The Hot Stove season continues to... well, get hot, as baseball analysts and media members dream up more trade scenarios and concoct possible free agent signings while the Winter Meetings approach. This time, instead of guessing which players are likely to land on which teams, Mark Feinsand of MLB.com just predicts one player from each club who is likely to be dealt.
For the Rockies, that player is Raimel Tapia. Yes, Mark says #MuchoSwaggerPapi himself is this team’s top trade target—thanks in large part to his speed, hitting talent, and apparent lack of room for him in the Rockies “crowded” outfield. With CarGo and Parra now free agents, Raimel could theoretically slot right into center or right field (joining Blackmon and Dahl), but Bud Black and Jeff Bridich have a well-documented preference to veterans, and may instead target a free-agent such as AJ Pollock, Andrew McCutchen, or Adam Jones.
Leap-frogging off Feinsand’s piece, Kevin Henry from Rox Pile had some thoughts on the potential of trading Raimel Tapia, and discusses how the Rockies young outfielder could help net a more valuable first baseman or catcher this offseason—like the highly coveted J.T. Realmuto. Tapia is also out of options, so he would either have to remain buried on the 25-man roster or be released, and the Rockies would be crazy to not get an asset in return.
On Friday evening, Rawlings announced their annual Platinum Glove winners—the single best defensive player in each league. To the surprise of no one (sane), Nolan Arenado won his second straight Platinum Glove, and was joined by former high school teammate and fellow third base wizard, Matt Chapman.
Rockies fans are spoiled when it comes to other-worldly defensive plays and leather flashing down the third-base line as frequently as lightning in a thunderstorm, but it’s still nice to see our guy recognized. It even puts his generational talent in perspective a bit as Nolan continues to stockpile impressive hardware and awards each and every year—just like many Hall of Famers have done before him. Watch out, Cooperstown.
Tyson Crocker over at Rox Pile gives some very persuasive arguments as to why J.T. Realmuto should be helping the Rockies compete for a World Series title next year and beyond. Realmuto is as good a catcher as they come in 2019—both offensively and defensively—and the Rockies ranked near the bottom in most statistical categories behind the plate. Yes, he would be a major upgrade over Chris Iannetta, Tony Wolters, and Tom Murphy, but it might cost a metaphorical arm and a leg when it comes to prospects the Rockies would have to send to Miami in order to broker a deal.
Did you know the Rockies led the National League in 2018 in innings pitched by starters with 932? I didn’t, but thanks to Thomas Harding, I do now. That’s pretty impressive considering the reputation Coors Field has for striking fear and pain into pitchers, and the Rockies are looking to continue that trend of reversing the narrative next season. So no, Jeff Bridich won’t consider using an “opener,” even though his team led all of baseball in 1st inning ERA with an ugly 7.23—but should he?