The Rockies declined Alexi Amarista's option for 2017, and he now joins the ranks of free agents. As we wrote in Amarista's Ranking the Rockies post from early October, he made no real contributions to the team, and the Rockies could replace what he gave with minor-league filler.
This is a great story that cuts through a lot of the surface awareness and assumptions of team dynamics and highlights a moment fans can imagine having a resonating effect. After the Rockies' Wild Card loss, Patrick Saunders describes Charlie Blackmon making an effort to approach, embrace, and communicate confidence to Gray. "it was exactly what I needed to year," Gray said. The Rockies aren't perfect, and they need a lot to go right for them in order to repeat and build on their 2017 success. One problem they don't have, however, is a lack of team chemistry. This is just one example of why.
James LaGrow at Rox Pile identifies some potential free agent targets for the Rockies. He identified catcher, first base, and the bullpen as areas of need. Free agents Carlos Santana, Addison Reed, Tony Watson, and Brandon Kintzler are all mentioned here. The Rockies may pursue one or two of those relievers, but their search is unlikely to include all of them. I, for one, would love for the Rockies to pursue Santana, but there does appear to be an Ian Desmond shaped roadblock over at first base. Finally, and interestingly, LaGrow also identifies Tucker Barnhart as a trade target to fill in at catcher. I’d rather have the Rockies overpay Lucroy than give up prospect capital for Barnhart.
When Johnny Cueto signed with the Giants, his contract had a player opt-out after two seasons. It seemed that the only way he'd not opt-out is if he wasn't good. He has been good, but he has not opted out. This move, along with Masahiro Tanaka's decision to stay with the Yankees, is beginning to show that including opt-ins can take place even with the possibility of a larger free agent payday.
Here's a blast from the, uh, future. Really, my major question is what the Padres uniforms look like in 2020. Will they be the classic brown, or will they be bedecked head-to-toe in camouflage by that point?