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NL West players to snag with no strings attached

Colorado Rockies news and links for Sunday, February 27, 2022

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If you haven’t heard, baseball is still in a lockout, and we as fans are stuck in some kind of purgatory where we are doomed to listen to that Applebee’s country song on repeat while Dinger tries out for a hockey team. Nevertheless, sometimes a little oasis arrives in the wild wilderness of Twitter that provides a short respite from the labor negotiations and world strife, and enjoy a fun thought experiment. The Rockies have plenty of options in the stacked National League West, so let’s see what players I wouldn’t mind snagging from our opponents that could fit into the makeup of the Rockies.

Arizona Diamondbacks

Ketel Marte

The Diamondbacks don’t generally have many players anymore that I would like to see play for the Rockies, but their current centerfielder is my top choice. Ketel Marte was limited to 90 games in 2021 due to injuries, but he still slashed .318/.377/.532 with 14 home runs and 50 RBI. We can look back at his 2019 season for further evidence on impactful he can be, when he swatted 32 homers, was an All-Star, and posted an OPS of .981 in 144 games.

Marte enters his age 28 season in 2022 and has a pair of team options for 2023 and 2024 worth about $18 million combined. His versatility, and ability to play a quality outfield position while producing offensively is a no-brainer for the Rockies to pick up. He’d then give the team some time to prime their outfield prospects to take over once they decide to move on from Marte.

Honorable Mentions: Zac Gallen, Noe Ramirez

Los Angeles Dodgers

Julio Urías

The Dodgers enjoy a roster that is bursting at the seams with proven big-league talent. They have homegrown stars to go along with outside acquisitions through free agency and trades. There really isn’t a wrong answer per se, but perhaps Julio Urías fits into the Rockies' makeup a bit more than some other players. The young lefty has been a dominant force since his debut in 2016 at 19-years old with 2021 being a career year for Urías. In 32 starts, Urías won a league-leading 20 games while posting a 2.96 ERA with 195 strikeouts and 38 walks.

His efforts were overshadowed by teammates Walker Buehler and later on Max Scherzer, but Urías has been an important piece in the continued success of the Dodgers. He is still under team control for a few more years, while entering his age 25 season, so he could be a solid rotation piece to compliment the other arms the Rockies already have. A bonus benefit is that he can easily transition to a closer if needs be, as evidenced by the 2020 World Series.

Honorable Mentions: Basically anyone who can improve the team in any area you want

San Diego Padres

Fernando Tatis Jr.

The Rockies need a shortstop and there happens to be a premier, young shortstop playing in Ron Burgandy’s news market. Fernando Tatis Jr. continued to turn heads in his third season in the big leagues during 2021; earning a trip to the All-Star Game, his second Silver Slugger, and a third-place MVP finish. Tatis slashed .282/.364/.611 with a National League-leading 42 home runs to go along with 97 RBI and 25 stolen bases.

His defense could use some improvement, however, after committing 21 errors last season, but it’s important to remember that he is still 22-years old. Plus, he’s under contract through 2034, so the Rockies can have the problem solved for many years, or alienate another superstar and trade him away a few years into the contract so they can save some money. It’s the best of both worlds!

Honorable Mention: Wil Myers (Just so he can DH and stop crushing the Rockies), Blake Snell

San Francisco Giants

Brandon Belt

The designated hitter is coming to the National League, and if I’m perusing the Giants for a piece I’m taking the slugger Brandon Belt. We don’t have access to the dark magic the Giants use with their pitching staff, but we can tap into the inherent ability of Belt’s bat. During the 2021 season, Belt swatted a career-high 29 home runs while batting .274/.378/.597 and driving in 59 runs. He has also been a dominant force at Coors Field, with a .340 AVG and an OPS of 1.003, to go along with 16 homers in 77 games in Denver.

Belt would be a costly single-season addition since he accepted the Giants qualifying offer after the season, and will be making over $18 million in 2022. Thanks to the DH though, his career can find some longevity at 34 years old while getting some starts at first base, and the idea of Belt blasting dingers at Coors Field for half the season is a beautiful thought.

Honorable Mentions: Joey Bart, Logan Webb

Do you agree with my picks? What players would you select from our division opponents to add to the team with no strings attached? Share your picks in the comments below!

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MLB disapproves of players’ package offer as deadline to start regular season on time looms: Source | The Athletic ($)

For those that held out hope that MLB and the players would reach an agreement this weekend before Monday, Saturday did not do much to inspire hope. The players made a proposal that once again made some concessions to try and reach the middle, but the owners quickly rejected it, due in part to the fact that MLB wants a 14-team expanded playoffs. It’s been reported they will meet on Sunday afternoon, but the clock is ticking to make sure the season starts on time.

Improvements that could be made to Coors Field | Rox Pile

Our pal Nathaniel Sunshine over at Rox Pile delves into some improvements that should be made to Coors Field since it is one of the older stadiums in baseball. He covers obvious things like a Hall of Fame and new statues but pivots to things like a retractable dome and a truly absurd thing that I won’t spoil.

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