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Meanwhile, the Rockies did not trade for Mookie Betts

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Rockies news and links for Wednesday, February 5, 2020

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Red Sox trading Betts, Price to Dodgers (report) | MLB.com

In case you missed it, last night the Dodgers decided to do some things. Here’s the breakdown:

  • Dodgers get: Brusdar Graterol
  • Twins get: Kenta Maeda

Immediately followed by:

  • Dodgers get: Mookie Betts, David Price, money
  • Red Sox get: Alex Verdugo, Brusdar Graterol

And then in a separate transaction:

  • Dodgers get: Luis Rengifo, probably others
  • Angels get: Joc Pederson, Andy Pages, maybe others

Here’s what I think:

  • Mookie Betts is really good, and trading him to get under the luxury tax threshold is stupid.
  • Verdugo means executioner, which is a really awesome last name.
  • I don’t like the Dodgers or the Red Sox.

They shook the bushes for help, but the Rockies will go into 2020 with another plan at catcher | The Athletic ($)

Apparently there are backup catchers in the bushes.

Should we call somebody about this? It seems like a real problem.

I guess no one has told the Rockies about these bush-dwelling catchers, since the Rockies are heading into the 2020 season with exactly one (1) catcher. Here’s a rundown of the current catcher situation:

Tony Wolters

Wolters will be the Rockies’ starting catcher. He throws out a lot of runners — 23 last year, behind only J.T. Realmuto and Yasmani Grandal, and his success rate was actually higher than Grandal’s. He also manages his pitchers pretty well, which is not an easy task given many of them are young and/or inexperienced, and many of them often pitch at Coors. Sometimes he also gets hits.

Drew Butera

A lot of fans are expecting Butera to be the backup catcher. He’s 36 and hit .163 with the Rockies last year (and .300 at Triple-A). His dad was a Major League catcher, so there’s that.

Elias Díaz

Díaz was the Pirates’ primary catcher last year, but then he got the stomach flu or something. Defensively, he is not good, and the Pirates didn’t trust him with Chris Archer or Jameson Taillon. So he’s primarily an offensive catcher, except that he didn’t hit well last year either.

Dom Nuñez

Nuñez hit really well at Albuquerque last year, and he has lots and lots of options. So the Rockies can ship him back and forth all year, which I’m sure will be great for him and his relationships with the pitchers.

Chris Rabago

Rabago split time between Double-A and Triple-A last year, hitting .196 with an OPS of .600. He’s a year older than Nuñez but probably a year behind him, so it seems unlikely Rabago will win the backup job.

Why March’s six games are critical for the Colorado Rockies | Rox Pile

The Rockies open the season in San Diego before playing a series in LA. I’m guessing these six games will be critical in reminding us that the Rockies are definitely not as good as the Dodgers and likely not as good as the Padres.

David Dahl is healthy and ready to lead the Rockies in 2020 | Mile High Sports

David Dahl plans to be more of a vocal leader in the clubhouse this year, which is good because “one reason the Rockies slipped in 2019 was because of a lack of vocal leadership within the clubhouse.”

So that’s why the Rockies were so bad last year: They didn’t have enough leadership! I mean, sure, Nolan Arenado, Charlie Blackmon and Trevor Story are all leaders. They’re just not vocal leaders.

Once liabilities, these fielders improved the most | MLB.com

This list includes Javier Báez (T-3), Paul DeJong (T-3) and Trevor Story (6), so I feel like rather than Most Improved Defensive Players, it could maybe be called Players We Always Knew Were Good But Now They Have The Numbers To Back It Up or Players Who Stopped Trying Too Hard or Players Who Were Good And Are Now Older And Thus More Comfortable.

Of course, the list also includes Bryce Harper (T-7), Dee Gordon (T-9) and Juan Soto (T-9), so I’m not entirely sure what to make of that.

MLB win totals: How we see the 2020 season playing out | USA Today

These are all pretty safe predictions. The Yankees and Dodgers will be good. Baltimore and Detroit will be bad. Etc.

The only place their predictions clearly go wrong is that they have the Rockies at 74 wins, when everyone knows the Rockies will win 94 games this year.

Here are all 30 Opening Day closers, probably | MLB.com

It’s Wade Davis’ job to lose, apparently.

We’ll see how that plays.