The players want to play. The fans want to watch. Nolan Arenado tells The Denver Post, “We don’t want to waste any more days.”
“It’s very obvious what’s going on and I hope fans are paying attention,” Arenado told The Denver Post. “We want to play and are ready to go. We believe in playing as many games as possible.”
In the Sunday Rockpile (6/13), Adam Peterson detailed an in-depth look at the state of baseball narratives in a negotiation standstill. The standstill remains, but a “stunning pivot” by MLB commissioner Rob Manfred has now flipped the narrative upside down. Last week, Manfred told MLB Network, “We’re going to play baseball in 2020, 100 percent.” This week, he told ESPN, “I’m not confident.”
Patrick Saunders further outlines the negotiation specifics in this Denver Post link. He addresses the ‘bad faith’ with which both sides feel the opposing side is acting. The players feel the bad faith is coming from owners refusing to pay them an appropriate salary for their services; the owners feel it comes from the MLBPA intending to file a grievance claiming for more money after announcing a would-be schedule.
Arenado sums it all up: “You shorten the season, you don’t get the greatness that the world deserves to see.”
Another catcher has joined the Rockies organization: the University of South Carolina Aiken’s Luke Leisenring.
The 20-year-old backstop attended Ralston Valley High School in Arvada, Colorado. He played as a freshman at Arizona State University, where he slashed .250/.345/.250 in 20 games. He transferred to Division II USC Aiken as a sophomore, posting a .297/.453/.488 slash over 50 contests. He managed to play in 20 games during a shortened 2020 season, where his slash improved on all accounts: .348/.495/.623.
USC Aiken head coach Kenny Thomas speaks highly of his catcher: “I know some teams had him as high as the sixth round.” Leisenring signed for way below the sixth round slot value and could be a steal for what he signed for. Any undrafted free agent in 2020 can sign for a max of $20,000.
University of Arkansas catcher Casey Opitz (from Heritage High School in Littleton) reportedly received draft offers, but “didn’t feel that it was the right fit this year.” He holds the same leverage as Leisenring would for 2020—a ‘corona junior’—but by returning to college, Opitz puts himself in a position to receive a lot more money than what Leisenring signed for.
Baseball America is currently running a tracker for all undrafted free agents. Some organizations have signed nine or more players, like the Cubs and Red Sox. Leisenring is currently the only player listed for the Rockies.
Colorado passed on Ohio State catcher Dillon Dingler with their second draft selection, instead acquiring high school catcher Drew Romo.
“Blomgren hit .360 throughout the Wolverines run in Omaha [in 2019], but most noticeably grabbed teams eyes with his defensive skills.” If his defense is more notable than a .360 average, Jack Blomgren is quite the player. “Scouts say Blomgren can play shortstop at the next level, but has the athleticism to become a utility infielder as well.”
Blomgren’s slot value is $394,300. “He says he will travel to Denver in a couple weeks and a decision [on signing] will likely follow.”
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