The 2022 offseason has been unlike any other. This could be true even if you disregarded all of the player movement by the Colorado Rockies since the 2021 finale: positions in the front office have seen seismic turnover, and with it comes a microscope of investigation for what it all means.
A year ago, we started the season with Jeff Bridich at the helm. However, Bridich resigned early in 2021 which paved the way for a completely revamped front office.
The big changes
Bill Schmidt was named interim general manager (and was later given the role permanently). He joined the club in 1999 as the director of the scouting department and was elevated to vice president of scouting in January 2007. Even though Bill Schmidt was an internal hire, he brings some cautious optimism. Key word: cautious.
Greg Feasel was named as the new team president, a position last held by Keli McGregor before his passing in 2010. It has remained vacant since. So far we don’t know how much influence Feasel has had on the baseball operations side, but only time will tell.
Other notable changes
There have also been some other notable front office changes. During the season, assistant GMs Jon Weil and Zach Wilson both resigned after Schmidt was named interim GM. After the departure of Wilson, Chris Forbes was promoted to farm director.
In September, Scott Van Lenten was hired as club’s director of research and development, and was tasked with revamping the entire analytics department. After only six months, though, he was fired after some “major disagreements.”
The changes don’t end there.
Sterling Monfort was promoted to professional director of scouting. Former manager and old friend Clint Hurdle rejoined the club as a special assistant and Emily Glass was hired to be a scouting operations administrator. There have also been a large number of other additions and changes, though it’s unknown if all of them will remain after Van Lenten’s departure.
What does this mean going forward
The 2021 season ended with Schmidt still in the interim GM role; in October he was officially named as the new General Manager. Despite that change, as 2021 wrapped up, there was a lot of disappointment — Jon Gray didn’t sign a new contract despite going on the record saying he wanted to stay in Colorado and Trevor Story rejected a qualifying offer, all but guaranteeing his departure. There were few things that gave hope for the future.
And then we faced the lockout: no transactions (aside from some minor league deals) and no idea what would happen to start the new season. 2022 seemed bleak.
*Cue the theatrical music*
As soon as the lockout ended, things started moving. Even with the loss of Gray to the Rangers and Story to the Red Sox, Schmidt started making moves and opening the club’s wallet. The extension of infielder Ryan McMahon, the Tapia-Grichuk trade and the massive signing of Kris Bryant really turned that bleak feeling into cautious optimism.
So far Bill Schmidt has shown that he is willing to make a splash with a big signing and notable trade in an effort at least try to repair the disconnect with the fans and maybe create a better on-field product.
Will those efforts work? That is still to be seen.