In the wake of the Wade Davis signing, the last 48 hours have been a whirlwind of ecstatic celebration, cautious optimism, and pontificating what’s left for the Rockies and Jeff Bridich to accomplish this offseason heading into 2018. There has been a lot of focus on the fiscal specifics of Davis’s historic contract and what it means for the Rockies’ window of contention, but in this article from TheScore.com, Michael Bradburn lists five major takeaways from the deal that shed some light on how it will begin to not only affect the Rockies, but send waves through the NL West and beyond.
Bradburn makes great comparisons between the Rockies’ Super Bullpen and the 2015 Championship-winning Kansas City Royals relief corps, how the Davis deal sets up the dominoes to fall for high-profile free-agent closers like Craig Kimbrel, David Robertson, and Andrew Miller next offseason, and (my personal favorite) declares that the Dodgers are officially on notice — The Rockies are coming for an NL West title.
Nick McIntyre takes an in-depth look at the emergence and value of “bullpenning”, or the “relief ace,” and how the Rockies have structured their team based on this model to contend through the 2019 or 2020 seasons. Specifically, the Rockies seem to have poured themselves a well-balanced cocktail of proven, high-paid stars and low-risk “cheap” arms who are showing potential to contribute at a high level, too. Of course, age can be a risk factor, and Nick points out that if relievers like Davis, Shaw, and McGee (or even Dunn and Rusin) begin to decline or get injured, this winning bullpen model could begin to look like a burden during the Rockies’ window of contention.
As the excitement of the big bullpen signings begins to fade, there is a lingering question in the collective consciousness of Rockies fans — What now? While one major offseason goal has been checked (solidifying the bullpen for a championship run), there are still lingering questions that need to be answered. Eric Garcia McKinley discusses uncertainties that remain for both the offense and pitching staffs, and points to one very particular action the Rockies can take in order to make this the most ambitious offseason in Rockies history.
It’s easy to forget that the Hot Stove has been lukewarm for most teams this offseason. For once, the Rockies find themselves making some of the most notable free-agent moves in baseball, but these have been to the benefit of a bullpen that was already pretty darn good last year. MLB Trade Rumors took the time to point out what every MLB team has done so far to strengthen their weakest positions in 2017, and it should come as no surprise that the Rockies have remained quiet on that front — they still need to make a splash and sign or trade for a valuable outfielder or 1B bat.
It’s New Year’s Eve, and what better time to look back on 2017 and remember some of our favorite moments, analysis, and conversations. Here’s a few links that highlight what made this past year so great for our community of baseball fans, or at times, had us curled up in the fetal position sobbing like a child who just had their innocence stolen from them... but really, it’s mostly just good stuff. Cheers, and Happy New Year!
You want to take the time to look through this piece, an accumulation of the very best of the best of Purple Row in 2017. I think Adam says it best — this list of our writers’ favorite posts is a great way “to recognize their hard work throughout the year by putting the things they are most proud of in front of you, our readers,” and “serves as a reminder to you, our audience, how much we appreciate your contributions... you are why we do this and we couldn’t do it without you.” New to the team myself, I’m excited to spend 2018 with Purple Row after being a fan for many years. The writing, reporting, and journalism you will find in this list is as good as it gets, so dig in!
Will Petersen of Mile High Sports profiles Charlie Blackmon and his record-breaking 2017 season that saw him finish 5th in MVP voting, just behind Nolan Arenado. The debate of who was more valuable to the Rockies this past year — Chuck or Nolan — seemed to rear its head all season, and Mile High Sports not only makes a great case here for Charlie, but also brings a smile to your face knowing such a talented, funny, compassionate, and all-around great guy is a star for our baseball team.
You can never go wrong reading some Grant Brisbee, lead writer for our friends over at McCovey Chronicles since 2005. He has helped SB Nation MLB become a top blog platform for baseball enthusiasts and has made many of us laugh out loud on more than one occasion — but this isn’t just about him (though it’s a lot about him). Grant shares his favorite 10 articles that he wrote in 2017, which span topics from all of baseball and more. From the Hunter Strickland vs. Bryce Harper rumble, to the wildest playoff and World Series games most of us have ever seen — you’ll laugh, you’ll cry, and you may even look back at 2017 with some fondness. Hope you enjoy!