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One bold prediction has Colorado Rockies rookie Jon Gray primed for a franchise year

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Bold Predictions: Harper wins Triple Crown, Cubs rule NL Central in '16 - ESPN

Who doesn’t love a good pre-season bold prediction? The folks over at ESPN have put together quite the list of predictions, here you’ll find one for every team in the National League. The expectations are lofty -- some bold, some practically impossible -- but they bring up things to watch for in each of the clubs this season. I’m particularly looking forward to Freddie Freeman’s monster year (away from Coors Field) and for two teams to win the NL Central.

The Rockies bold prediction throws some shade at the franchise’s unfortunate pitching history, but it’s all about Jon Gray in 2016 for Christina Kahrl. Kahrl predicts Gray’s rookie season to be the best in the team’s history, with over 150 strikeouts and a sub-4.00 ERA.

To put up a season like that would be a massive selling point for Gray -- the highly anticipated top prospect prior to his promotion late last summer -- and a turning point for an organization that hopes its impressive prospect crop can fuel years of contention after this season. Gray's electric arsenal leads many to believe he has what it takes to become the true ace of the future for the Rockies, if he can overcome the challenges of pitching at Coors Field.
With a bit of major league experience under his belt, and a new trick up his sleeve, 2016 could very well be the year Jon Gray asserts himself on the Big Stage.

Yard Goats owner Solomon doesn't hold back — And he's not happy - Hartford Courant

The uproar in Hartford over their unfinished ballpark is a messy and maddened affair, with blame and condemnation being thrown around town hall meetings, and Yard Goats owner Josh Solomon at, and beyond, wits’ end. A terribly serious matter for the city of Hartford, detailed with necessary comic relief in this article by Jeff Jacobs of the Hartford Courant. Tough it lacks "DoNo" jokes, which I figured to be inevitable.

The "half-baked Dunkin Donuts Park" debacle is in reaction to the extreme mismanagement of the construction of the stadium, that is now months behind schedule and millions over budget. The question of where the Yard Goats are to play the home half of their inaugural season still has yet to be settled, and Solomon declined to provide information on the possibilities.

Free-agent outfielders playing musical chairs -

Though the market hasn’t exploded into a frenzy, outfield chips are falling and the Rockies have yet to move any of their available outfielders. Many teams still have outfield needs to address, but the Rockies could run out of possible trade partners before they know it.

You can likely count out the Royals and Giants as potential suitors after their free agent acquisitions this past week in Alex Gordon and Denard Span. The Nationals landed Ben Revere in exchange for Drew Storen just yesterday, which gave them some much-needed depth. The Cubs, who won the Jason Heyward lottery in December, could still make some adjustments to their outfield, but no longer have the urgency to do so.

This means that the teams who still have real outfield holes to fill are the Tigers, Orioles, White Sox, Cardinals, Rangers, Marlins and Angels, who Bobby DeMuro wrote about yesterday.

Ranking MLB's 10 best defensive outfielders - Sports On Earth

No current Rockies make the cut, but free agent Gerardo Parra comes in at number four on the list. The Rockies are a known entity in the running for Parra, whose DRS and UZR come in at 9th and 10th best respectively, with the 4th best arm, making him an intriguing possibility.
However, the ranking warns that Parra may have hit his peak early in his career, after two down years defensively. A move to spacious Coors Field might only intensify the trend.

Inbox: Will Rockies keep CarGo in 2016? -

Thomas Harding of took to Twitter to round up some fan questions on the Rockies’ offseason and more. Check out his answers here, including his thoughts on the possibility of a Carlos Gonzalez trade.

BA Minor League Free Agent Tracker - Baseball America

Keep up with Minor League free agent signings here. Old friend Matt McBride, who elected free agency after the 2015 season, has signed a minor league deal with the Oakland Athletics. McBride was drafted in the second round in 2006 by the Cleveland Indians before coming to the Rockies in 2011 in the Ubaldo Jimenez trade.