While the question often arose of whether or not Nolan Arenado really wanted to remain in Denver, as he spoke about the contract he signed, voice breaking, he showed that he really does want to play as a Rockie. It also relieves some of the pressure of trying to work out a deal as the season is ongoing. When we compare this contract to the Manny Machado and Bryce Harper deals, the Rockies seem to have come out on top. Machado will play at third for the Padres. This is his more comfortable spot, but Arenado is arguably the best third baseman playing now, and he might even be the best ever. He’s got a 2.5 dWAR/162 games, and that’s only behind Lee Tannehill. Admittedly, he’s played in fewer games than many players, but he’s shown he’s on track to achieve these numbers long term. Machado has a higher career offensive WAR, but Arenado consistently hits more home runs and gets more RBIs. Arenado was able to get his big contract due to a relatively inexpensive, young pitching staff. Overall, the contract with Arenado will likely have the best outcome.
The Rockies starting rotation was phenomenal in the 2018 season. The one-two punch of Kyle Freeland and German Marquez led to great success on the mound. While some regression is likely in these two, they can hopefully continue to dominate in 2019. The Rockies would like to see some improvement out of Tyler Anderson and Jon Gray, both of whom had some troubles last year. Antonio Senzatela could become a reliable choice, and prospect Peter Lambert might see some playing time as well. Chad Bettis could start a few times but is more likely to serve as a reliever. The question here is how the Rockies’ rotation can stand up to a division rival’s: the Dodgers. They’ve got Walker Buehler, who’s their go-to ace. Clayton Kershaw has been showing some regression, but he’s signed a three-year contract. As long as he can stay healthy, he’ll likely through that breaking ball as long as he can. Another health question arises with ae Hyun-Jin Ryu, who has suffered many injuries recently. Rich Hill and Kenta Maeda are a bit iffy, and we could end up seeing Ross Stripling and Julio Urias a good bit. The Dodgers might have a slight edge, mainly with the experience factor, but the young Rockies rotation could put up a strong fight.
Ian Desmond had such high hopes attached to his contract He had the experience and numbers that the Rockies needed. However, as we know, he hasn’t contributed very much overall. If the Rockies are hoping to reach the playoffs for the third consecutive time, Desmond’s going to need to perform more. As a shortstop for the Nationals, he developed into a powerful hitter. Then he signed a deal with the Rangers, where he played in the outfield. This worked out, as he found more success out there. Then the Rockies wanted to try him out at first base. He wasn’t great, but he still continued to get the nod over Ryan McMahon. Maybe he can find success in the outfield for the Rockies, but he really needs to stop hitting so many ground balls. He’ll have to figure out a new approach to start thriving at Coors Field.
Not to be outdone, Bryce Harper has signed the largest deal in baseball history, $330 million for 13 years. The deal with the Phillies is still subject to a physical, but it looks like this one will go through.
Spring Training results
The Rockies tied with the Dodgers 7-7 in Thursday’s spring training game. Chad Bettis gave up three hits but got five groundouts. The bats were hot, with David Dahl and Brendan Rodgers each hitting home runs.