Imagine this: Bill Schmidt and Dick Monfort waiting outside the free agent marketplace, elbows out and ready to rush through the doors, knocking other teams out of the way to hunt down deals to stock their carts with talent. Focused only on winning and pleasing fans, they spend with reckless abandon. It would be a baseball Black Friday of epic proportions.
Can you picture it?
With the Rockies yet to make any free agent signings or trades and a lockout approaching, an outlandish Black Friday spending spree from a hungry and aggressive Colorado Rockies front office to add power to the offense, a shortstop to replace Trevor Story, actual relief in the bullpen, and a starting pitcher that either is or is not named Jon Gray doesn’t seem likely.
As things stand, the owners seem to be set on locking out the players if MLB and the MLB Players Association can’t come to an agreement on a new collective bargaining agreement before the current one expires on 10:59 p.m. MST on Dec. 1. However, on Tuesday, the league and the players did agree to “move this year’s deadline for teams to tender contracts to arbitration-eligible players up from December 2 to November 30” at 6 p.m. MST. Once the CBA expires, then transactions will be frozen until a new one is agreed upon. This could take weeks, months, or be season-delaying.
With 11 pre-arbitration players (Austin Gomber, Sam Hilliard, Peter Lambert, Brendan Rodgers, Yonathan Daza, Dom Nuñez, Lucas Gilbreath, Connor Joe, Jordan Sheffield, Alan Trejo, and Ben Bowden) and eight arbitration-eligible players (Kyle Freeland, Daniel Bard, Ryan McMahon, Raimel Tapia, Carlos Estévez, Robert Stephenson, Garrett Hampson, and Tyler Kinley), the Rockies have choices and deals to offer so that teams can have a little more in place before moves are halted and more players can know where they are playing in 2021.
In other words, there will be some Rockies moves by the end of the month, but they will more be along the lines of an annual grocery trip rather than a door-buster Black Friday vibe.
So, what about Rockies fans? Some fans might be looking for Black Friday deals and considering ticket packages for 2021. Others might like to see the Rockies make some additions and do some more spending before they send them any dollars. If anyone is looking for symbolic Rockies merchandise for Black Friday, here are a few items you might want to check out:
Fit for a car or standard outlet, this accessory can provide you with power that the Rockies offense is sorely missing for a reasonable $23.99 instead of the $100-plus-million, multiyear contract it would take to get a big bat like Kris Bryant, Nick Castellanos, or Kyle Schwarber.
For only $79.99, you can imagine you are the Rockies front office with this purchase. You start with a structurally sound tower, say around 2017, and then methodically start taking out pieces, while watching your opponents do the same, to deplete the roster. Eventually, with all the key pieces gone, the tower (in this metaphor the team) collapses to the ground. You don’t have to worry though because Rockies fans, and a large number of opposing teams’ fans, will still pay money to come and see the pile on the ground.
3. Anything Nolan Arenado: There are so many horrible options. From $13.99 women’s jersey shirts to a can cooler or a terrifying two-foot-tall, $19.99 “plush studd,” aka stuffed doll, that looks nothing like Arenado, but could remind you to feel terrible forever. When ordering, be sure to ask if your purchase can go straight to St. Louis as part of the $50 million the Rockies owe for the Cardinals troubles of taking that guy off our hands.
4. Larry Walker Hall of Fame merch: The National Baseball Hall of Fame online store is stocked with odd trinkets to celebrate Walker’s induction including baseball cards, shirts, replica plaques, pins, patches, coins, shot glasses, socks, pennants, and more. Let’s face it: Walker was the highlight of the 2020 season when he was elected and 2021 season when he finally was inducted. If you need your Rockies fix, this is the direction you should go. I went for the black T-shirt with Larry’s No. 33 on the front and his stats on the back.
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Nick Groke identifies three strengths and three weaknesses for the Rockies entering the final days before a likely lockout. Pitching highlights the advantages for the Rockies, while the weaknesses revolve around having no perceived sense of urgency, still getting the front office ducks in a row, and unknown finances. Much of the Rockies current situation, which could be frozen come Dec. 2, hinges on Jon Gray’s status.
Unsurprisingly, there are other teams interested in now free agent Jon Gray, namely the Texas Rangers, who MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand. Texas is reported to have “legitimate interest” in Gray and has already met with fellow free agent Trevor Story.
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