The Rockies are known to be looking for outfield help, and Jorge Soler and Corey Dickerson are among the names under consideration, according to MLB.com’s Thomas Harding (Twitter links). Nearer the top of the free market, Harding notes that Colorado continues to be interested in Kris Bryant, though Joc Pederson is apparently behind “other targets” on the team’s list. Harding reported yesterday that the Rox were looking at Pederson.
Multiple teams were known to be looking into Soler, who is fresh off winning World Series MVP honors after a remarkable turn-around. Soler was hitting only .192/.288/.370 over 360 plate appearances with the Royals when he was traded to the Braves at the deadline, and Soler was then sparked to a .269/.358/.524 slash in his 242 PA for Atlanta during the regular season. Though a positive COVID-19 test kept him from most of the NLCS, Soler made up for it by posting a 1.191 OPS over 23 PA in the World Series, helping lead the Braves to the championship.
The idea of Soler’s power bat in Coors Field is surely tempting to a Rockies team that has been surprisingly lacking in consistent hitting over the last few years. As last season and even his 2020 campaign with the Royals would indicate, Soler is not exactly the picture of consistency himself, yet he isn’t far removed from a 2019 season that saw him lead the AL with 48 home runs.
Adding Soler to the outfield may also not be Colorado’s chief goal, as Soler has never been a defensive plus in right field. Theoretically, the Rockies could install Soler mostly at the new DH spot and only sparingly use him on the grass, while then acquiring another player as more of a regular outfield option.
Dickerson could potentially be a fit for such a role, even if the Rockies already have Charlie Blackmon and Raimel Tapia as left-handed hitting outfielders. While Dickerson is no longer the standout defender he was during his Gold Glove-winning 2018 season, he can at least play some center field and right field in a pinch, as well as his customary left field role.
The Rockies are very familiar with Dickerson, as he was an eighth-round pick for the team in 2010 and he spent his first three big league seasons in the purple pinstripes. Colorado dealt Dickerson to the Rays in January 2016 as part of what became a key trade in recent Rockies history, as German Marquez came to Denver as part of the return.
After posting a 118 wRC+/121 OPS+ and hitting .288/.329/.508 over 2701 PA from 2014-19, Dickerson’s production has been closer to league average over the last two seasons, though his bat did perk up after being dealt to the Blue Jays in June. Between a broken foot and some off-the-field personal tragedy, “the last two years really, really weighed on me,” Dickerson recently told Sportsnet’s Shi Davidi, though his brief stint with the Jays “lit my fire again.” Dickerson has also been employing a new training approach in the offseason to improve both his fielding and his hitting.