Offseason Outlook: Colorado Rockies

The Rockies intend to add an innings-eater and a right-handed hitter this offseason, likely focusing on the trade market rather than free agency due to budgetary constraints.

Guaranteed Contracts

Contractual Options

  • Aaron Cook, unranked SP: $11MM mutual option with a $500K buyout
  • Jason Giambi, unranked 1B: $1MM mutual option

Arbitration Eligible Players (estimated salaries)

Free Agents

Rockies GM Dan O'Dowd has his work cut out for him this offseason.  The team needs an innings-eating starter, solutions at second base, third base, and left field, and a left-handed reliever.  The Rockies will require significant trading and creativity to get back on top, if payroll is to remain in the low-$80MM range.

If all four arbitration eligible players are retained, the Rockies would appear to have less than $15MM in payroll flexibility next year.  Fortunately, trade candidates abound in Street, Wigginton, Smith, Stewart, and Iannetta.  Those five players will earn about $21MM in total next year — a quarter of the team's expected payroll.  Iannetta is the least likely to be traded, as Wilin Rosario is probably not ready for full-time duty.  O'Dowd projects Stewart and Smith as potential platoon players next year.  If a full-time left fielder or third baseman is acquired, Stewart and Smith will become expendable.  Street and Smith might be the only veteran Rockies with decent trade value, so O'Dowd may have to part with prospects to improve the team.  The Rockies GM has implied that Stewart will be tendered a contract, but that may have been posturing.

200 innings is an arbitrary cutoff, but it's a level 39 pitchers reached in 2011.  None of them were Rockies.  Trade targets could include James Shields, Carl Pavano, Brett Myers, Jeremy Guthrie, Ricky Nolasco, Gio Gonzalez, and Jason Vargas.  Gavin Floyd, John Danks, Mike Pelfrey, John Lannan, and Wandy Rodriguez have at least shown an ability to take 180+ innings.  Finding that type of starter in free agency is less likely, and pitchers may still be reluctant to play in Colorado.  An August waiver claim on Rodriguez showed the Rockies are willing to assume a commitment in the three-year, $36MM range.  It seems odd the Rockies would consider trading prospects for any of the above pitchers when they had Ubaldo Jimenez set to earn $18MM over 2012-14.  Obviously, O'Dowd feels strongly about Drew Pomeranz and Alex White.  Additionally he probably felt Jimenez's stock would trend downward. 

In the Rockies' search for a right-handed bat, Michael Cuddyer seems to possess some positive traits that Aramis Ramirez does not have.  The free agent market also features left fielder Josh Willingham.  From a trade standpoint, Michael Young, Carlos Quentin, Kevin Youkilis, Mark Reynolds, and David Wright are potential matches.  It seems unlikely the Rockies will fill both third base and left field by acquiring regulars, so look for a platoon in at least one of the positions.  Ellis is a candidate to return at second base, but that position does not appear to be of primary concern to Colorado.  Similarly, left-handed relief is something the Rockies will address, but probably without making a major commitment.

The echoes from the July Jimenez trade will be felt this offseason, as O'Dowd prioritizes finding a replacement proven starter.  The longtime general manager seems prepared to add a few more major trades to his resume toward making the 2012 club a contender.


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31 Comments on "Offseason Outlook: Colorado Rockies"


Eric Wright
3 years 10 months ago

I don’t really know if they will go after Michael Young again..

theoldgrizzlybear
3 years 10 months ago

I bet they might, but it’s going to take a lot more than Eric Young Jr. and Charlie Blackmon (which was the rumored deal that the Rangers accepted before backing out at the last minute) this time around.

3 years 10 months ago

weren’t they talking about trading seth smith? I am sure the Os would give up Guthrie for smith. just spitballin

Bleed_Orange
3 years 10 months ago

Why would the O’s do that?  Their outfield is full. 

3 years 10 months ago

Anybody have an update on Jorge DLR’s rehab? 

bleedrockiepurple
3 years 10 months ago

Heard he hasn’t had any setbacks and should be back in a Rox uni come mid May.

roxtalk
3 years 10 months ago

Check out Wrights stats, for the 2011 season. Check out Stewarts stat for the
2110 season.

thekoshow
3 years 10 months ago

2110? Hm.

NYBravosFan10
3 years 10 months ago

An innings eater? Well how convenient, Derek Lowe is an innings eater!!!! You’ll also get the bonus of his smokin’ hot wife.

3 years 10 months ago

And if they’re lucky, some fans may even have the privilege of street racing against him!

Guest
3 years 10 months ago

 I’d be willing to bet if the Braves threw in some cash to go with Lowe and Prado that they could get a deal done.  Prado can play LF or 3B, so that’d give the Rockies flexibility to make other moves as the season goes on.  I’m not really sure what they’d have for the Braves in return, though.  Also, I’d hate to sell low on Prado.  I think he’s got a rebound year heading his way.  That staph infection was pretty nasty from what I’ve read.  Plus, we need someone to cover 3B when Chipper needs a day off.  Seth Smith would be a nice piece to platoon with Diaz, but obviously I’d like to get a little more than a platoon player.

Not saying I would do that, just saying it’s something they Braves could look at when trying to get rid of Lowe.  Anyone know enough about the Rockies’ system to nibble on this nugget?

theoldgrizzlybear
3 years 10 months ago

For Prado and Lowe, I’m thinking Smith and one of the Rockies’ upper-tier pitching prospects (since the Braves LOVE pitching prospects) would be fair. Not Pomeranz, White, or Matzek, but probably anybody else.

mj
3 years 9 months ago

a 3 for two I could see Lowe and Prado for Smith, Fredrich, and Nelson

5_tool_MiLB_fool
3 years 10 months ago

If the rockies want a bat, they should dig into free agency. If they want an arm, they should look into a trade. I say sign both Cuddyer and Ramirez to fill our LF and 3B holes. Drop the non-tender candidates and dump Wigginton, all of which would give good salary relief. As far as the arm goes, Gio Gonzalez and James Shields are long reaches, but possible. Gavin Floyd and Wandy Rodriguez are more of the realistic options, and Seth Smith could be the centerpiece in either trade. The rest of the options they listed for pitching is garbage (and what do they have in common, they all play for losing teams). Definitely not what I would deal prospects for.

1. Fowler
2. Helton
3. Tulowtzki
4. Gonazlez
5. Ramirez
6. Cuddyer
7. Iannetta
8. Ellis

1. One of 4 listed above
2. De La Rosa (once he returns)
3. Chacin
4. Pomeranz
5. Nicasio? otherwise Hammel

thekoshow
3 years 10 months ago

The Rockies won’t be able to sign two FA’s like Cuddy and ARam. Apparently they have no interest in ARam anyway, and if we miss out on Cuddyer, well then get used to Ryan Spilborghs’ .220 BA and below average D.

theoldgrizzlybear
3 years 10 months ago

I don’t think Spilborghs will be the guy even if the Rox do miss out Cuddyer. I think it’s basically a lock that they get either Cuddyer or Willingham, and that Spilly will be non-tendered.

mj
3 years 9 months ago

Not going to go after Aramis, David Wright is what O’Dowd had his heart set on.
1- Fowler
2- Ellis or Hill
3- Helton and Giambino
4- Tulo or Cargo
5- Tulo or Cargo
6- David Wright
7- Charlie Blackmon or Grady Sizemore (depends on the Monforts and the Budget)
8- Iannetta or Rosario (if Iannetta is traded I can see the switch hitting Jose Morales making the team again since that guy is tougher than a waffle house steak)
with a SRLRLRL and RorS batting 8th you will cause pitching matchup issues all season long.

pitching roation also depends on the pockets of the monforts and the set on O’dowd

1 Vasquez or Nolasco
2 Kevin Millwood
3 Drew Pomeranz
4 Chris Young or Juan Nicasio (again depends on the budget)
5 Nicasio, White, or Hammel (Hammel is a potentially trade bait I could see the Rockies opening up for another left hander near the top of the rotation (making gambles on guys like Kazmir is not something O’Dowd is known for) When DLR comes back Drew Pomeranz will probably be on a short leash on the ammount of innings he pitches and may be in for long relief mid to late season.

Rabbitov
3 years 10 months ago

After Mora and Wigginton shouldn’t the Rockies be scouting Cesar Izturis? 

theoldgrizzlybear
3 years 10 months ago

In all fairness, I thought Melvin Mora was very solid in 2010.

Rabbitov
3 years 10 months ago

I wasn’t insulting any of those players, just indicating a trend. 

thekoshow
3 years 10 months ago

David Wright fits the Rockies perfectly, but he will cost a lot, and perhaps more than the Rockies would be willing to offer. Maybe Arenado, Wheeler, and Friedrich get him. But I wouldn’t mind the Mets throwing in Pelfrey or someone if it means we need to add more prospects.

bleedrockiepurple
3 years 10 months ago

Not worth giving up two guys who have exploded in the past yr in Arenado and Wheeler. Arenado, Blackmon/Smith, Friedrich/Matzek/Bettis would seem fit.

theoldgrizzlybear
3 years 10 months ago

Any deal involving Arenado is too much, in my opinion.

Bleed_Orange
3 years 10 months ago

I could see Baltimore and the Rockies working out a deal sending Guthrie and Reynolds + Cash for Street and prospects

theoldgrizzlybear
3 years 10 months ago

I could get behind this.

thekoshow
3 years 10 months ago

I was just hoping for a bag of balls for street, but yeah I’ll take this.

bleedrockiepurple
3 years 10 months ago

What sort of prospects are you looking at? I don’t see O’Dowd giving up much else other than Street for Reynolds and his AL leading 31 errors and 196 K’s.

3 years 10 months ago

You hear that?? That’s the turnstile going the wrong way. Better make some moves Rockies. Your fan base deserves it. Stewart, EY, Smith, Wiggington are not starters on winning teams.

3 years 9 months ago

What’s your guys’ opinion on Edwin Jackson?

3 years 9 months ago

Hers is the dream order for Rox
1. Fowler
2.Hill or Prado
3.Cargo
4.Tulo
5.David Wright
6. Josh Willingham
7.Todd Helton
8.Chris Ianneta

Pitching Order:
1. Edwin Jackson or Rich Harden
2. Kevin Millwood
3.Jorge De La Rosa
4.Drew Pomeraz
5. Jason Hammel or Alex White

jwsox
3 years 10 months ago

I don’t know if 150 mill over 6 seasons is a steal but you would have to bet the Yankees would have thrown 200 mill at him.