It’s been pretty quiet on the Rockies front lately, but GM Jeff Bridich spoke to Patrick Saunders of the Denver Post on a number of offseason topic yesterday. Here are some notable takeaways from that chat and a bit more on the Rockies’ offseason…
- Many Rockies fans seem to like the idea of bringing back former franchise cornerstone Matt Holliday to fill the club’s first base vacancy in 2017, but Saunders notes that Bridich downplayed the likelihood of a reunion with Holliday. Said the GM: “We have just now started looking into the reality of Matt. With the way that our outfield is situated… the outfield for Matt doesn’t make a whole lot of sense right now. So right now we are just trying to wrap our minds around whether he’s a viable option at first base.” Certainly that’s not a firm denial of any possibility, but it’s not a vote of confidence in Holliday’s first base abilities either, and Bridich’s comments seem to rule out the possibility of Holliday getting any time in left field next year. Holliday played 61 innings at first base last year — his lone experience at the position.
- Similarly, a signing of Colorado native Mark Melancon seems to be on the wishlist of some fans, and Bridich did confirm to Saunders that the team has at least spoken to Melancon’s representatives. However, the GM characterized Melancon as one of “a lot of guys” whose agents have been contacted by the Rockies. Saunders recently cast some doubt on the Rockies’ ability to compete with other big-spending teams like the Dodgers, Giants, Yankees and Nationals to acquire Melancon’s services, however, and it does seem unlikely that they’d win a bidding war, based on the team’s recent history with free agents.
- In addition to Melancon, Bridich confirmed to Saunders that he’s spoken to the agent for former Marlins lefty Mike Dunn. Bridich also voiced confidence in last winter’s trio of bullpen acquisitions — Jake McGee, Jason Motte and Chad Qualls — stating that he believes each can rebound from a disappointing first year with the Rox. Saunders notes that between McGee, Adam Ottavino and Carlos Estevez, the Rockies’ 2017 closer may already be on the roster.
- Elsewhere, SB Nation’s Chris Cotillo reports that the Rockies have expressed some level of interest in a reunion with Mark Reynolds, who performed reasonably well on a low-cost one-year deal for Colorado last year (Twitter link). Reynolds played a passable first base in the estimation of Defensive Runs Saved (+4) and, to a lesser extent, Ultimate Zone Rating (-1.9). He also batted a solid .282/.356/.450 with 14 homers in 441 plate appearances, although park-adjusted metrics like OPS+ and wRC+ felt that his overall offensive output was about league-average after compensating for Coors Field. (And it’s worth noting that Reynolds raked at a .310/.383/.497 clip at home while hitting a pedestrian .255/.329/.403 on the road in 2016.)
- MLB.com’s Mike Petriello has the Rockies atop his speculative list of teams that make sense as a landing spot for Chris Carter, who was designated for assignment by the Brewers yesterday. Petriello raises a point we’ve examined at MLBTR in the past, noting that Mark Trumbo would be a strong fit in Colorado were it not for the fact that signing him would require the Rockies to forfeit the top unprotected pick in next year’s draft (No. 11 overall). As Petriello further examines, the difference between Carter and Trumbo, from a statistical standpoint, hasn’t been all that great over the past few years. Each offers enormous power with plenty of strikeouts and questionable on-base percentages. The difference between the two, from my vantage point, would be that Trumbo hasn’t had the opportunity to showcase his first base skills in years, as he’s been played out of position in the outfield. Trumbo has rated as a solid defensive first baseman in the past, when given the opportunity, while Carter’s glovework has consistently graded out poorly. Then again, if there’s a sizable enough gap in terms of the required dollars (to say nothing of retaining the draft pick), the downgrade to Carter’s glove may be viewed as an acceptable price to pay.