The Colorado Rockies are still trying to make improvements to a bullpen that may have cost the team upwards of seven wins in 2016.
The club has contacted free-agent relievers Greg Holland and Joe Blanton, according to Patrick Saunders of The Denver Post. Holland, as previously reported, has already received an offer from the Rockies and is apparently still weighing it, but this is the first time Blanton’s name has come up in a legitimate, non-speculative manner.
Somewhat surprisingly, Blanton—a longtime starter at the major league level—experienced a lot of success with the Los Angeles Dodgers in a relief role last season. The 36-year-old right-hander posted a 2.48 ERA with 80 strikeouts and 26 walks in 80 innings for the National League West champs.
Though he’s logged more than 1,700 innings in his big league career, relievers tend to age pretty well, and it appears that based on what we’ve seen from him in that role so far, Blanton is no different. He spent the majority of 2015 pitching out of the bullpen, as well, and posted a 2.84 ERA with 79 strikeouts and 16 walks in 76 frames for the Kansas City Royals and Pittsburgh Pirates.
In short, if Blanton is able to remain effective in his new role, and there’s no real good reason to believe he won’t, he could be a low-key terrific addition for a young Rockies team that isn’t far away from competing.