Rockies Insider: A window into the offseason routines of outfielders Noel Cuevas, Raimel Tapia and David Dahl | The Denver Post ($)
David Dahl, Noel Cuevas and Raimel Tapia make up a trio of talented, young Colorado Rockies outfielders that are documenting their offseason workouts on Instagram. Dahl appears set to be a starting outfielder for the Rox in 2019 and largely just needs to remain healthy down the stretch. Tapia and Cuevas have more to prove and their spots on the roster are not guaranteed. Tapia is out of options heading into the season, so will need to be designated for assignment if he does not make the Opening Day roster. Cuevas has options but struggled in significantly more playing time than Tapia in 2018. Cuevas is a right-handed hitter and the Rockies hoped he would provide some sparks against the lefty-heavy starting rotations of the National League West, but he only delivered a 39 wRC+ against southpaws. All three outfielders appear to be putting in the perspiration necessary to come prepared for 2019! Kyle Newman and Jeff Bailey of The Denver Post provide the details.
Colorado Rockies: An uncertain future lying ahead | Rox Pile
The Rockies certainly have some uncertainties to work through in the near future, as Rox Pile’s Tyson Crocker writes. Chief among them is Nolan Arenado’s likely upcoming arbitration hearing to determine his salary in his final year before free agency. Understandably, a hearing could sour Arenado’s relationship with the front office, although he insisted on Tuesday that he and the team are maintaining an excellent relationship.
Another uncertainty is the bullpen. With Adam Ottavino joining the New York Yankees, the Rockies are losing their most valuable 2018 reliever. It’s going to be up to Scott Oberg to be just as good as he was to finish last season and for Bryan Shaw, Jake McGee and/or Mike Dunn to have bounce-back campaigns.
On the infield, the departure of DJ LeMahieu (also to the Yankees) opens up the opportunity for Ryan McMahon and Garrett Hampson to seize an opportunity, though it may be hard to envision LeMahieu’s Gold Glove defense being replicated. Brendan Rodgers could also figure into the second base mix, though the chances of him breaking camp out of spring training remain relatively low.
Diamondbacks sign Greg Holland to one-year deal, per report | MLB Daily Dish
Old friend Greg Holland signed a one-year, $3.5 million contract with the division-rival Arizona Diamondbacks on Wednesday, as Patrick Karraker of MLB Daily Dish relays. At this time last offseason, Holland was still unemployed after rejecting his player option, qualifying offer and three-year, $52 million contract offer from the Rockies. Holland ended up signing a one-year deal with the St. Louis Cardinals for less than even the player option’s worth and the Rockies signed Wade Davis to be their closer. Holland has immense struggles with the Redbirds and was released in August. Shortly after, Holland caught on with the Washington Nationals and had enough success to secure a big league deal this offseason.
The unwritten rules of saying ‘we’ when referring to a sports team | SB Nation MLB
I can’t believe we didn’t make an offer for Ottavino!
Hold on just a second…
What’s with all this “we” talk? At the SB Nation main site, Grant Brisbee argues that fans should not say “we” when referring to their favorite team, as hard as it may be to stop ourselves from time to time.
Also, this is one of Brisbee’s final articles for SB Nation as he has joined on with The Athletic. If you’re still on the fence about a subscription, perhaps Brisbee joining the team will convince you. And maybe the fact that you can get 40-percent off a subscription by signing up at this link will convince you if that didn’t.
Rosenthal: Inside the frayed relations that could have MLB owners and players ‘walking off a cliff together’ | The Athletic ($)
According to Ken Rosenthal, also of The Athletic, the chance of a work stoppage in Major League Baseball is “palpable.” There is a growing unrest among players over teams seemingly lacking interest in spending money and some are wondering about the possibility that owners are colluding to depress salaries. It is nearly three years until baseball’s Collective Bargaining Agreement expires and there will be plenty to discuss before the new one is signed off on.
What would a MLB salary cap look like? | Bleed Cubbie Blue
The luxury tax threshold is being treated by MLB teams as sort of a soft salary cap. The Nationals and the Boston Red Sox were the only two teams to exceed it for the 2018 season. Al Yellon of Bleed Cubbie Blue proposes that baseball join the other major North American sports in installing a salary cap, along with a salary floor to encourage teams that aren’t spending money to do so. As with the NBA, there could potentially be “exceptions” to the cap factored into the new CBA.
Starting catchers are disappearing | Beyond the Box Score
The Rockies took an interesting approach to their catching situation in 2018, at times carrying three backstops on the roster at the same time. The lion’s share of the duties went to Chris Iannetta and Tony Wolters, while Tom Murphy and non-waiver trade deadline addition Drew Butera also factored into the mix. What we saw from the Rockies may become more commonplace leaguewide. While we still have the cream of the crop players like Buster Posey, Yadier Molina, J.T. Realmuto and Salvador Pérez, many teams are beginning to employ timeshares rather than strict starter and backup roles for catchers. Daniel R. Epstein of Beyond the Box Score details the causes.
How Jack Labosky Rolls | Fish Stripes
With a regular season monthly income of $1,100 in the minor leagues, Tampa Bay Rays prospect Jack Labosky decided to buy a school bus and, with the help of his girlfriend, transform it into an RV, complete with kitchen, bed, shower, air conditioning and heat. Aram Leighton of Fish Stripes tells the unique story of a minor leaguer doing what he can to get by.