We’ll always have 2018. You remember those days, the days when we got to say that the Rockies’ pitching looked like it would be fine. It was hitting they needed! Pitchers? They had it covered. It was the offense that was the problem!
What a difference a year makes. Back to a lineup that mashes (although it still has its issues) and a pitching staff that barely survived. We all know the story by now, so it’s not surprising that Joe Rivera cites the bullpen as the most pressing need for the Rockies to address with an outside addition.
To be fair, the bullpen is the area where the Jeff Bridich front office has shown a willingness to spend big in free agency. To also be fair, it’s the likes of Wade Davis, Jake McGee and Bryan Shaw underachieving on big contracts that leaves the Rockies restricted in how they can now look to fix their bullpen.
Bullpens can turn around quickly, often because of internal candidates improving. The Rockies saw some of that during the second half of the season. Good value can also be found on the cheap on the free agent market, but that’s not necessarily an area that’s been a strength for Bridich. Maybe that will change this winter.
If you’re looking for the distinction between “most pressing” and “must do,” I’m afraid I can’t help other than to say that the Rockies need to actually look outside their organization to bolster their pitching staff.
Patrick Saunders points out the importance of adding a veteran starting pitcher this offseason to add stability to the rotation. This makes a lot of sense, and given the way that veterans have fallen through the cracks in recent free agent markets, it is absolutely realistic to think the Rockies could make such a move, no matter what Dick Monfort did or didn’t say about payroll additions.
Saunders mentions Jake Odorizzi and Tanner Roark as potential targets. The good news: I finally spelled Roark’s name right on the first try, which is good because, as I mentioned last week, he is seemingly going to be mentioned in every single Rockies rumors column until he finds a team.
Baseball, slow to change or show an ability to effectively implement change? You don’t say.
Curious which free agents might be available in June because of the qualifying offer system? You know, the one where teams wait to sign really good players who turned down said qualifying offers because those teams want to protect their draft picks? Here’s a first look from Dan Szymborski at players who might get a qualifying offer this offseason.