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Rockies December preview

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Colorado Rockies news and links for Monday, November 30, 2020

Thanksgiving has come and gone and November is about to end. With it goes all those exciting minor league moves the Rockies made.

BUT December is nearly here and with a new month comes more opportunity to sign more fringe players to minor league contracts. Maybe if we’re lucky we’ll get a waiver claim. Ah, the sweet pace of the MLB offseason.

Nevertheless, December is usually the busiest offseason month, highlighted by the Winter Meetings. For the Rockies, it’s the month when successful fan favorites Daniel Murphy and Ian Desmond were signed. We could learn a lot more about the direction of the Rockies in this coming month by the types of moves they make or don’t make. Let’s briefly overview the things going on in December.

Non-tender deadline (December 2)

The month really kicks off on Wednesday with the deadline to tender a contract to pre-arbitration and arbitration eligible players. Teams only need to offer players a contract to keep them, any players not offered a contract will become free agents. With teams around the league on tight budgets, it’s possible we’ll see a lot of players non-tendered. Possible Rockies non-tender candidates include RHP Chi-Chi González and catcher Tony Wolters, among others. And while there are no indications that such a move would be likely, it would be big news if the Rox were to non-tender a better-known player like David Dahl or Jon Gray. Last year, the Rockies non-tendered RHP Wes Parsons.

Winter Meetings (December 6-10)

The Winter Meetings are traditionally the place where a lot of talks between teams and free agents go down. It’s the time when the MLB offseason picks up and rumors begin flying left and right. But this year, it could be different (as all things are in 2020). The 2020 Winter Meetings are being held virtually so we won’t have reporters, agents and team executives all chatting each other up and trading rumors in hotel lobbies. Teams are also expected to be financially conservative this offseason, so it’s not clear how exciting the meetings will be.

Historically, GM Jeff Bridich has made some moves during the meetings, most notably signing Ian Desmond to play first base in 2016. Bridich has also laid groundwork for deals done a week or two later, like Daniel Murphy in 2018. Last year Bridich made no moves during or around the meetings but did extend reliever Scott Oberg.

Rule 5 Draft (December 10)

The Rule 5 draft gives eligible prospects an opportunity to reach the major league level with other clubs. It’s held on the final day of the Winter Meetings and any player taken in the major league portion of the draft must remain on the major league club for the duration of the 2021 season or be offered back to their original club.

Historically, Jeff Bridich has been more active in the minor league phase of the draft. Last year, they selected two minor league pitchers — Nate Griep and Michael Peterson.

The Rockies could also see some prospects taken from their system. Joelle Milholm discussed some of the prospects that have become eligible here and I went over who the Rockies protected last week here.

Looking ahead

It seems like the entire league is still unsure what direction the Rockies want to go, but we might learn a lot about how Bridich and management view the team based on moves made and not made this month. Rumors run wild in December, and anywhere we see the Rockies name come up will tell a lot about the direction and financial situation of the club.

Or the Rockies do nearly nothing like last year, which is probably what happens. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

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Colorado Rockies: What if they were in the Denver Broncos’ situation? | Rox Pile

A fun hypothetical, after Sunday’s game where the Denver Broncos had to start their practice squad player, Kendall Hinton at quarterback. This was after all of their active quarterbacks were ineligible due to COVID-19 contact tracing. Kevin Henry theorizes what the Rockies would do if all of their pitchers suddenly became ineligible.

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