Colorado Rockies – MLB Trade Rumors 2021-04-12T00:36:42Z https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/feed/atom WordPress Mark Polishuk <![CDATA[Rockies Place Chris Owings On 10-Day IL, Designate Phillip Diehl, Select Alan Trejo]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=433800 2021-04-10T19:06:17Z 2021-04-10T18:30:47Z The Rockies announced that utilityman Chris Owings has been placed on the 10-day injured list due to a left thumb sprain.  Infielder Alan Trejo has had his contract selected and will replace Owings on the active roster.  In a corresponding move to create 40-man roster space, southpaw Phillip Diehl has been designated for assignment.

After a respectable .268/.318/.439 slash line over only 44 plate appearances with Colorado in 2020, Owings re-signed another minor league deal to return for another season in the Mile High City.  In the small sample size of 17 PA this season, Owings was off to a roaring start, with a 1.722 OPS and three triples.  The thumb sprain is a new injury, as Owings had been battling a hamstring problem in recent days and the Rockies were hopeful that he was going to avoid the IL for that particular issue.

Owings has already bounced around the diamond, making starts as a second baseman, center fielder, and right fielder over his seven games played.  Trejo can replace at least some of that versatility, as the 24-year-old has gotten a lot of time at second base, third base, and shortstop over his brief pro career.  A 16th-round pick out of San Diego State in the 2017 draft, Trejo hit .275/.323/.434 over 1163 PA in Colorado’s farm system, reaching the Double-A level in 2019 before the minor league season was canceled in 2020.  After working out and playing at the Rockies’ alternate training site last season, Trejo is now set to make his Major League debut.

Diehl may be best known as the player acquired by the Rockies in the Mike Tauchman trade of March 2019, a swap that looked like a steal for the Yankees in the wake of Tauchman’s 2019 numbers.  Diehl has recorded a lot of strikeouts (30.51% strikeout rate) and posted a 3.34 ERA over 253 career minor league innings, though he ran into home run trouble pitching with the Rockies’ affiliate in Albuquerque during the homer-happy 2019 minor league season.  Diehl has also been hurt by the long ball during his brief MLB career, as his three homers allowed during his 13 1/3 innings with the Rockies in 2019-20 was a big reason behind his 8.78 ERA.

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Anthony Franco <![CDATA[Offseason In Review: Colorado Rockies]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=422335 2021-04-09T19:56:32Z 2021-04-09T19:56:32Z The Rockies traded one of the best players in franchise history without adding much in the way of major league talent this offseason. That would seem to indicate the franchise is headed for a full rebuild, but they’ve held onto the rest of their top players so far.

Major League Signings

Trades and Claims

Extensions

None

Notable Minor-League Signings

Notable Losses

The Rockies began the 2020 season red hot but fell off just as sharply, losing 31 of their final 46 games. Ultimately, Colorado’s 26-34 record was a slight step back from their 71-91 finish the year before, nowhere near the 94-win pace owner Dick Monfort boldly predicted last February. Back-to-back down years set the stage for change this winter.

For the second consecutive year, much of the focus on the Rockies’ offseason revolved around Nolan Arenado. The star third baseman signed a seven-year, $234MM contract extension in February 2019. Less than a year later, though, Arenado made plenty of headlines when he voiced frustration with organizational leadership, telling reporters in January 2020 he felt “disrespected” by the front office. That didn’t stop Arenado from sticking in Denver for the season, but there was plenty of speculation about the 29-year-old potentially being on the move last winter after another losing season.

Arenado did wind up traded, although that wasn’t an inevitable outcome. His lofty contract presented a challenge for potential buyers on the heels of a season with lost gate revenues. Making matters worse, Arenado was coming off by far the worst offensive season of his career, having slumped to a .253/.303/.434 line while battling a shoulder injury.

Still, Arenado’s elite track record attracted plenty of reported interest. The Mets, Braves and Dodgers were among the clubs that either spoke with the Rockies or were speculated as potential fits (although Colorado never seemed likely to send him to their division rivals in Los Angeles). Ultimately, it wound up being the Cardinals that pulled the trigger on an Arenado deal in late January.

The Rockies got five players back from St. Louis, none of whom looks to be a potential franchise-changing talent. Southpaw Austin Gomber is the most famous, having pitched to a 3.72 ERA/4.62 SIERA over 104 career MLB innings. He is capable of stepping right into the big league rotation. But as a 27-year-old with below-average velocity and swinging strike rates, Gomber profiles as a back-of-the-rotation type.

The other four players in the Arenado deal have yet to reach the majors. Corner infielder Elehuris Montero was once a top 100 prospect; the powerful 22-year-old now sits eighth in the Colorado farm system, per Baseball America. Fellow infielder Mateo Gil and right-hander Tony Locey are a little further down the organizational rankings, while righty Jake Sommers did not make the Rockies’ top 30.

Arenado’s contract and lackluster 2020 numbers made it unlikely the Rockies would be able to bring back an elite young player in a trade. Nevertheless, the return they ultimately received felt light, especially given the financial hoops the team had to jump through to push the deal across the finish line. Colorado agreed to pay down $51MM of Arenado’s contract, including his entire $35MM salary for 2021. Meanwhile, the Cardinals agreed to guarantee an extra year on the eight-time Gold Glove winner’s contract and permit him to opt-out of the deal after 2022 (in addition to his previous post-2021 opt-out opportunity) in exchange for Arenado waiving his no-trade clause.

Without knowing what other offers were on the table, it’s impossible to say the Rockies should’ve taken a different return from another organization. It’s likely Colorado values the players they received more highly than public prospect rankers and observers do. But the Arenado saga seems to reflect poorly on the team, however one feels about the player’s public comments. Angering the face of the franchise to such an extent the organization feels compelled to trade him while his value is at its nadir is surely an outcome nobody with the Rockies would’ve foreseen or desired when signing him to a mega-extension less than two years before.

Arenado’s departure was the most significant of the winter, but he wasn’t the only familiar face to leave town. The Rockies non-tendered catcher Tony Wolters and outfielder David Dahl last November. Moving on from Wolters wasn’t unexpected. Colorado stuck by him for a while based on his defense and clubhouse presence, but the 28-year-old has simply never hit at an acceptable level.

The latter cut was more surprising. Dahl has dealt with myriad injuries and was terrible in 2020, but he’d been an above-average hitter between 2017-19. Projected for an arbitration salary in the $2.5MM range, he’d have certainly been affordable enough to keep around. Ultimately, it seems the front office just wanted to give opportunities to other players.

With Dahl gone, the Rockies will turn to a combination of Charlie BlackmonRaimel TapiaSam Hilliard, Garrett Hampson and Yonathan Daza in the outfield. Blackmon has a long track record of high-end hitting, although he fell off precipitously down the stretch last season after a blistering start. The rest of the group is looking to establish themselves as core pieces for the future. Tapia, Daza and Hampson are contact-oriented speedsters, while Hilliard has huge power but needs to rein in his strikeout totals.

Wolters’ departure leaves just two catchers on the 40-man roster. The season-opening job belongs to returnees Elias Díaz and Dom Nuñez, although an injury and/or underperformance could open the door for José Briceño, who inked a minors contract over the offseason.

Another pair of minor-league signees have easier paths to playing time on the infield. C.J. Cron and Chris Owings had their contracts selected to the 40-man roster prior to Opening Day. Cron has some on-base deficiencies but brings plenty of power, so the appeal of adding him to Coors Field is obvious. At the very least, he should be an upgrade over the Rockies’ first basemen of the past few years. No team got less production at the position from 2018-20, where the now-retired Daniel Murphy and Ian Desmond (who has opted out of the 2021 season over COVID-19 concerns) failed to live up to multi-year free agent contracts.

Owings will get some early-season run at second base. Top prospect Brendan Rodgers finally seemed in line for everyday playing time, but a hamstring strain in Spring Training will sideline him at least into late April. Once Rodgers returns, Owings figures to work in a utility role. Third base belongs to a combination of Josh Fuentes and Ryan McMahon.

Perhaps the most interesting storyline of the coming months is how the team will handle star shortstop Trevor Story. The 28-year-old is on track to be one of the top players on next winter’s free agent market, so Story looks like an obvious trade candidate on paper. That was also true over the winter though, particularly after the Arenado deal. Yet general manager Jeff Bridich shot down speculation about an offseason Story trade and pushed back against the notion the franchise was embarking on a full-scale teardown.

Indeed, the two-time All-Star opened the year in Colorado. A midseason deal still seems the most likely outcome but an acquiring team would no longer be able to tag Story with a qualifying offer next winter, likely reducing his value compared to what the Rockies could’ve received over the offseason. At the same time, the team and Story’s representatives had not discussed a potential extension as of late February. The Rockies’ lack of action while Story’s service clock ticks is rather puzzling, but it’s conceivable they can salvage the situation with a midseason trade if he performs up to expectations over the first few months.

There’s a case to be made for the Rockies to trade off a few key pitchers, as well. Like Story, Jon Gray is ticketed for free agency at the end of the year. He looked like a speculative offseason trade candidate but his name didn’t come up in any substantive rumors. Gray had a terrible 2020 season, so there’s plenty of logic for the Rockies in hoping he can rehabilitate his value with a decent start this year.

The situation isn’t as urgent for Opening Day starter Germán Márquez, but there’s a case to be made for Colorado to move him as well. Márquez is one of the game’s more underrated arms. He throws in the mid-90’s with a pair of plus breaking balls, has had plenty of success despite a brutal home environment for pitchers, and just turned 26 years old. Márquez is also reasonably controlled through 2024 under the extension he signed two years ago. That makes him a potential franchise building block, but he’s also the organization’s most valuable potential trade piece. A deal doesn’t seem especially likely given Bridich’s comments about avoiding a full rebuild, but there’s an argument to be made for putting him on the block this summer.

Márquez and Gray will be followed in the rotation by Gomber and holdover Antonio SenzatelaKyle Freeland would’ve gotten a starting spot but a shoulder strain led to a season-opening IL stint. Freeland’s injury might’ve played a role in the Rockies’ decision to sign Jhoulys Chacín to a one-year deal on the evening before Opening Day. The right-hander returns to Colorado on the only guaranteed free agent contract the Rockies gave out all offseason.

There wasn’t a whole lot of turnover in the bullpen. The club did bring in the hard-throwing Robert Stephenson as part of a deal that sent Jeff Hoffman to the Reds. Stephenson and Hoffman are both one-time top prospects who showed flashes of promise but generally hadn’t lived up to expectations with their previous teams, so it’s something of a challenge trade. Rule 5 draftee Jordan Sheffield is the only other outside addition to the current bullpen, which will lean heavily on returnees Daniel BardTyler KinleyYency Almonte and Mychal Givens. Unfortunately, former closer Scott Oberg might not be able to continue his career after a setback with persistent blood clots in his throwing arm.

The 2021 season doesn’t figure to be an especially enjoyable one for Rockies’ fans. The current roster comprises mostly unproven youngsters, journeymen and bounce back hopefuls. Bridich may bristle at the notion of a full-on rebuild, but the Rockies aren’t in position to keep up with the powerhouse Dodgers and Padres at the top of the division. Rather, public projections suggest they’re likely to finish last in the NL West (and near the bottom of MLB as a whole).

Perhaps more important to the organization than their place in the 2021 standings is whether they can rebuild a culture that, at least from the outside, seems to have gone sour. Arenado’s vocal displeasure with franchise leadership was the most visible example of frustrations, but the Rockies appear to have issues far beyond their spat with the former face of the franchise.

Ken Rosenthal and Nick Groke of the Athletic published a lengthy piece last month that details mounting frustrations among some players and lower-level front office members with a few of Monfort’s and Bridich’s roster decisions and their perceived lack of communication of the organization’s long-term vision. Rosenthal and Groke also question whether the Rockies’ analytics department, which saw the departures of four of its six staffers over the winter, is properly equipped to help Monfort and Bridich build a sustainable winner moving forward. The article is well worth reading in full for Rockies’ fans who haven’t yet perused it.

How does the MLBTR readership feel about the course the Rockies charted this winter? (poll link for app users)

 

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Anthony Franco <![CDATA[Minor MLB Transactions: 4/7/21]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=431521 2021-04-08T03:36:51Z 2021-04-08T03:36:51Z The latest minor moves from around baseball, all courtesy of Chris Hilburn-Trenkle of Baseball America:

  • The Rockies recently signed first baseman Matt Adams to a minor-league deal. The slugging lefty has been assigned to Colorado’s alternate training site, per Kyle Newman of The Denver Post. Adams has played for the Cardinals, Nationals and Braves over the past nine seasons. He was a fairly significant part of Washington’s big league roster as recently as 2019, although he only picked up 51 plate appearances with Atlanta last year before being cut loose. The Rockies have tabbed C.J. Cron as their regular first baseman to start the year.
  • The Cubs signed Andrew Romine to a minors contract. The veteran utilityman has played with the Angels, Tigers, Rangers and Mariners over a big league career that began in 2010. Romine was in camp with the Twins in Spring Training but opted out after Minnesota declined to add the 35-year-old to the MLB roster. Romine’s younger brother Austin Romine is a catcher on the Cubs’ major league team, although the backstop is currently on the 10-day injured list.
  • The White Sox signed outfielder Zack Granite and right-hander Keyvius Sampson to minor-league deals. Granite is a speedy outfielder who picked up 107 MLB plate appearances with the 2017 Twins. He has since spent time in the Rangers’ and Yankees’ systems but hasn’t made it back to the big leagues. Sampson pitched in the majors with the Reds from 2015-16 and with the Hanwha Eagles of the Korea Baseball Organization in 2018. He returned to the U.S. on a minors deal with the Giants in 2019 but didn’t get back to the majors.
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Steve Adams <![CDATA[Rockies Outright Jairo Diaz]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=424655 2021-04-05T23:03:15Z 2021-04-05T23:03:04Z APRIL 5: Diaz has cleared waivers and been outrighted to their alternate site, the Rockies announced.

APRIL 1: The Rockies have designated right-handed reliever Jairo Diaz for assignment, per a club announcement. His spot on the roster goes to fellow right-hander Jhoulys Chacin, whose previously reported one-year deal with the Rox has now been confirmed by the club.

Diaz, 29, was a pleasant surprise for the 2019 Rockies, tossing 57 2/3 innings of 4.53 ERA ball — good for a 113 ERA+ at Coors Field in the juiced-ball season — out of the Colorado bullpen that year. Along the way, he turned in strong strikeout (25.7 percent), walk (7.8 percent) and ground-ball (49.4) rates, creating some optimism that he could be a piece for them moving forward.

That wasn’t the case in 2020, however, as Diaz was tagged for 17 earned runs in 20 innings of work. His average heater plummeted from 97.1 mph to 95.4 mph, and his strikeout rate fell to 16.4 percent while his walk rate ballooned to 13.2 percent. It was a brutal season all-around for Diaz, and Spring Training didn’t go any better; he surrendered 11 runs on 17 hits (four homers) and four walks in 9 2/3 frames. The fact that he was out of minor league options left the Rockies with little choice but to designate him for assignment. They’ll now have a week to trade Diaz, attempt to pass him through outright waivers or release him.

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TC Zencka <![CDATA[Freeland Progressing Well]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=425979 2021-04-03T15:52:36Z 2021-04-03T14:25:10Z
  • Kyle Freeland is working his way back from a shoulder injury suffered near the end of spring training, and there’s no timetable for his return. That said, he does appear to be making progress, per Patrick Saunders of the Denver Post. Specifics remain scarce, but the presumption seems to be that Freeland’s injury won’t threaten his season. The Rockies are able to start the season with a four man rotation, but they’ll soon need to add another arm to the mix beyond German Marquez, Antonio Senzatela, Jon Gray, and Austin Gomber. Newly-signed Jhoulys Chacin could be a candidate for bulk innings. Keep an eye on Antonio Santos in the long-term. The 24-year-old righty made his debut last season after just eight starts in Double-A. He may not be the first name called this season, but he’s likely to find his way back to the Majors at some point in 2021.
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    Anthony Franco <![CDATA[Rockies To Sign Jhoulys Chacin To Major League Deal]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=423982 2021-04-01T00:44:35Z 2021-04-01T00:21:28Z The Rockies are expected to sign right-hander Jhoulys Chacín to a major league contract, reports Thomas Harding of MLB.com (Twitter link). He’ll be on the Opening Day roster. Nick Groke of the Athletic noted earlier this evening Chacín was throwing in front of Rockies’ brass.

    Chacín is returning to the place where his career began. The right-hander signed with the Rockies as an international amateur in 2004 and made his MLB debut with Colorado five years later. Chacín went on to perform as a durable, effective rotation piece for a few seasons in Denver. Between 2010-14, he tossed 661 innings of 3.76 ERA/4.01 FIP ball, no small feat in the hitter-friendly confines of Coors Field. He has been something of a nomad in the years since, appearing in the majors for the Diamondbacks, Braves (two separate stints), Angels, Padres, Brewers and Red Sox.

    As recently as 2018, Chacín was arguably the Brewers’ most productive starter. Leaning on his slider almost half the time, he tossed 192.2 innings of 3.50 ERA/4.59 SIERA ball. His 2019 season was a disaster, though, as he slumped to a 6.01 ERA/4.94 SIERA. Chacín only threw five innings last season.

    Chacín spent the most recent Spring Training in camp with the Yankees on a minor-league deal. He pitched well but couldn’t carve out a role in a high-upside New York rotation. The Yankees granted Chacín his release earlier this week, and he quickly found a guaranteed job in Colorado.

    The Rockies’ rotation looks to be the strength of the roster, although it’s not completely without opportunity. Germán Márquez will take the ball on Opening Day, and he’s likely to be followed by Antonio SenzatelaJon Gray and Austin Gomber. Fellow projected starter Kyle Freeland will begin the year on the injured list with a shoulder strainChi Chi González had looked like the favorite to open the year in the rotation’s fifth spot, but it appears that role will go to Chacín.

    Chacín’s signing is also the Rockies’ first major league free agent contract of the offseason. Colorado had been the only team in the league not to hand out a guaranteed deal this winter, but they’ll get on the board the day before the season opener.

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    Anthony Franco <![CDATA[Rockies Select Chi Chi Gonzalez To 40-Man Roster]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=419430 2021-03-27T20:11:34Z 2021-03-27T19:59:11Z The Rockies announced they’ve selected the contract of right-hander Chi Chi González. Reliever Scott Oberg has been placed on the 60-day injured list to open a 40-man roster spot. Oberg’s career is in jeopardy after he underwent surgery to remove blood clots from his right elbow yesterday.

    González has pitched in twenty games (starting 16) for Colorado over the past two seasons. The former Ranger hasn’t performed particularly well, managing just a 5.66 ERA/5.62 FIP with worse than average strikeout and walk rates (16.8% and 11.7%, respectively). Still, the 29-year-old will give manager Bud Black a multi-inning option capable of working out of the rotation or in long relief.

    Additionally, Colorado announced they’ve optioned Lucas Gilbreath and Colton Welker and reassigned a host of non-roster invitees (Greg BirdJosé Briceño and Eric Stamets among them) to minor-league camp. Dereck Rodríguez and Connor Joe are the only non-roster players who remain on the major league side of Spring Training.

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    Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Scott Oberg Undergoes Surgery To Remove Blood Clots; Career In Jeopardy]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=419073 2021-03-27T02:58:02Z 2021-03-27T02:15:00Z Rockies right-handed reliever Scott Oberg underwent surgery Thursday to treat blood clots in his pitching elbow, Thomas Harding of MLB.com reports. The procedure could end Oberg’s career, according to Harding.

    This is now the third surgery Oberg has undergone in an effort to cure this problem. The troubles began in 2018, and they led to a premature ending to his season in 2019. Oberg then missed the entire 2020 campaign and had thoracic outlet syndrome surgery, though there had been optimism that he would return this year before suffering another setback.

    A 15th-round pick of the Rockies in 2012, Oberg made his debut with the Rox in 2015 and went on to appear with the club in five straight seasons. Despite the injuries, Oberg put together an excellent stretch from 2018-19, in which he totaled 114 2/3 innings of 2.35 ERA ball. The Rockies signed Oberg to a three-year, $13.5MM extension after 2019, but it obviously hasn’t worked out as hoped.

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    Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Kyle Freeland Suffers Shoulder Strain]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=416925 2021-03-25T19:04:43Z 2021-03-25T18:56:24Z March 25: Freeland will not require surgery, manager Bud Black announced Thursday, calling the initial reports from the team’s medical staff “encouraging” (link via Saunders). That said, Black also declined to provide a timeline, revealing only that Freeland will have more imaging performed “in a couple of weeks,” at which point the Rockies hope to be able to offer a more definitive timeline. Freeland will open the season on the injured list.

    March 23: Rockies left-hander Kyle Freeland exited his outing against the Athletics on Tuesday with a strained pitching shoulder, per Patrick Saunders of the Denver Post. Freeland left the mound in pain after throwing a pitch to the A’s Mark Canha, as Thomas Harding of MLB.com tweets.

    There is no word on how serious Freeland’s injury is, but it does look like one that could sideline him for at least the beginning of the regular season. A healthy Freeland would follow No. 1 starter German Marquez in the Rockies’ rotation, having thrown 70 2/3 innings of 4.33 ERA/4.95 SIERA ball last year. Those aren’t great numbers – especially compared to a 2018 effort in which Freeland put up a 2.85 ERA/4.35 SIERA in 202 1/3 innings and finished fourth in National League Cy Young voting – but they were markedly better than the 6.73 ERA/5.19 SIERA he recorded over 104 1/3 frames in 2019. The 27-year-old has followed last season’s bounce-back performance with seven scoreless innings and six strikeouts against one walk this spring.

    If Freeland isn’t available to start the season, the Rockies will open with Marquez, Jon Gray, Austin Gomber and Antonio Senzatela as their top four. Ryan Castellani, Antonio Santos and Jose Mujica are also on their 40-man roster, but Dereck Rodriguez and Chi Chi Gonzalez are in the mix as NRIs.

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    Anthony Franco <![CDATA[Latest On Tyler Kinley, Scott Oberg]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=414772 2021-03-21T21:58:20Z 2021-03-21T21:56:25Z
  • Rockies reliever Tyler Kinley has been sidelined the past two weeks with left oblique soreness, writes Patrick Saunders of the Denver Post. Kinley is scheduled to throw a simulated game tomorrow but manager Bud Black acknowledged a season-opening injured list stint is a possibility. Bullpen mate Scott Oberg looks likely to be on the Opening Day roster, Black says (via Saunders). That’s welcome news, as the quality right-hander missed the entire 2020 season due to recurring blood clots in his throwing arm. Oberg underwent thoracic outlet surgery last September.
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    Mark Polishuk <![CDATA[Rockies Select Contracts Of C.J. Cron, Chris Owings]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=414539 2021-03-20T19:38:31Z 2021-03-20T19:21:04Z The Rockies officially selected the contracts of first baseman C.J. Cron and utilityman Chris Owings, the team announced.  Colorado already had one open spot on the 40-man roster, and another was created when righty Peter Lambert was placed on the 60-day injured list.  Lambert underwent Tommy John surgery last July and is likely to miss the entire 2021 season.

    Both Cron and Owings signed minor league deals with the team within the last two months.  For Owings, he is returning for his second season with the Rox, after inking another minors contract last winter and then hitting .268/.318/.439 over 44 plate appearances in 2020.

    Owings’ versatility already made him a pretty decent bet to break camp with the Rockies, but the decision was probably clinched after yesterday’s news that Brendan Rodgers will miss at least a month recovering from a strained hamstring.  Rodgers’ injury shuffled the team’s infield plans and made Owings’ ability to play second, third, and shortstop (not to mention the outfield) all the more valuable.

    Cron was also making a strong bid to win a roster spot, as his demolition of Cactus League pitching this spring has the 31-year-old in line to serve as Colorado’s starting first baseman.  Playing for his fifth different team in as many seasons, Cron is surely looking to re-establish himself in one place, as his above-average offense didn’t stop the Rays and Twins from non-tendering him due to an escalating arbitration price tag.

    Over 2586 big league plate appearances, Cron has hit .257/.312/.464 with 118 home runs, highlighted by a 30-homer campaign with Tampa Bay in 2018.  A knee surgery cut Cron’s 2020 season short after only 52 PA with the Tigers.

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    Steve Adams <![CDATA[Brendan Rodgers Out At Least A Month]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=413914 2021-03-19T16:29:23Z 2021-03-19T16:29:23Z The Rockies’ wait to see longtime top prospect Brendan Rodgers get everyday at-bats at the MLB level will last a bit longer, as manager Bud Black announced to reporters Friday that Rodgers will miss at least a month with a strained hamstring (Twitter link via Patrick Saunders of the Denver Post).

    Rodgers, 24, has been considered one of baseball’s top all-around prospects since the Rox selected him out of high school with the No. 3 overall pick in the 2015 draft. As with most teenaged prospects, his ascent through the minor league ranks took some time, but he debuted in the Majors in May 2019 after utterly crushing Triple-A pitching that year (.350/.413/.622).

    Adjusting to the big leagues was a struggle for Rodgers, who hit poorly for his first few weeks before being optioned back to Triple-A. He was quickly recalled when the Rox suffered an injury on the big league roster, but Rodgers unfortunately never got a real chance to right the ship and show off the talent that made him such a touted prospect. Just five days after rejoining the MLB roster, Rodgers himself went on the IL due to what was initially termed a right shoulder impingement. The injury proved to be far worse, however, as the Rockies announced three weeks later that he’d undergone surgery to repair a torn labrum in that problematic shoulder.

    Rodgers spent the early portion of last year’s shortened season finishing his rehab at the Rockies’ alternate training site. He was brought back to the big leagues in late August but only appeared in seven games before again going on the injured list due to lingering problems in that right shoulder. He didn’t return before season’s end.

    Following the trade of Nolan Arenado this winter, Rodgers looked to have an avenue to everyday at-bats. Ryan McMahon and Josh Fuentes were expected to work primarily at the corners now, clearing a path for Rodgers to take everyday at-bats at second base. Looking beyond the 2021 season, he’d be the likely successor to Trevor Story in the seemingly inevitable event that he lands with another club (be it via free agency or even this summer via trade).

    It’s a frustrating setback for the Rockies and their fans, although if there’s a silver lining, it’s that Rodgers’ shoulder seems to be fully healthy for the first time in two years. He was having a monster Spring Training through 10 games, hitting .348/.400/.652 with a pair of homers and a double through his first 25 trips to the plate. At some point early this season, he’ll likely be given an opportunity to seize an everyday job with at Coors Field, but today’s announcement means Rodgers will open the year on the 10-day IL. In the meantime, the Rox seem likely to fill out the starting infield with McMahon and the versatile Garrett Hampson.

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    Anthony Franco <![CDATA[Latest On Rockies' First Base Situation]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=413259 2021-03-18T01:46:10Z 2021-03-18T01:41:31Z C.J. Cron appears to be the favorite to claim the Rockies’ open first base job, writes Patrick Saunders of the Denver Post as part of a reader mailbag. Signed to a minor-league deal in February, Cron is competing with Josh Fuentes and fellow non-roster invitee Greg Bird. Installing Cron at first would allow Fuentes to see action at multiple corner positions off the bench. That might make it tough to also carry Bird as a lefty bench bat, although Saunders notes there’s a chance all three players make the season-opening active roster, particularly if Brendan Rodgers is forced to start the year on the injured list after straining his hamstring. Cron and Bird would each need to be added to the 40-man roster if they make the team, although Colorado currently has one open 40-man spot.

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    Anthony Franco <![CDATA[Brendan Rodgers Strains Hamstring]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=411366 2021-03-14T20:00:52Z 2021-03-14T20:00:52Z Rockies infielder Brendan Rodgers left yesterday’s Spring Training contest after pulling up while trying to steal second base. He has since been diagnosed with a right hamstring strain, per Thomas Harding of MLB.com (Twitter link). It isn’t yet clear if the issue threatens his availability for Opening Day. If healthy, the former #3 overall pick looks to have a clear path to everyday playing time at second base. Should he be forced to miss time, Garrett Hampson or Josh Fuentes could stand to see an increased role (the latter at third base with Ryan McMahon playing the keystone). Chris Owings is also back in camp as a non-roster invitee and has plenty of second base experience.

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    TC Zencka <![CDATA[Rockies Granted Increase In Fan Allowance]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=408843 2021-03-10T01:30:43Z 2021-03-10T01:30:43Z
  • The Rockies have also been cleared to open the doors at Coors Field. With the help of MLB and state government officials, the Rockies can now host up to 21,363 fans per game, up from an initial limit of 12,500, writes MLB.com’s Thomas Harding.
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