The Rockies’ Game 3 loss to the Brewers not only bounced them from the 2018 postseason but may also have marked the end of the Colorado tenure for a number of impending free agents, Kyle Newman of the Denver Post writes. Second baseman DJ LeMahieu and setup man Adam Ottavino could land with new cubs this winter, as could outfielders Carlos Gonzalez, Gerardo Parra and Matt Holliday. The 30-year-old LeMahieu said after the loss that he’d like to return, though there’s hardly any certainty that the Rox will make a concerted effort to retain him. Trevor Story has a firm grip on the shortstop role, while the Rockies have top middle-infield prospect Brendan Rodgers also looming in the upper minors and another young option in Garrett Hampson. And, as Newman points out with regard to Ottavino, the bullpen already has three large contracts in Wade Davis, Jake McGee and Bryan Shaw, even if each of those three relievers took a step back in 2018 after inking a three-year pact this past offseason. Meanwhile Scott Oberg stepped up as a cost-effective potential replacement for Ottavino.
Here’s more from the NL to kick off the week…
- Center field has been a position of extreme turnover for the Cardinals in recent seasons, writes Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, but Harrison Bader’s exceptional defensive prowess gives hope for some much-needed continuity. The last player to make consecutive Opening Day starts for the Cardinals in center field was Peter Bourjos, Goold notes, and no Cardinal has started 100-plus games in center in consecutive seasons since Jon Jay. “He’s sort of taken that job and run with it,” GM Mike Girsch tells Goold. “The way Harrison plays center field defensively makes it pretty obvious he’s the best defensive center fielder that we have, and he’s hit more than well enough to earn the first shot.” Bader still needs to improve his offensive consistency — specifically, his output against breaking balls — but after after being declared by Girsch as the team’s center fielder moving forward, the 24-year-old should have an extended chance to do so.
- After acquiring additional international bonus allotments in a weekend trade with the Reds, the Marlins are exploring the trade market for opportunities to further pad their bonus pool, reports MLB.com’s Joe Frisaro. It’s not yet clear how much money Miami added to what was already baseball’s second-largest bonus pool ($4.3MM) with their latest move, but they’re still looking up at the Orioles, who carry a reported $6.7MM. Miami and Baltimore have the most money available to sign Cuban outfielder Victor Victor Mesa and both are widely expected to make aggressive pitches to the 22-year-old.