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Rockies have fewer options for offensive upgrades

Rockies news and links for December 16, 2017

Phillies sign Carlos Santana to 3-year, $60 million contract | SB Nation MLB
While we saw a flurry of activity regarding relief pitching during the Winter Meetings, the rest of the free agent market had yet to really take shape until Friday. A notable name, and a noted Rockies target, Carlos Santana, came off the board on Friday. He signed a three-year $60 million deal with a surprising team, the Philadelphia Phillies. It remains to be seen what other moves the Phillies will make this offseason to possibly help them contend in 2018, but there is a talented young core in place, with Rhys Hoskins, Aaron Altherr, Cesar Hernandez, and others welcoming Santana into their lineup. Santana raked in around $15 million more than had been anticipated, but this is a clear sign that the ways of big spending may be back in The City of Brotherly Love.

In terms of how this impacts the Rockies, first base target Santana is now off the board. Zack Cozart was also signed by the Angels on Friday, though it would have been hard to see how he would fit on the roster of the Rockies. Regardless, the market for offense is starting to take shape. With Marcell Ozuna traded to the Cardinals, opportunities to inject offense into the Rockies’ lineup are continuing to look less clear. JD Martinez and Eric Hosmer remain free agents, but they are seeking contracts that appear to be out of the Rox price range, which is probably for the best in the case of Martinez, and certainly for the best in the case of Hosmer. Logan Morrison and Mark Reynolds remain possibilities to provide the Rockies with some help at first base.

MLB Scout Ed Henderson dishes on Carlos Gonzalez, Greg Holland and the Rockies’ offseason plans | Mile High Sports
Speaking of the Rockies’ search for offense, MLB scout and reporter Ed Henderson spoke with Mile High Sports about the possibility of the Rox re-signing Carlos Gonzalez. According to Henderson, the Rockies “have pretty much said their goodbyes to CarGo.” The interview is worth a full listen for insights into the Rockies’ entire off-season and their relief pitching additions.

Ryan Spilborghs, on the Rockies’ approach: ‘Let’s go toe-to-toe with the Dodgers’ | Mile High Sports
Mile High Sports also interviewed Ryan Spilborghs for his thoughts on the Rockies’ offseason, which is also well worth your time to give a listen.

Rox address major need at Winter Meetings |
The Rockies officially announced the signings of Jake McGee and Bryan Shaw on Friday. Thomas Harding has more on the bullpen plans, and an update on the continued talks with closer Greg Holland. Harding also mentions Ryan McMahon, Raimel Tapia, and David Dahl as possible boosts for the 2018 Rockies’ offense if they are unable to make upgrades from outside of the organization.

Bryan Shaw, Jake McGee, or possibly both, could be the Rockies’ next closer | The Denver Post
Bryan Shaw was my personal favorite reliever on the free agent market this offseason, and I am still delighted by his signing. The Denver Post’s Patrick Saunders has oodles of quotes from Shaw, Jake McGee, and GM Jeff Bridich from the relievers’ introductory press conference on Friday. Among the highlights, Bridich mentions that the Rockies are still looking to re-sign Greg Holland, but Saunders speculates on the possibility of Shaw and McGee sharing time in the closer’s role if Holland does not return.

Grading the 2017 Winter Meetings | SB Nation MLB
Grant Brisbee gave the Rockies a grade of “B-“ for their performance at the Winter Meetings. The Miami Marlins did not receive a passing grade.

Winners and losers so far this winter | FanRag Sports
Jake McGee, Bryan Shaw, and the Rockies overall get mentions as Jon Heyman’s winners of the offseason so far. The yet-unsigned Jonathan Lucroy gets a mention as one of the losers. There’s a ton of interesting tidbits from around the league in the full list.

Is the Rockies’ biggest rival conceding 2018? | BSN Rockies
There is a stark contrast between how the Colorado Rockies and Arizona Diamondbacks are operating this offseason. The Diamondbacks don’t even look like buyers at this point, even though they made it deeper into the 2017 postseason than the Rockies did. Meanwhile, the Rockies appear to be making every effort to contend in 2018. Rumors have speculated about numerous assets on the D-backs being traded away because of their financial situation. Re-signing JD Martinez seems next to impossible given the Snakes’ spending flexibility. The enormous contract of Zack Greinke has even come up in conversations with various teams around the league. It will be interesting to see how the NL West race turns out in 2018, but if the Diamondbacks aren’t committed to getting better, things will be a lot easier for a Rockies team that continues to look to make additions for next season.

Hall of Fame Poll: Larry Walker | Bluebird Banter
If you do nothing else today, give Larry Walker a “Yes” vote on this HoF poll from Bluebird Banter!

Padres receive Freddy Galvis in trade with Phillies | Gaslamp Ball
Around the National League West, Gaslamp Ball provides details on a trade that went down on Friday. The San Diego Padres made an upgrade at shortstop, acquiring Freddy Galvis from the Philadelphia Phillies. This represents a significant upgrade for the Padres, whose shortstops combined for a 61 wRC+ and fWAR of -2.5 in 2017, the latter far and away the worst in baseball.

While Galvis’s 80 wRC+ and 1.6 fWAR from 2017 represent a significant upgrade for the Padres, it wouldn’t necessarily be so for a team like the Rockies, who got a quite similar 81 wRC+ and 1.3 fWAR from Trevor Story in 2017. Both players provided some of the best shortstop defense in baseball.