Major League Baseball's Winter Meetings will kick off Sunday night (we'll have a preview for you that morning!). After the Colorado Rockies successfully avoided arbitration with one pitcher and non-tendered three other players earlier this week, we ought to be light on roster moves for the next few days until, well, the (presumptive) storm hits on Monday.
I know I can't be the only person counting down to that day; non-tendering Yohan Flande and bringing Brandon Barnes back for 2016 are child's play compared to what will likely come over the next ten days that may well shape the ball club in Jeff Bridich's image for years to come. And so we wait, for 48 more hours, to see what the future holds for our baseball team. Now, links:
Jonah Keri accurately pegs the Rockies' need for starting pitching, relief help, and then maybe a power-hitting first baseman. Beyond that, he doesn't go very far into specific options that might be of interest to the Rox, but does mention both Denny Neagle and Mike Hampton, as well as question the development of Jon Gray and Eddie Butler. It kind of sucks being a Rockies fan.
Hey, whoa, pal — we wrote up a more in-depth version of this post early Thursday morning. The big news from this particular link, though, comes buried at the bottom: the Rockies have re-signed relievers Simon Castro, Gonzalez Germen, and Nelson Gonzalez to minor league contracts, and agreed to terms with catcher Jackson Williams on a minor league contract.
Williams, of course, made his Major League debut in 16 games with the Rockies in 2014 before spending 2015 in the Giants' organization; he played in 14 big league games in San Francisco last summer, too. As for Germen, well, it'll be nice to have him back next year since he's likely to get at least a little burn out of the bullpen at some point.
Nick Groke hypothesizes the Rockies are going to have about $5 million to work with next week in Nashville, which is pretty disappointing. That'll get you one Mike Pelfrey! Of course, that all depends on what the Rockies do with big contracts like that of Carlos Gonzalez, and if they can shed his numbers off the books in exchange for young, controllable talent while in Nashville. Bigger picture, this depends not on what happens in 2016 (which may be lost as is), but on what the Rockies do before the '16 trade deadline to shed money in anticipation of making waves in 2017.
It's never too early to talk about the draft! The Rockies have a lot of picks early on in the 2016 draft (here's the order), and it's worthwhile to glance over the top 50 draft prospects list to see all the players (especially pitchers!) available next summer.
In fact, Jim Callis and Jonathan Mayo predicted who the Rockies might take with their fourth overall selection in June:
Jim Callis: Blake Rutherford, OF, Chaminade College Prep (Canoga Park, Calif.). Colorado got the highest-ceiling high school position player in 2015 with Brendan Rodgers at No. 3 and could do so again in 2016 with Rutherford at No. 4.
Jonathan Mayo: Riley Pint, RHP, St. Thomas Aquinas HS (Overland Park, Kan.). He joins [Jason] Groome as an outstanding 1-2 prep punch at the top of the Draft, with a fastball that touched 98 mph over the summer.
This is a nice write-up about Tim Ray, the general manager of the Grand Junction Rockies, and what he and his staff have done to get the rookie Rockies off the ground on the Western Slope. Minor League Baseball is a hell of a unique and long grind, but as the BA link attests, it's an important part of so many small communities around the country.
This is Jim Duquette's follow-up to his first piece from last week on five big trades that could go down this winter; that first piece, of course, hypothesized about Carlos Gonzalez heading to the New York Mets for Steven Matz, Brandon Nimmo, and Gabriel Ynoa. This second, most recent article doesn't include any Rockies trades, but it's a good follow-up and something to track during the Winter Meetings.
That ex-MLB pitcher is Esmil Rogers, a former member of the Colorado Rockies. He's making $1.9 million next year in Korea ($1.7 million in salary, with a $200,000 signing bonus). He made ten starts in Korea last summer after the Yankees released him, and he was dominant, so it looks like he's found a home there. Good for him!
Michelle Stalnaker has an interesting take on Matt McBride's season (and career) with the Rockies that I initially thought was too generous to the Lehigh University product, but after re-reading, realized it was a pretty cogent analysis of McBride's space in Major League Baseball. Also, shameless self promotion, now would be a great time to read my own player review of Mr. McBride that came out a few weeks ago.
I didn't immediately and outwardly hate these like everybody else in the world, apparently, but there are a few weird things about them. The white and black tops just look like batting practice/Spring Training jerseys, the color on the bottom of the white pants is kind of a strange addition, and the dots on the shoulders are... interesting.
That being said, I generally like these uniforms as I watch people uniformly, automatically, reflexively hate absolutely every uniform change ever when it first gets released, right up until the point that they realize it doesn't suck and they actually like it. As far as the road alternates with the neon green/teal/whatever... I expect to be flamed for this by all of you, but I LOVE this look, even with the piping that ends mid-thigh:
Good view of truncated pants piping on Dbacks pants. pic.twitter.com/zvpRxb0lgm— Paul Lukas (@UniWatch) December 4, 2015
The last week on Purple Row
If you missed any good stuff from the past week, here are a few of our favorites.
These actual words came out of Connor Farrell's mouth when he read Stuart's fan post: "That fan post was insanely good, what the f**k? I'm mad at him with how good it is." You're not going to get a much better endorsement than that, folks.
The Rockies don't have any qualifying offers this season, though they may end up pursuing some players who have turned one down. Gross looks at how to improve the system a little bit.
BK talks to Chad Bettis about his rise in 2015 to become one of the Rockies' biggest and most pleasant surprises. Let's hope Bettis' quotes here — which were very insightful — are also close to his heart, considering the Rox are going to expect quite a bit out of the right-hander in 2016 and would prefer to not see too significant a regression.
This got buried pretty quickly with as much good content as we had go up yesterday, so take a look through some of these names as the Winter Meetings begin to see whether the Rockies make a run at any of these guys.