The Rockies’ season came to a disappointing end tonight, as the Brewers swept them out of the NLDS in three games. While Colorado can be proud of two straight years of postseason baseball, Nolan Arenado’s future may be the biggest issue looming over the team as its offseason begins. There has been speculation that the Rox could consider trading the superstar third baseman rather than let him walk as a free agent once his contract is up after the 2019 season, assuming an extension can’t be reached. (Though the chances of an offseason trade seem doubtful, as surely the Rockies must be figuring on contending again in 2019.) For his part, Arenado told The Athletic’s Nick Groke (Twitter links) and other reporters that offseason contract discussions are less important to his winter activities than his family’s Wiffle Ball competition, saying bluntly “I expect to be here next season. The future is bright here.”
Here’s more from around the NL West…
- Former Giants GM Bobby Evans tells the Boston Globe’s Nick Cafardo that he would like to be considered for the other open general manager jobs around baseball, though since he still has 15 months remaining on his contract in San Francisco, he is happy to take on whatever role assigned by the Giants’ next baseball operations head. Evans would also be understanding if the new GM would prefer if Evans left the organization. The team’s decision to remove Evans from his former post caught him somewhat off-guard: “I think you’re always surprised when something like this happens because we’ve all worked so closely together for so long and we had three World Series championships together.” Nevertheless, Evans said “the Giants were fantastic to me for 25 years,” and he defended his front office from the perception that it was somewhat behind in analytical implementation, noting that the team was already in the process of shifting from a traditional scouting-heavy approach to more analytics usage.
- Enrique Hernandez has become the definition of a super-utilityman for the Dodgers, with The Athletic’s Eno Sarris noting (subscription required) that Hernandez’s 118 wRC+ from the 2018 season is the highest of any player who has ever played at least eight different positions in a season. “If it wasn’t for my defense and the versatility, I’d probably have been stuck in the minors,” Hernandez said. “At first, it was what got me to the big leagues. After that, it’s what kept me here.” Hernandez hit .256/.336/.470 with 21 homers over 462 PA, while playing everywhere except catcher and making at least one start at every position except first base. His bat really began to heat up after adopting a slight step backwards during his swing in May, allowing Hernandez to produce against both left-handed and right-handed pitching, and making him a starter at second base for Los Angeles in all three games of the NLDS.
- After joining the Dodgers in a trade from the Pirates at the August 31 deadline, David Freese has made a big contribution both on the field and in the clubhouse, the Orange County Register’s Bill Plunkett writes. Justin Turner praised Freese as a veteran influence to the Dodgers’ younger players, while manager Dave Roberts appreciated how Freese was open to a part-time role. Freese “didn’t try to force his way into a leadership role but really bought into what we were doing as far as sacrificing,” Roberts said. “That minimized the noise. He was walking the walk. He just has a way of commanding a room and players respect it.” As a part-time first baseman and mostly facing left-handed pitching, Freese hit a whopping .385/.489/.641 over 47 PA after coming to L.A.