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What’s under the tree for Rockies fans?

Colorado Rockies news and links for Saturday, December 25, 2021

As Rockies fans who celebrate Christmas wake up this morning and groggily make their way to the living room in their pajama pants and favorite purple-pinstripes jersey, here’s a few things they find wrapped-up with too much tape and a shiny purple bow:

A full, healthy season in 2022 for Brendan Rodgers.

2021 was the first productive stint in the big leagues for Rodgers. He produced a 102 OPS+ and 1.4 fWAR for Colorado while primarily holding down second base. He amassed those totals in 102 games, however, missing significant time at the start of the season due to a hamstring injury suffered in spring training.

Rodgers has played just 134 games in three major league seasons so far. 2021 proved that Rodgers’ talent translates to the game’s highest level. To continue making progress on fulfilling his career potential, he needs to build off that success and avoid any further major setbacks next season.

Trevor Story getting paid on the open market.

Over six seasons with Colorado, Story amassed a 26.7 fWAR, put up an .863 OPS, hit 158 home runs and stole 100 bases while providing stability at shortstop after the departure of Troy Tulowitzki. Story is one of the best players in franchise history and deserves to be remembered as such.

That said, he also deserves to play somewhere else. If the Rockies had been willing to spend the money and fill the roster necessary to keep Story, it would have happened before he ever reached the open market. Now, Story and Carlos Correa are the two elite shortstops remaining from an impressive free agent class at the position and there are enough suitors available for each to find a competitive, well-paying organization for their talents.

After the body of work Story put together in Colorado, we should all hope his next contract is the mega-deal he deserves.

Progress on extensions for Kyle Freeland and Ryan McMahon.

As the talent pool of Colorado’s 2017 and 2018 playoff teams continues to erode each season, Freeland and McMahon get closer and closer to potentially being added to the list.

Both are set to hit free agency in 2024, so there is probably no urgency - from the perspective of the front office or the player - to get a deal finalized. But now is the time to start discussing it, at least. The more time that passes with no substantial talks in place, the more likely players are to test free agency. Jon Gray was a clear lesson in that.

Labor peace

The “millionaires vs billionaires” argument is the cliché, every-person perspective towards CBA negotiations. It is far more nuanced than that and vital towards the overall health of the multi-billion industry that is a professional sports league. But that doesn’t mean the fans don’t always lose in these strifes.

Any time an industry has a stall in the production of the product, it is the consumer who is directly affected. As the two sides play tug-of-war over the economics of the business, the sport is what goes on hiatus. The sport is the reason we’re all here and all care. The faster sustainable terms can be found between the league and the players, the faster we can all get back to baseball.

An end to blackout restrictions

We’re all tired of it; we really are. From local-market subscription exclusions, to Sunday Night Baseball, to YouTube streams and cable-network playoff exclusives, Major League Baseball has chopped-up and segmented the ability to watch a game to an exhausting degree.

There is revenue generated from these deals, and most teams rely heavily on the broadcast revenue of those deals for their bottom-line. We get that, but we are also united in our hatred for how far it’s gone.

For years the league has talked about “growing the game” from one side of their mouth while figuring out ways to make it harder to watch it from the other. The short-term gains of excessive exclusive broadcasting rights ultimately hurts the ability for more casual fans to fall in love with the game while aiming to take more and more from those that already have. This contradiction is every-day life for baseball fans during a season and needs to be wrangled back to improve the quality of life for the league, the sport and it’s fans.

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Happy holidays to everyone in the Purple Row community and baseball fans everywhere.

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