In recent weeks and months there has been the idea—in some places even the assumption—that the Rockies would move outfielder Corey Dickerson to first base as early as the 2016 season to take advantage of his bat while hiding his less than stellar glove that's somewhat exposed in left field.
However, there has been nothing from the team suggesting a position change for Dickerson is in the cards. Additionally, Rockies' beat reporter for MLB.com Thomas Harding had a series of tweets earlier this week indicating that the Rockies were not planning to move Dickerson to first base anytime soon, including this most definitive one:
They haven't considered it. They were asked at the winter meetings https://t.co/R756cQY19H— Thomas Harding (@harding_at_mlb) January 12, 2016
There are certainly arguments for moving Dickerson from the outfield, the main one being that the Rockies have a plethora of outfielders both at the Major League level already and coming through the minors, but it would seem to be easier to take one of those young outfielders (Jordan Patterson, for example) and move them to first base while they are still developing rather than moving an established big leaguer.
Really, the only times established players have moved to first base recently have been catchers like Joe Mauer and Buster Posey, with the goal of keeping their bats in the lineup every day and extending their careers by limiting the physical toll to which they are subjected behind the plate.
As for 2016, the Rockies have Ben Paulsen and Mark Reynolds at first, as well as Kyle Parker and Daniel Descalso ,who both have experience there, so outside of an emergency situation where Walt Weiss has used all of his position players or something similar, I can't see Dickerson getting even an inning there this season. In fact, I'd say there is a much greater likelihood that he gets traded prior to the season than sees time at first in 2016.
Another argument for moving Dickerson out of left field is his poor outfield defense, which to me is overblown. Prior to dealing with plantar fasciitis in 2015, Dickerson was good for 0 and -2 Defensive Runs Saved in 2013 and 2014, right about at league average. Even with his foot injury last season, Dickerson was worth -7 DRS, which isn't good by any stretch, but certainly isn't as awful as some make it out to be.
For what it's worth, Dickerson's foot is completely healed, according to Harding:
Even if Dickerson isn't a good defensive outfielder, aren't the Rockies the same franchise that went to the playoffs, and even the World Series, with the likes of Matt Holliday, Brad Hawpe (who had -17 DRS in 2007, by the way) and Dante freakin' Bichette playing corner outfield spots? Don't get me wrong, I'm a Bichette fan, but the guy made Dickerson look like Kevin Kiermaier in the outfield.
All three of those players compensated for their lackluster defense in the outfield with production at the plate, which is exactly what Dickerson has the ability to do after posting a .931 OPS and 140 wRC+ in 2014 and .869 OPS and 119 wRC+ in 2015, despite dealing with the foot injury. Those are numbers comparable to what Hawpe produced at the plate in the playoff years of 2007 and 2009, while being significantly worse defensively. Those offensive numbers also led to Dickerson accumulating 3.4 rWAR and 2.6 fWAR in 2014 and 0.5 WAR by both metrics in his injury-shortened 2015.
Lastly, moving to first base isn't exactly easy. This isn't high school baseball where you throw a glove on a guy and send him to a position just because it seems like he should be able to play there. Just ask Wilin Rosario, who struggled mightily both offensively and defensively after moving to first base in 2015, earning himself a non-tender from the Rockies earlier this winter.
In the end, Dickerson's situation can be summed up by saying if it ain't broke, don't fix it. He is a tremendous offensive player who, while below-average defensively, isn't hampered on that end of things to where it precludes him from being a productive player and a significant asset for the Rockies. Don't count on Dickerson seeing any time at first base in 2016.