With less than a week remaining until pitchers and catchers have to report to spring training, it appears that the Rockies offseason is mostly over. While there might be a few more minor league deals signed, it isn’t likely that those moves would have an impact on the Rockies opening day roster.
Patrick Saunders compiled some of the grades that the national pundits have given the Rockies offseason. They range from B to D+ mostly depending on how the given reviewer felt about the Ian Desmond signing. Personally, I lean more towards the B side of things.
Heading into the offseason the Rockies had three areas of improvement that they need to focus on. The bullpen, first base, and the manager. The Rockies addressed all of those areas, however, whther or not they actually improved in those areas may be a question.
The Rockies made two additions to the bullpen in Greg Holland and Mike Dunn. Both signings could be great, however there is enough questions with both to also make me worry that they could be horrible. Combined with the huge wave of young arms ready to help the bullpen this year, the Rockies one of the deepest bullpens in the Majors. Whether or not that depth is going to be any good is going to be the real question.
The Ian Desmond signing is still puzzling to me, but I’m curious to see how the Rockies prioritization of athleticism and versatility pays off. If the Rockies would not have forfeited their first round pick as part of the deal, I would probably like it more. If Mark Reynolds can parlay his spring training invitation into an active roster spot and the Rockies can use Desmond’s versatility to keep the below-average bats out of the lineup when a player get’s injured or needs a day off, the Desmond signing makes a lot more sense.
While it seems like a long time ago, the Rockies kicked off their offseason by replacing manager Walt Weiss with former Padres manager Bud Black. Black was not high on my list of desired managers due to a spotty track record while he was with the Padres. Since his hire, his interviews have alleviated some of my fears, but only time will tell if he can help a young Rockies team meet their potential.
When looking at how the Rockies addressed their needs, my personal grade is a C+. I’m not sure that the overall additions will have much of a net impact on the Rockies chances of success this year. However, I am hopeful that the Rockies won’t need them to do much as the development of their young players gives them the necessary improvement to be in contention for most of the year.
Be sure to share your grade of the Rockies offseason in the comments below.
Just like the rest of us, Trevor Story is ready for the offseason to be over and for baseball to begin. If Story is healthy for the entire season and produces at a similar rate to what he did last year, the Rockies infield will be one of the best in baseball even with a league average bat at first base.
Kyle Freeland is entering spring training with an eye on earning a spot in the Rockies rotation. While he’s had a very non-linear path to the Majors, he did throw over 160 innings last season with the latter half of that coming in Triple-A. While I would currently place him around 8th on the Rockies depth chart of starting pitching options, that is well within reach of earning a starting role through either a red-hot spring training or other pitcher’s injuries.