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Three free agents the Rockies should consider

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Colorado Rockies news and links for Monday, October 26, 2020

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There are still a lot of unknowns as we near the beginning of the offseason: We don’t know much about the approach the Rockies will have this offseason—We don’t know if both Trevor Story and Nolan Arenado will be around by Spring Training—We don’t know how much the Rockies are willing to spend. We do know the 2020 Rockies had holes that need to be addressed this winter. So let’s take it upon ourselves and go shopping for the Rockies.

Before we look at some players, let’s talk strategy. We’re just going to assume the Rockies core stays intact to begin the season. We’ll also assume Dick Monfort puts his big boy pants on and decides to spend a little as opposed to last year.

In my own opinion, shorter term deals would be the way to go to maintain future flexibility in case the situation flips with Story and/or Arenado at the deadline. All players discussed below are just ideas that the Rockies should at the very least check-in with and consider for the right prices in a possibly wonky market.

1. LF Michael Brantley (Age: 33, 2020: .300/.364/.476, Career: .297/.354/.440)

Brantley is as consistent a hitter as any in this year’s free agent class. The veteran would bring over a winning attitude and energy that would be a perfect fit for the Rockies who struggle with consistency and identity. He’s also a much more realistic option than say Marcell Ozuna or George Springer who will demand a near top dollar long term deal.

If the DH returns for 2021, he would be a great fit, if it doesn’t, he can still play a solid left field (worth 11 DRS in ‘19 and 5 DRS in ’20).

If the Astros choose not to extend a qualifying offer to Brantley, I’d expect a lot of teams to pursue him. But with the uncertainty of the market, if Brantley doesn’t see the type of offers he wants, the Rockies should be first in line to offer him a one year deal and a chance to boost his stats at Coors Field to re-enter free agency again next year.

2. LHP Robbie Ray (Age: 29, 2020: 2-5, 6.62 ERA, Career: 49-51, 4.26 ERA)

Although normally an above average pitcher, Ray didn’t have the contract year he wanted. He was horrible in Arizona (27 runs in 31 IP) who then shipped him off to Toronto for a flier on Travis Bergen. Because of that and the lost revenue from this strange year, he’s someone who might not get the type of money he was hoping for. Once again, the Rockies should be on alert for this and see if they can lure him in on a short term deal to try again next year when things could be more normal.

A starting rotation of Germán Márquez, Antonio Senzatela, Kyle Freeland, an improved Jon Gray and Ray would demand some respect in the NL West. It would also put less strain and dependence on the bullpen.

Admittedly, you might ask, why would a pitcher who has a career Coors Field Opp BA of .314 go there to raise his value when he could sign to a team with a friendlier ballpark?

Great question. I really don’t know. That’s an issue that could probably only be fixed with money.

3. LHP Sean Doolittle (Age: 34, 2020: 0-2, 5.87 ERA in 7.2 IP, Career: 3.07 ERA, 111 SV)

Doolittle is coming off of an injury ridden year as he dealt with right knee and right oblique issues. The issues along with his age might affect his value and could open an opportunity for the Rockies to add a veteran leader to a mostly young bullpen.

He shouldn’t be the only addition to the 2021 bullpen but a late innings option like Doolittle would help stabilize roles for everyone else to settle into. Another lefty in the pen is also badly needed to take advantage of certain matchups when they arise. Imagine turning over an eighth inning 5-3 lead on the Dodgers and having Scott Oberg, Daniel Bard and Sean Doolittle to choose from. It’s still terrifying but that’s still a massive upgrade over 2020.

Doolittle is also an outspoken leader in the clubhouse, an energizer. A personality the team could lean on in tense times and help rally fans online, just check out his Twitter. His positive energy would make the biggest impact on the team’s identity and character.

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Patrick Saunders gives a close look at the struggles of 2016 first round pick Riley Pint. Includes comments from assistant general manager of development Zach Wilson, who updates everyone on Pint’s development and progress. Pint, who has dealt with control issues, becomes Rule 5 draft eligible this offseason, so a decision will need to be made about protecting him.

Why the Colorado Rockies won’t be trading Nolan Arenado to the St. Louis Cardinals anytime soon | Roxpile

An overview of a recent opinion from The Athletic’s Cardinals beat writer Mark Saxon who explains the financial situation for St. Louis and it’s diminishing effect on the chances of acquiring Arenado (subscription required for Mark Saxon’s story).

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