community work, and his favorite play as a member of the Rockies.
Our friends at SB Nation sister site Minor League Ball take a look at some breakout candidates for the Rockies next season. Here's hoping Jon Gray takes a huge step forward, because that will go a long ways to
keeping my blood pressure down mapping out the Rockies' future!
Some of this might (should) be common sense, in light of some of the recent injuries we've seen fans sustain at baseball games and all the talk this has gotten in the last few years, so surely something regarding netting was going to come one way or another.
But there was one passage that caught my eye:
Commissioner Rob Manfred said Thursday that it "absolutely clear" there will be changes. He said there was more work to be done and that he wasn't prepared to go into details.
"In addition to a recommendation on the physical location of nets, there will be a broad fan education component to the program," Manfred said after owners wrapped up their quarterly meeting.
I'm very interested to see what they mean by a "broad fan education component." Guess we'll all find out soon enough!
Who knows if this is true or not (or to what degree it's true), but Andy Van Slyke blows up Yasiel Puig's spot with a supposed story about Clayton Kershaw wanting the Cuban outfielder off the team. I don't know... I'm a little hesitant when a former player just starts dragging multiple players in a winter radio interview without a specific impetus (i.e., Puig didn't do anything on the field this week to warrant a backlash). Maybe that's just me, though?
This week at Purple Row
Since we have so much new content going up every day at PR, we decided to do an informal weekly or bi-weekly round-up of some of the best stuff we've put together in the last week. Ya know, in case you missed anything good
That's me! I talked to Benjamin Hochman about his transition from the Denver Post to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, and he even shared some really direct stuff about the Rockies. He's a great dude.
BK takes a look at who the Rockies are likely to protect and whom they might leave unprotected ahead of the upcoming Rule V Draft that happens every winter. This is especially applicable today; I assume we will know quite a bit more about this in the next several hours.
Connor got an exclusive look into the real Dick Monfort and came away with an incredibly serious piece about the Rockies' front office and ownership group, as well as their thoughts and ideas for the 2016 Rox. It's scary as hell.
It sounds pretty far out there, and it might be, but Eric makes a compelling case for what it would mean if the Rockies actually went after Jason Heyward. The phenomenal defender will command a major contract, but there are ways to make it work (however unlikely!).