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Colorado Rockies predicted to seek power bat, rotation stabilizers in free agent market

Free agency officially begins today, let's discuss who might wind up a Rockie.

Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

2015-16 Top 50 MLB Free Agents with Predictions - MLB Trade Rumors

With the World Series won and over with, the focus has shifted to 2016. And with that: free agents!

Tim Dierkes of MLB Trade Rumors has the Rockies as a possible landing spot for 29-year old Byung-Ho Park of the Korea Baseball Organization. The estimate had the Rockies posting for Park at $10MM with a four-year, $40MM contract.

Just yesterday the Nexen Heroes accepted a $12.85MM offer from a team yet to be announced. Details on that transaction can be found more in-depth here.

It’s an interesting propostion since the Rockies have decided to part ways with Justin Morneau, and the recent success of Hyun-Jin Ryu and Jung-Ho Kang has sparked a heightened interest in the Korean market.

However, the Rockies do have options from within their organization to fill their needs at first base. Ben Paulsen appears to be the go-to guy for now, but the Rockies have in the past discussed swinging heavy-hitting prospect Ryan McMahon around to first base, which could get him onto the big league roster in turn for the next projected contention window.

For the Nexen Heroes this year, Park slugged .714 with 53 homers in 140 games. Park’s eye-popping power numbers are assisted by a hitter-friendly league. He could prove to be a great asset at Coors Field, but at 29, Park may not maintain this impressive showing through the duration of a long-term contract.

Dierkes also has Colorado as a possibility for outfielder Austin Jackson. Jackson, 28, split the 2015 season between the Mariners and the Cubs, hitting .267/.311/.385 in 136 games. Jackson showed a lot of early promise, but has struggled since being traded in 2013. Jackson finished second in Rookie of the Year voting in 2010 with Detroit, despite leading the league in strikeouts.

A push for Jackson likely means the Rockies will be parting with one of their everyday outfielders. The prediction has Jackson signing a one-year, $12MM deal.

Former Rockie Justin Morneau checks in at #48 on the list. Dierkes sees a move back to the American League a logical move for Morneau with his injury history. This prediction has the Orioles giving Morneau a one-year, $8MM contract.

Rockies’ long-term plan will be revealed by what they do this offseason- Mile High Sports

The Rockies haven’t had much luck in the free agent pitching market over the years, and certainly not with the flashy arm, big price tag guys. So if it’s Grienke or Price you’re hoping for in 2016, save yourself the trouble. Even if Bridich plans to make waves with his first year behind him, there likely isn’t going to be a check big enough to draw a potential ace to Denver. 

Mark Knudson of Mile High Sports sees more potential in the third-tier, veteran "innings eater" bracket that brought guys like Kyle Kendrick and Jeremy Guthrie to the Rockies in an attempt to stabilize a young rotation. Knudson mentions Aaron Harang and Mike Pelfrey as two free agent names from this year’s crop more in tune with the Rockies’ offseason trends.

CarGo sees bright future for Rockies - Rockies.com

Carlos Gonzalez will undoubtedly be the center of Rockies trade talks as the offseason kicks into full gear. That is not to say, though, that he is looking to be dealt. Gonzalez recently told Thomas Harding of MLB.com that he believes in this Rockies team. Of course, starting pitching is always going to be a caveat, but Gonzalez recognizes the talent already in the clubhouse. Players like Nolan Arenado and DJ LeMahieu, that Gonzalez has watched blossom as professionals over his five years with the Rockies.

Gonzalez credits Troy Tulowitzki as a major contributor to the club’s development, saying that Tulowitzki, too, was deeply invested in the team and what they hope will be its eventual success.

Watch Rockies Trio in Saturday’s Fall Stars Game - MLB.com

The Rockies will be represented by Carlos Estevez, Kyle Freeland and Raimel Tapia in this year’s Fall Stars Game at Salt River Fields.

Estevez leads the Fall League with four saves, Freeland is 2-1 in four starts and Tapia has hit .306 with five RBI for the Salt River Rafters. The Rafters, at 12-7, are one game back of the Scottsdale Scorpions in the AFL East.

Catch the game tonight at 6PM MT on MLB Network or MLB.com.