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A new catcher could be on the way

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Colorado Rockies news and links for Friday, November 15, 2019

Who might the Rockies add to the catching corps? | MLB.com
Wolters is profiled here in much the same way as PR’s Ranking the Rockies article. As I noted in that piece, the Rockies were happy with Wolters’ development and still see him as their starting catcher. But with basically no Major League depth behind him, the Rockies’ GM Jeff Bridich has stated that the team is looking to bolster the position.

Yasmani Grandal’s name is mentioned here, of course—and, just as expectedly, this notion is immediately squelched due to the Rockies’ payroll constraints. They do have a few other options to consider, though.

Russell Martin is one interesting idea. At 37, he isn’t going to do the lineup any favors, but as a defense- and framing-first catcher (which the Rockies prefer), he could be a good mentor for the Rockies’ young starting rotation and for Wolters, who is still honing his craft. Travis d’Arnaud is a more productive—and more expensive—option that the Rockies’ will probably look into as well.

Jon Gray drawing trade interest | MLB Trade Rumors
It’s completely understandable that Major League teams would inquire about a flame-throwing starter coming off of a stellar year (at altitude) who is under team control for two years. Gray is also cheap for a pitcher with his ceiling.

The argument for why the Rockies would want to get rid of their best pitcher from 2019 is far less compelling. Gray would not help the salary situation much, as he’s estimated to make just $5.6MM in 2020. The Rockies also have a major lack of depth in the starting rotation, which is also their biggest need. The only reason a Gray trade would make any sense is if the Rockies do a ground-up rebuild, in which case Arenado would be the first to go.

Brewers Rumors: Could Rockies’ RHP Jon Gray be a trade target? | Reviewing the Brew
No.

Will Rockies make Gray available this winter? | MLB.com
No. The answer is no, MLB. Go away!

This is the state of the Rockies farm system | MLB.com
And this is why. Jon Gray, Kyle Freeland, German Marquez, or probably any other warm body capable of throwing a fastball over 90 MPH is not going to be traded. Jonathan Mayo summarizes the bleak farm situation this way: “While the Rockies have a lot of homegrown players on the 25-man roster, there isn’t a ton of elite-level talent on the way. There are only two players currently in the Top 100.”

The highest ranked pitcher in the system, Ryan Rolison (No. 84) is in high single-A. He won’t be strolling to the Coors Field mound anytime soon. The Rockies’ most intriguing pitching talent, Riley Pint, hasn’t been able to corral his 100-MPH fastball yet (and maybe never will). Ben Bowden, the next highest pitcher on the list, is a reliever, and he struggled in Albquerque last season.

So yeah, Gray and the rest of the Rockies’ young starters probably need to stay where they are.

The Worst Teams in Baseball History | FanGraphs
Surprisingly, the Rockies are not well represented in the All-Worst Club compiled by FanGraphs. Of note, though, is the Rockies’ least successful team of all time, at least statistically. According to the data, the 1999 squad earns the distinction as the “Worst Rockies Team Ever.” I suppose it’s hard to argue with the data, but if the question was, “Who is the most disappointing Rockies’ team of all time?” I think the 2019 Rockies might have had a beer for us to hold.