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Rockies can improve the roster on the fringes

Colorado Rockies news and analysis for Sunday, November 22, 2020

Today, we are not going to discuss Rockies trade rumors. Call it a day of rest from imagining Trevor Story or Nolan Arenado in other uniforms. Instead, let’s consider other players in Rockies uniforms.

Friday was the 40-man roster deadline and the non-tender deadline comes on Wednesday (see the offseason calendar here for more info), which means the fringes of team’s rosters are taking shape. It’s easy to dismiss this as inconsequential shuffling but considering how much the lack of depth—especially in the bullpen—hurt the Rockies the past two years, as well as the implied budget limitations, it would behoove the team to see where they can make meaningful changes on said fringes.

First, the Rockies could pick up some recently DFA’ed (D’ed-FA?) players on the cheap. Noah Yingling considers the case for picking up Hunter Renfroe (linked below) but there are a few other intriguing candidates, such as Luis Perdomo or Trevor Williams. But with DFA candidates, you're typically looking at reclamation projects. That's not to say there's no value to be found on the DFA/waiver wire market. After all, they did pick up Tyler Kinley off waivers last winter.

There’s also the non-tender deadline to consider, and this might be a far more fruitful orchard to pick in. Players are often non-tendered for a variety of reasons, but it typically comes down to simple economics: this player's contract will likely cost us more than we think he will produce for us next year. As such, it can be a great place to find useful players without breaking the bank for a top-tier free agent.

Some have wondered whether Jon Gray or David Dahl might be non-tendered, but absent ready replacements I doubt the Rockies will jettison either former first rounder considering the potential upside (which the Rockies may be guilty of focusing on to a fault, but that’s a different article). But are there players that seem likely to be non-tendered that could fill some holes for them? We’ll save that for another article after Wednesday's deadline.

It’s worth considering who these players would be supplanting on the roster. These would all be 40-man additions, in all likelihood, so think minor-league-deal-with-invite-to-spring-training types of contracts, not find-someone-to-replace-Daniel-Murphy-at-first. Players picked up here can help the bullpen or rotation depth, or possibly fit in as last guys on the roster and displace guys like Drew Butera, Chi Chi Gonzalez, Phillip Diehl, or James Pazos.

However, if the Rockies do want to make the turn toward contending beyond the first two weeks of the season next year, they'll need to make adjustments wherever possible.

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Colorado Rockies: Should they claim Hunter Renfroe off waivers from the Tampa Bay Rays? | Rox Pile

As promised, Noah discusses the viability of Renfroe coming to Denver.

Presenting a Mock Non-Tenderizing | FanGraphs

If you would like a head start on some non-tender speculation, you can comb through Eric Longenhagen's list of likely, tough call, and unlikely non-tender candidates by team. Even if you focus on just the "likely” columns, there are some intriguing names for the Rockies to consider.

Looking For A Match In A Nolan Arenado Trade | MLB Trade Rumors

Okay, look, I know I promised. But after reading this article, I don't think the market for a Nolan Arenado trade is as strong as some have led us to believe. Which makes it hard to imagine the all-world third baseman won't at least begin the season with the Rockies. So hopefully that's enough of a jolt of optimism for you.

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