There are a lot of unknowns as we near the beginning of the 2020-21 offseason. How much will the short and fan-less season affect every team’s wallet? Should the Rockies go all in on next season? Can they afford to? Can they afford not to? Does Nolan Arenado want out this offseason? If he does, should the Rockies get prospects, major leaguers or both in return?
This offseason is winding up to be perhaps the most important offseason in quite some time, a potential decade defining offseason. The moves made will determine whether the team is competitive in 2021 and therefore could determine the futures of both Arenado and Story in Colorado.
The needs of the team this offseason have yet to be officially revealed by the front office but the most obvious one is pitching. Acquiring a fifth starter and some reliable bullpen options should be the priority for the Rockies. But the Rockies don’t have a fantastic track record of free agent signings and usually aren’t big movers on the trade market. So for that reason, we should all prepare ourselves for any outcome.
DISCLAIMER: I have no idea what the right moves are or what should be done. These are just hypotheticals to emphasize the importance of what could be at stake this offseason.
If the offseason works out in 2021…
The pitching will be fixed and the offense will be consistent. The team will be good and potentially really good and compete with the Dodgers and Padres for the division/wildcard. Team morale will be at an all time high and we’ll all look back at the last two seasons and laugh.
Because the team contends in 2021, Arenado will be happy and won’t opt out or demand a trade. He’ll finish his contract and career with the Rockies and he goes down as the greatest Rockie of all time and a Hall of Famer.
Trevor Story and the Rockies would also be poised to work out an extension that also locks up Story for the rest of his career in Colorado. Ownership would see results and the value in having the best left side of an infield in baseball and dig into their pockets.
The majority of the 2020’s could then be full of competitive and contending teams headlined by both players. With the correct moves, it could be the most successful and exciting era in franchise history.
If the offseason doesn’t work out in 2021…
The pitching will still be a mess and offense would stagnate. The team will be similar to 2019 and 2020 and pay rent living underneath the Padres and Dodgers in the standings. The team’s morale will be even lower and Rockies fans will slowly tune the team out.
Because the team fails miserably in 2021, Arenado will want out by the trade deadline and the front office will have no choice but to trade him to a team of his approval before he opts out at season’s end. Rockies fans will have to wipe away their tears as Arenado makes a jumping throw to D.J. LeMahieu to give the Yankees their 28th World Series title.
Trevor Story and the Rockies could still work out an extension since the team’s budget would be more flexible with Arenado gone. But ask yourself this, after three straight losing seasons and seeing your GM push away his star player almost immediately after signing him to his extension, why would you want to? Perhaps out of pure loyalty, but that is a lot to push aside and commit to.
Depending on Story and an Arenado trade, the 2020’s could be salvageable if he remains with the club and they get a solid return on Nolan. But if both force their way out, the team could be very hard to watch and likely head for a rebuild.
This could all be an exaggeration but you can’t say either reality isn’t in the realm of possibility. The consequences and rewards of this offseason are massive. This is a career defining offseason for Jeff Bridich, the future of the Rockies is up to him.
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Thomas Harding takes questions on where the Rockies go moving forward. He mentions a possible Rockies leadership end-of-season Q&A session after the World Series. He also discusses payroll implications, the catching position and Brendon Rodgers.
Taking a look at a few players who hurt the Rockies the most in the shortened 2020 season, and no, Wil Myers is not on their list.
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