Offseason In Review: Colorado Rockies

The Rockies are next in our Offseason In Review series.

Major League/International Signings

Notable Minor League Signings


Trades and Claims

Notable Losses


Rockies GM Dan O'Dowd is all about locking up his own players, despite mixed results.  The initial contracts for Troy Tulowitzki and Ubaldo Jimenez were masterstrokes, while extra years and dollars guaranteed to Huston Street, Chris Iannetta, and Aaron Cook have been regrettable.  Six Rockies were extended this winter, headlined by Tulowitzki and Carlos Gonzalez.

The Tulo and CarGo extensions were very different situations, and I analyzed them here and here.  Both players were already under control through 2014, so O'Dowd is planning four years into the future with these deals.  He's gambled $167MM on nine player seasons for the pair from the year 2015 forward.  Whether these players age well is anyone's guess, but the contracts carry big risk and big potential reward.  It's not often we see a GM looking so far ahead.

The Rockies established cost certainty with the extensions for arbitration eligible pitchers Lindstrom and Hammel, though the safe move would have been going year-to-year.  The Rockies bought out a couple of free agent years at reasonable rates for Betancourt and Belisle after deciding not to offer a third year to free agent Matt Guerrier.    


The Rockies made a pair of free agent commitments, retaining De La Rosa (pictured) and bringing in Wigginton.  On one hand, the De La Rosa contract was a win in that the Rockies didn't have to commit to a fourth year for a guy who's never topped 185 innings and posts ugly walk rates.  On the other, player options often ensure that the player re-enters the free agent market if he has a strong final season and stays put if he's not worth his option price.  I felt that the Rockies overpaid for Wigginton's versatility in an offseason where Eric Hinske signed for one year and $1.35MM.

On the trade front, I love the acquistion of Paulino for Barmes.  Barmes seemed headed for a non-tender, while Paulino's big strikeout rate and velocity qualify him as a sleeper.  The Rockies acquired a non-tender candidate of their own in Lopez, though $3.6MM isn't a bad gamble.  The price to acquire Lindstrom was reasonable as well.    

The 2011 Rockies look like an improved team, if De La Rosa, Hammel, and Jhoulys Chacin are able to provide full seasons in support of Jimenez.  Even if not, the bullpen looks deeper given the addition of Lindstrom and assuming good health for Street.  But this offseason was about much more than 2011, as O'Dowd invested heavily in the futures of Tulowitzki and Gonzalez.

Photo courtesy of Icon SMI.

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5 Comments on "Offseason In Review: Colorado Rockies"

4 years 5 months ago

Tulo to the Redsox for Lowrie, and a AA prospect. this giants fan can only hope.

4 years 5 months ago

Baseball Prospectus picked the Rox to place 3rd with 84 wins.

4 years 5 months ago

Overall I don’t see them as an improved team from 2010. Wigginton may help make up for the decline of Helton, and Paulino the loss of Beimel, but they’ve also lost Mora and Olivo who were relatively productive at their respective positions.

Their pitching staff is still highly suspect. The starting 4 behind Jimenez averaged 140 IP each last season, and aside from Chacin their numbers were fairly mediocre.

Tulo and CarGo are incredible players but I have a hard time seeing CarGo matching his 2010 numbers in his sophomore season (though only because his numbers in 2010 were so ridiculously good).

4 years 5 months ago

Olivo had a horrible 2nd half and I see Wiggington as an improvement over Mora who he’s pretty much replacing.

4 years 5 months ago

Cargo was in his “sophomore” season last year, 2011 will be his third year if one doesn’t count his play time with Oakland. Wouldn’t he have feasibly won the NL ROY had last year been his rookie season?