Many of us Rockies fans have longed for the front office to be willing to spend a little money to improve our pitching staff. And, boy, have they delivered this year. If we take a look at the way the team played last year, we can be optimistic that this year will be a good one. It might even be the year that the Rockies are World Series contenders. That is the goal each year, and Bud Black and others believe that 2018 might be our time. Of course, it is impossible to predict this kind of thing, but given the amount of success we had last year in conjunction with what we’ve done this offseason, now might be our time. Bud Black is optimistic for not just this year, but for the foreseeable future as well. He’s hoping that the team he is building will have a fighting chance several years down the road.
The Rockies have spent big this year, handing out some of the biggest deals for pitchers ever. They also spent big to solidify their players eligible for arbitration. They’re not done, though; next year, they will have to decide what to do with free agents Charlie Blackmon and DJ Lemahieu. Then, in 2020, Nolan Arenado joins the market, and the Rockies will have to be willing to spend big to keep him in Denver. The Rockies currently have some big names in their lineup, and they will have to be willing to pay for it pretty soon. With the way things stand now, it will not be very possible for the Rockies to keep all three (Blackmon, LeMahieu, and Arenado), so there will have to be some difficult decisions made in the near future.
All of that means that 2018 seems like the best year to capitalize on what we have. The spending trends this offseason indicate that the Rockies are aware of this, and are ready to go big in 2018.
Ask almost any Rockies fan this question, and the answer will be a resounding yes. We watch him dive for incredibly impressive catches, hit for the cycle, and expressed his passion for the sport time and again. His statistics are impressive: 35 home runs and 130 RBIs per season, Gold Gloves galore, and don’t even get me started on his slugging percentage with runners in scoring position: Mr. Clutch, indeed.
Despite our certainty, though, there are those who would argue that there are better third basemen out there. The other contenders include Kris Bryant, Josh Donaldson, and Jose Ramirez. To be fair, the panelists argue that this list is difficult to arrange, and that in some ways all of the players on it have tied for first. Many can’t help but point out the fact that we play at Coors Field, which skews statistics, but some, like Buster Olney, still place Arenado first. Arenado doesn’t seem overly concerned with these lists, just wanting to go out and play the sport he loves.
This offseason has been, to say the least, a bit dull. Yes, we have been developing an incredible bullpen, but there are still, at the time of writing, 143 unsigned free agents. Kevin Henry at Rox Pile argues that this works in favor of the Rockies. Different teams have different reasons for holding off, like avoiding the luxury tax and waiting for what will be an insane market next year. This means that the Rockies might be able to pick up players like Logan Morrison or Lorenzo Cain at a far more affordable price. At this point, it really is a waiting game, and we’ll just have to see what the Rockies choose to do with the remainder of the offseason.
Sam Bradfield tracks the Rockies’ performance following a postseason appearance. Each one is rather underwhelming, with the team being plagued by coaching changes, difficult schedules, and injuries. The Rockies have had different responses following their successful seasons, and while the Rockies have never had back-to-back playoff appearances, 2018 is looking good.
Our old friend Alexi Amarista is off to the Detroit Tigers. Amarista provided the occasional hit for the Rockies, but he was mostly valued for his defensive abilities in various parts of the field. Despite his struggles in Denver, I wish him luck as a more veteran player for the Tigers.