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Will the Rockies make a February deal with Mark Reynolds?

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Rockies news and links for February 1, 2018

Colorado Rockies: They need to sign Mark Reynolds | Rox Pile
On February 1, 2017, the Rockies re-signed Mark Reynolds to a minor-league deal, which paid off considerably as he was a key contributor to the team in its journey to reach the postseason for the first time since 2009. Could a similar reunion be in store for 2018? Reynolds likely will not be willing to sign a minor-league deal again after a 2017 campaign that saw him post a .267/.352/.487 batting line, with 30 homers and 97 RBIs. Recent indications are that the Rockies front office is looking at Reynolds as one of their primary free agent targets, along with Carlos Gonzalez and Todd Frazier.

Currently penciled in to see most of the action at first base for the Rockies in 2018 is youngster Ryan McMahon, who appeared in a handful of games in his debut season in 2017. To me, the ideal implementation of Reynolds on the Rockies 2018 roster would be as a right-handed platoon partner to complement McMahon. Reynolds additionally would provide the team with a powerful bat off the bench when he is not called upon to start. It isn’t clear as to what capacity of playing time the Rockies are interested in giving to the 34-year-old Reynolds (or if they are interested in offering him an MLB contract), but it is possible that he could accrue more at-bats elsewhere. At Rox Pile, Olivia Greene makes the case that re-signing Reynolds is a necessary move for the Rockies to make.

2018 Rockies Preview: This could be DJ LeMahieu’s last season in Colorado | Mile High Sports
Second baseman DJ LeMahieu will be a free agent after the 2018 season, along with center fielder Charlie Blackmon. With third baseman Nolan Arenado set to hit the open market after the conclusion of the 2019 season, the Rockies may find themselves tasked with the question of who they can afford to keep in Denver for the long-term. The strongest efforts at present seem to be focused around devoting assets toward keeping Arenado, the youngest of the bunch, at Coors Field beyond the expiration of his current contract. Altogether, the Rockies (small market team that they are) may find it difficult to afford keeping the trio together into the 2020s.

If the Monfort family, who own the Rockies, are primarily focused on retaining Arenado, one of LeMahieu or Blackmon (possibly both) could find themselves on the outside looking in. Top infield prospect Brendan Rodgers appears ready to make his major-league debut at some point during the 2018 campaign. The highly-regarded Rodgers could prove to have a higher ceiling than LeMahieu, and thus, the loss of DJ could be easier to bear. Undoubtedly, the Rockies will be looking to see positive steps forward from young outfielders David Dahl and Raimel Tapia in 2018 before assessing the Blackmon situation entirely as well. Gerardo Parra will also be a free agent after the 2018 season, unless the club exercises its option over the outfielder for 2019. In terms of organizational depth and need, the Rockies could be in a position where Blackmon is more of a priority. At Mile High Sports, Aniello Piro breaks down the specifics on what could be LeMahieu’s final season with the Rockies.

BSN Rockies Podcast: Logical fallacies plague strike zone, HOF debates | BSN Rockies
In the latest BSN Rockies podcast, Drew Creasman wraps up his thoughts on the Hall of Fame debate, highlighting comments from Larry Walker, who recently suggested that Coors Field was considered his “PED.” A large chunk of the time is spent on discussing the intricacies of a computerized strike zone, and if it would indeed be less prone to error than the oft-fallible human umpire. Creasman notes that the incorporation of an automatic strike zone would not cause the umpires to be unemployed because there still needs someone to communicate the results of the computer’s strike zone assessment, among other tasks.

Colorado Rockies organization discussion | Minor League Ball
Minor League Ball is releasing their top 20 prospect lists of the season, and the Colorado Rockies will be featured soon. You can assist them by lending your voice to their Rockies organizational discussion thread! They feature conversation starters surrounding the Rockies 2018 record, the development of Tapia, and who is the best of the young starters- Antonio Senzatela, German Marquez, or Kyle Freeland? If you want to add your voice regarding “sleeper prospects or anything else Rockies-oriented,” I’m sure they would appreciate your input, Rockies fans!

Arizona Diamondbacks All-Time Top 50: #21 Gerardo Parra | AZ Snake Pit
At AZ Snake Pit, the community is undertaking a ranking of the best Arizona Diamondbacks players of all time. Coming in at #21, it’s Parra, a key component of the current Rockies outfield. Parra spent the 2009-2014 seasons with the D-Backs, and even put up a phenomenal 6.1 WAR campaign in 2013, en route to etching his name into the top-25 members in the organization’s history. Parra’s inaugural season with the Rockies in 2016 was nothing short of horrendous, but a respectable 2017 somewhat offset these struggles, as Parra rebounded to hit .309, along with receiving a nomination for a Gold Glove Award in left field.

Around Baseball

Report: Yu Darvish wants to return to the Dodgers | NBC Sports
In other National League West news, Yu Darvish has expressed a desire to return to the Los Angeles Dodgers. It’s easy to see the appeal of playing for the Dodgers. Coming off a 104-58 record even while playing in a tough division, the team once again looks to be the pride of the National League in 2018. For Los Angeles, however, the addition of any top starting pitcher seems far more a luxury than a necessity. With a rotation headlined by Clayton Kershaw, Rich Hill, and Alex Wood, there isn’t a clear need to add the top pitcher on the 2017-18 free agent class. Despite Darvish’s excellent regular season results after the Texas Rangers sent him to LA at the trade deadline, Dodgers fans also appear none too happy with Darvish after his disastrous outings in the 2017 World Series.

From the perspective of the Dodgers front office, the primary interest continues to be remaining below the $197 million luxury tax threshold. Prior to the offseason, MLB Trade Rumors pegged Darvish to earn a six-year, $160 million contract, a deal that would not help the Dodgers achieve their stated financial goals. Until Darvish chooses a team (and it is February so, hypothetically, it should happen any second now), the Dodgers are focusing their attempts on clearing “extraneous assets” from their payroll.

Report: MLB proposes putting a runner on second base to start the 11th inning in the All-Star Game | NBC Sports
Major League Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred remains hell-bent on establishing new “pace of play” initiatives to speed up the game. The latest suggestion is putting a runner in scoring position in extra innings. The 2018 All-Star Game will reportedly experiment with putting a runner on second base if an 11th inning is played, while the 10th innings of Spring Training games will also involve the same situation. Of course, the outcomes of Spring Training games and the All-Star Game both don’t necessarily “matter,” so those who most steadfastly oppose the initiative won’t see it impact the games that count. However, some may be wary of a “slippery slope” that will result in this rule applying universally.