The Rockies sound like they are in a negotiation stage with Cleveland for Edwin Encarnación. Jeff Bridich said prior to the Winter Meetings that offense would be the focus, and all of the rumors we’ve heard out of Las Vegas so far suggest that’s very much the case. Patrick Saunders notes that Cleveland would likely ask for pitching in return. Fortunately, the Rockies have some minor league depth there, and none of the club’s pitching prospects seem to be untouchable.
Drew Creasman reiterates the smoke coming from Las Vegas that will hopefully turn into a trade fire by the end of today.
And if you prefer your rumors delivered via video, Jena Garcia has you covered. She also hints at what Bud Black had to say about Adam Ottavino’s almost certainly correct assertion that he would strike out Babe Ruth. (Seriously, Ottavino could strike out deities, and Ruth is only a pretend deity.)
Ben Thoen over at Lookout Landing discusses the very real possibility that the Mariners will flip Carlos Santana, who they acquired just a couple weeks ago, and that Colorado would make sense as a landing spot. Most interestingly, Thoen mentions one possible trade:
With Desmond and Santana’s deals being virtually identical from an overall cash perspective, it’s easy to see a deal coming together that just swaps the two and Colorado attaching a mid-level prospect to entice the Mariners to take on what’s trending towards looking like another albatross of a contract.
I can’t imagine a better outcome for the on-field productivity of the 2019 Rockies. Thoen mentions Peter Lambert and Ryan Vilade as targets the Mariners may want. Lambert is probably a little more than “mid-level,” but I’d still take it.
Based on conversations Bud Black and Jeff Bridich had with the media in Las Vegas, it sounds like Charlie Blackmon has been well prepared for a move out of center field. Bridich, in an extraordinary use of passive voice, said “the topic overall and in general was breached and discussed up front during the contract negotiations” but “there was no timeframe put on it.” Without knowing who put the timeframe on it, I’ll just go ahead and assume it’s one of the deities Adam Ottavino could strike out. We’ll go with Osiris.
Hitting coaches are important because you have to have someone to, you know, coach the hitters. It’s not clear just how important they are though, or what impact they actually have on the hitters. But it’s also clear that when the offense stinks, it may be a good idea to get rid of the hitting coach. That’s what the Rockies did when they let go of Duane Espy, and they’ve now found his replacement in Dave Magadan. This will be the fifth team in which Magadan has served as hitting coach, which is either a really good or a really bad thing. Either way, he’ll be judged entirely on how well the Rockies hit next season. I hope we’ll be praising him soon.
Today is baseball’s Rule 5 draft, and Jonathan Mayo hits all the details of what you need to know. The Rockies will pick 22nd. If recent history is any indication, they’ll make a selection and trade the player to a California team for cash. Unprotected Rockies prospects could also be snagged away. Of the players the Rockies didn’t protect, my money’s on Brian Mundell as the guy who will get drafted.
Eternal friend Matt Gross (also known as RhodeIslandRoxFan) has a great overview the significance Troy Tulowitzki had on the Blue Jays after the 2015 trade sent him to Toronto and through the 2016 postseason. That era is over now, as Toronto released Tulo on Tuesday. As always, Matt is thoughtful and emotionally bare. Give it a read.