Colorado Rockies – MLB Trade Rumors 2020-10-20T01:21:22Z WordPress Mark Polishuk <![CDATA[Matt Kemp Hopes To Keep Playing Until Age 40]]> 2020-10-17T19:12:33Z 2020-10-17T19:07:57Z The 36-year-old Kemp was an All-Star as recently as 2018, though he endured an injury-shortened 2019 season that led to minor league deals in 2020 with both the Marlins and Rockies, the latter coming in June.  Kemp hit .239/.326/.419 with six homers over 132 plate appearances for Colorado, working primarily as a DH and pinch-hitter and only playing left field in one of his 43 games.  It remains to be seen if the Rockies or another team will give Kemp another chance at extending his career, though his prospects at another contract would definitely get a boost if the National League fully adopts the designated hitter.

Mark Polishuk <![CDATA[Rockies Unlikely To Part Ways With Jeff Bridich?]]> 2020-10-03T17:51:33Z 2020-10-03T17:51:33Z The Rockies are coming off their second consecutive losing season and fourth-place finish in the NL West, but the team’s struggles probably aren’t going to lead to a front office change in the near future, in the opinion of Patrick Saunders of the Denver Post.  Saunders would be “surprised” but not “shocked” if GM Jeff Bridich was fired, though Saunders figures Bridich’s job is safe since owner Dick Monfort is known to be very loyal to employees, plus the Rockies reached the postseason in both 2017 and 2018.  Assuming Bridich stays, he’ll face an intriguing offseason, as the Rockies have several big contracts coming off the books but also a lot of roster holes to fill, as well as lingering questions about extension talks with Trevor Story and whether or not Nolan Arenado could be traded.

Connor Byrne <![CDATA[David Dahl Undergoes Shoulder Surgery]]> 2020-09-30T01:24:33Z 2020-09-30T01:24:33Z Rockies outfielder David Dahl, whose season ended Sept. 23 because of a right shoulder strain, underwent surgery on Tuesday, Thomas Harding of tweets. The surgery was a success, and the Rockies expect that Dahl will be ready for spring training, per Harding.

It’s a relief for the Rockies that Dahl’s on track for next season, as the 26-year-old has largely been a quality member of their offense since his career began in 2016. Dahl owns a .286/.334/.494 line with 38 home runs in 1,020 plate appearances, though his production went off the rails during a 2020 in which he batted a horrid .183/.222/.247 without a homer across 99 trips to the plate.

Of course, injuries have been the main problem for Dahl since his pre-MLB days started. He has never played more than 100 regular-season games (in 2019) with the Rockies and has appeared in just 264 dating back to his first year. Dahl appeared in a meager 24 of a possible 60 games this year, but the hope is that he’ll have a healthy, bounce-back campaign next season.

Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Rockies Designate James Pazos For Assignment]]> 2020-09-28T22:27:07Z 2020-09-28T22:27:07Z The Rockies announced that they have designated left-hander James Pazos for assignment.

Pazos, previously with the Yankees, Mariners and Phillies, joined the Rockies in a trade with Philadelphia early in the 2019 season. He has since given the Rockies just 15 2/3 innings of 6.89 ERA pitching with 6.32 K/9 and 5.17 BB/9.

At his peak, Pazos was a threat out of the Mariners’ bullpen from 2017-18. He amassed at least 50 innings in each of those seasons, combining for 103 2/3 frames, and logged a 3.39 ERA with 9.55 K/9 against 3.39 BB/9. Pazos averaged nearly 96 mph on his fastball in the first of those two seasons, but the 29-year-old has seen his velocity fall to the lower 90s since then.

Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Scott Oberg Undergoes Thoracic Outlet Surgery]]> 2020-09-23T22:53:25Z 2020-09-23T22:43:14Z Rockies reliever Scott Oberg underwent thoracic outlet syndrome surgery to help alleviate blood clots earlier this week, Nick Groke of The Athletic reports. The Rockies aren’t yet sure whether Oberg will pitch again.

Thoracic outlet surgery could be a devastating blow to any pitcher’s career, but it’s especially worrying that blood clots continue to serve as a major hindrance to Oberg. The 30-year-old, who hasn’t pitched at all this season, previously underwent three surgeries to address blood clots.

Oberg, of course, was downright excellent out of the Rockies’ bullpen from 2018-19. After combining for 114 2/3 innings of 2.35 ERA ball with 9.03 K/9 and 2.75 BB/9 during that span, Oberg inked a three-year, $13MM extension with Colorado last offseason. Oberg hasn’t taken the mound since then, though, and the hope now is that he’ll return to the mound as soon as possible. However, Oberg’s certainly facing even more of an uphill battle in the wake of such a serious procedure.

Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Rockies Select Tommy Doyle, Place David Dahl On 45-Day IL]]> 2020-09-23T22:11:38Z 2020-09-23T22:02:31Z The Rockies announced that they’ve selected right-hander Tommy Doyle and placed outfielder David Dahl on the 45-day injured list with a right shoulder strain.

Doyle, 24, was a third-round pick of the Rockies in 2017 who posted impressive production in the minors during the previous two seasons. He reached High-A ball for the first time in 2019 and logged a 3.25 ERA/3.61 FIP with 12.0 K/9 and 3.25 BB/9 over 36 innings. Since then, FanGraphs (No. 17), (No. 19) and Baseball America (No. 23) have ranked Doyle among Colorado’s 25 best prospects. According to FanGraphs’ Eric Longenhagen, the hard-throwing Doyle could make it as a setup man in the majors.

This is the latest in an ever-growing line of injuries for the 26-year-old Dahl, who has missed an exorbitant amount of time since he debuted in 2016. Dahl sat out almost a month earlier this year with back problems, and he’ll now see his season end now just a week and a half after returning. While Dahl has been an above-average offensive contributor throughout his career, he had an uncharacteristically awful 2020 at the plate, hitting .183/.222/.247 with no home runs in 99 trips.

Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Rockies Place Nolan Arenado On IL, Release Wade Davis]]> 2020-09-21T22:34:38Z 2020-09-21T22:21:50Z The Rockies announced that they’ve placed third baseman Nolan Arenado on the 10-day injured list with left AC joint inflammation and a left shoulder bone bruise, released reliever Wade Davis and recalled outfielder Sam Hilliard.

This will end the 2020 campaign for Arenado, a five-time All-Star who posted the worst numbers of his career this year. In fairness to Arenado, he only played 48 games and accrued 201 plate appearances, but no one expected the big-hitting 29-year-old to slash .253/.303/.434 – way down from the .295/.351/.546 line he owned entering the season.

It’s now possible Arenado has taken his last at-bat with the Rockies, as his dissatisfaction with team management was well-documented last offseason and may not have gotten any better since. Arenado has made it clear that he wants to win, but at 23-29, the Rockies are in line to miss the playoffs for a second straight season. Of course, from their standpoint, there may not be any incentive to move Arenado off such a disappointing showing by the 29-year-old. Regardless, 2021 could be the last guaranteed season for Arenado, whom the Rockies signed to an eight-year, $234MM contract before 2019. That deal includes a post-2021 opt-out clause, though Arenado may be leery of exercising it in and leaving so much cash on the table.

Davis, meanwhile, became a DFA casualty on Saturday, ending a horrid stint in Colorado for the former lights-out right-hander. On an annual basis, Davis became the highest-paid reliever ever when the Rockies signed him to a three-year, $52MM contract before 2018. Unfortunately for him and the Rockies, though, his tenure with the club couldn’t have gone much worse. Now 35, Davis mustered a miserable 6.49 ERA and lost about 2.5 mph on his fastball in 112 1/3 innings as a Rockie.

TC Zencka <![CDATA[Nolan Arenado Undergoes Tests On Shoulder, Season In Jeopardy]]> 2020-09-21T04:45:02Z 2020-09-21T01:18:36Z After an offseason when the 91-loss Colorado Rockies stayed mostly silent due to financial constraints, the Rockies entered 2020 with low expectations from the national media. They nonetheless jumped out to an 11-3 start, forcing consideration of the Rockies as a potential playoff contender. The bottom fell out before long, however, as the Rockies turned in a minus-68 run differential and fell towards the bottom of the National League. After four straight losses, they’re now 23-29 and 3 games out of a playoff spot.

Making matters worse, star third baseman Nolan Arenado recently underwent tests on his sore left shoulder, and it’s possible the Rox will be without their superstar for the remaining 8 games, per Thomas Harding of He’s been affected all season by the injury to the A/C joint of his left shoulder, perhaps helping contribute to a substandard (for him) .253/.303/.434 slash line with 8 home runs over 201 plate appearances. 1.4 rWAR over 48-games is nothing to sneeze at – it still extrapolates out to 4.7 rWAR over 162.

Just two years into his 8-year, $260MM deal and there’s more uncertainty than ever around Arenado’s future in Colorado. His priority has been clear: he wants to play for a contender. Per Patrick Saunders of The Denver Post, when questioned about whether making the playoffs this season would serve as proof of concept for the Rockies being on the right track, he answered, “No question for me. Eight teams (out of 15) make the playoffs and if we’re not one of those eight teams that’s not a very good sign.” The Rockies were already in a tough place payroll-wise, and after losing so much expected revenue because of the coronavirus pandemic, they are likely entering an even harsher financial climate. Paired with the opt-out Arenado holds following the 2021 season, and a legitimate case can be made for the wisdom – or even necessity – of an Arenado trade.

The Rockies playoff hopes aren’t dead yet, however. Four games at San Francisco and four more at Arizona are winnable games to round out the season. Still, second place in the West is well out of reach, leaving the Rockies to compete for 1 of 2 wild card spots in a battle royal of contenders that includes two of the Cardinals, Reds, and Brewers, two of the Phillies, Marlins, and Mets, and of course, the Giants. Two of those seven clubs will make the playoffs via the 2nd place slot in their divisions, leaving five teams the Rockies need to leapfrog in the final week of games in order to reach postseason play. A sweep of the Giants would put them a game ahead of San Francisco, but that’s a lot to expect from a team with a .316 winning percentage over their last 38 games.

Mark Polishuk <![CDATA[Rockies To Promote AJ Ramos]]> 2020-09-19T22:18:32Z 2020-09-19T22:17:36Z 6:17 pm: Ramos’ promotion has been made official. Roster space was opened by the designation of right-hander Wade Davis for assignment.

1:02 pm: The Rockies are preparing to call right-hander AJ Ramos up to their active roster, The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal reports (Twitter link).  An additional move will need to be made to create a space for Ramos on the team’s 40-man roster.

After a couple of false starts, it looks like Ramos is finally set to make his return to the majors after almost 28 months.  The righty underwent shoulder surgery in 2018 after a rough 19 2/3 innings with the Mets that season, and was off the radar until this summer, when he inked minor league deals with both the Dodgers and Cubs.  Neither of those contracts led to a Major League call-up, however, and the Rockies signed Ramos to yet another minors deal after the Cubs released him in early September.

Ramos turns 34 tomorrow, so the promotion is a nice birthday present for the former All-Star.  Ramos posted some strong numbers with the Marlins from 2012-17 (including a 2.78 ERA, 2.19 K/BB rate, and 10.4 K/9), though his productivity dipped in 2017, particularly after a July trade to the Mets.  The 22-28 Rockies are on the verge of being eliminated from postseason contention, so there’s nothing to be lost in seeing whether or not Ramos could potentially be a candidate for their 2021 bullpen.

Anthony Franco <![CDATA[Rockies Designate Wade Davis For Assignment]]> 2020-09-20T00:04:13Z 2020-09-19T20:54:51Z The Rockies are designating reliever Wade Davis for assignment, per Nick Groke of the Athletic (via Twitter). This brings to an end a three-year tenure in Denver that was an overwhelming disappointment.

Davis entered free agency on the heels of a four-year run as one of the sport’s most dominant late-inning arms. Between 2014-17, he combined for 241.1 innings of 1.45 ERA/2.23 FIP ball for the Royals and Cubs. He was a vital piece of Kansas City’s 2015 World Series winner.

The Rockies surely envisioned much of the same when they embarked on a bullpen-focused spending spree in the 2017-18 offseason. Colorado brought in Bryan Shaw and Jake McGee on three-year, $27MM deals before finishing with a flourish, inking Davis to a $52MM guarantee over the same term.

There were some warning signs the 32-year-old Davis wasn’t going to be able to sustain his prior levels of production. His walk rate spiked to a lofty 11.6% in his platform season, while his 94.4MPH fastball that year was down a tick from his unhittable peak with the Royals.

That said, it would’ve been impossible to predict Davis’ career going off the rails to the extent it has. His first season as a Rockie was actually solid, as he managed a 4.13 ERA in 65.1 innings. That was a far cry from his prime years, although it was still solidly better than average when adjusting for the hitter-friendly environs of Coors Field.

Last season, though, proved to be an unmitigated disaster. Davis pitched to an 8.65 ERA in 42.2 innings, with a massive spike in walk rate (to 14.1%) and a precipitous drop in strikeout rate (to 20.4%). His attempt at a 2020 bounceback never really got off the ground. He only got into five games, with a shoulder strain knocking him out of action for more than a month. Davis’ fate was sealed after he got tagged for four runs on four hits in just two-thirds of an inning in yesterday’s loss to the Dodgers.

Davis will surely clear waivers, since any claiming team would be on the hook for the remainder of his contract. It’s possible he tries to latch on with another club for the season’s final week, but he’d be ineligible for another team’s postseason roster at this point. To that end, Davis will probably turn his attention to 2021. After back-to-back lost seasons, the 35-year-old may have to settle for minor-league opportunities this offseason.

Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Orioles, Rockies Complete Mychal Givens Trade]]> 2020-09-19T02:20:53Z 2020-09-19T02:20:53Z The Orioles have acquired outfielder Mishael Deson from the Rockies, per announcements from both teams. This completes the teams’ Aug. 30 trade centering on ex-Orioles reliever Mychal Givens.

The 18-year-old Deson made his pro debut with the Orioles in 2019 and combined for a .252/.327/.336 line with one home run and 23 stolen bases on 34 attempts across 286 plate appearances at the rookie level.

Givens, long a successful reliever with the Orioles, joined the Rockies as the owner of a 1.38 ERA in 13 innings this season. But the acquisition hasn’t gone according to plan for the Rockies, with whom Givens has thrown 5 2/3 innings of four-run ball. The Rockies were playoff contenders then, but they’ve sunk to a 22-27 record.

Going forward, the Rockies can at least hang their hat on the fact that Givens is a proven and controllable MLB reliever, as he has recorded a 3.37 ERA/3.48 FIP with 10.6 K/9 and 3.45 BB/9 in 341 2/3 innings since he debuted in 2015. He has another arbitration-eligible season left in 2021.

Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Rockies, Red Sox Complete Kevin Pillar Trade]]> 2020-09-18T22:47:11Z 2020-09-18T22:47:11Z The Rockies announced that they have sent right-hander Jacob Wallace to the Red Sox to complete the trade the teams made on Aug. 31 involving outfielder Kevin Pillar.

The 22-year-old Wallace, a third-round pick of the Rockies in 2019, debuted in low-A ball last season and pitched to a stingy 1.29 ERA/2.94 FIP with 12.43 K/9 and 3.86 BB/9 in 21 innings. Since then, Baseball America (No. 19), (No. 20) and FanGraphs (No. 21) have placed Wallace among Colorado’s top 25 prospects. BA writes that Wallace is “the prototypical power reliever with a mid-90s fastball and a plus slider” who could quickly make his way to the majors and turn into a back-end reliever.

Wallace seems like a good return for Pillar, a pending free agent who performed decently for a non-contending Boston team before the trade. Pillar has struggled as a member of the Rockies, though, as he has batted just .255/.296/.373 in 54 plate appearances. The Rockies had designs on a playoff berth when they acquired Pillar, but they have floundered since then and now find themselves with a 22-27 record.

Steve Adams <![CDATA[Rockies Shut Down Jon Gray]]> 2020-09-17T14:08:13Z 2020-09-16T18:06:21Z The Rockies have shut down right-hander Jon Gray for the season, manager Bud Black announced to reporters on today’s pregame Zoom call (Twitter link via Kyle Fredrickson of the Denver Post). Gray has been out since Sept. 2 due to inflammation in his right shoulder, and the team simply ran out of time to get him back up to strength to pitch out of the rotation or the ’pen, it seems.

That puts an end to what will go down as a brutal season for the 28-year-old Gray. Over the life of eight starts, the former No. 3 overall draft pick was clobbered to the tune of a 6.69 ERA and 5.07 FIP, averaging a career-worst 5.1 strikeouts per nine innings pitched. Gray’s control was sharp (2.5 BB/9), but his 36.7 percent ground-ball rate was down nearly 14 percent from last year’s mark. His average fastball, which sat at 96.1 mph in 2019, was just 94 mph in 2020.

There was a case to be made for shopping Gray both at the 2019 trade deadline and again in the offseason, given the financial limitations the Rockies outwardly expressed even before the Covid-19 pandemic hit the league with unforeseeable revenue losses. Owner Dick Monfort also expressed confidence in his team’s ability to rebound, however, going so far as to predict a 94-win season just before Spring Training began despite not adding any Major League talent over the winter. Given that outlook, it’s no surprise that the Rox held onto Gray and paid him a $5.6MM salary in his second trip through the arbitration process, but they’ll face a much more difficult call this winter.

The Rockies look to be on their way to another playoff miss and another sub-.500 season, and Gray will again be arbitration-eligible. Unlike last year when he was coming off a 3.84 ERA and 4.06 FIP with a strikeout per frame in 150 innings, Gray is due a raise after a shoulder injury contributed to the worst season of his career. And given the aforementioned revenue losses that have swept through the league, it’s at least worth wondering whether he’ll be tendered a contract. Much of that will depend on the extent of his shoulder troubles and his rehab outlook, of course.

If the Rockies believe he’ll be healthy in 2021, it seems more in line with this regime’s track record to keep Gray around — uncertainty or not. The Rockies, under Monfort and general manager Jeff Bridich, have persistently sought to put together winning clubs and shown considerable faith in their homegrown players even when they’ve struggled. Gray’s talent is obvious — he’s whiffed more than a batter per inning in the big leagues and has two sub-4.00 ERA seasons at Coors Field under his belt — but he’s also been prone to injuries and has lacked consistency.

With a shortened season and poor performance, he might not be in line for much of a raise at all — the Rockies, speculatively, could even seek a cut — which could make one final season worth the risk in the team’s eyes. Certainly, Gray’s upside justifies that roll of the dice under normal circumstances, but many have forecast aggressive non-tenders throughout MLB in the wake of this year’s revenue hit. Gray is presently on track to become a free agent following the 2021 season.

Anthony Franco <![CDATA[Nolan Arenado Dealing With Shoulder Injury]]> 2020-09-13T21:16:19Z 2020-09-13T21:15:39Z
  • Rockies’ star third baseman Nolan Arenado was held out of the lineup today with a left shoulder injury, per the Athletic’s Nick Groke (via Twitter). Colorado is hoping he’ll avoid an injured list stint, says Groke. Arenado’s obviously of immense importance if the 21-24 Rockies are to erase a game and half deficit and get into the postseason.
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    Mark Polishuk <![CDATA[Rockies Reinstate Wade Davis From Injured List]]> 2020-09-12T22:33:21Z 2020-09-12T22:33:21Z The Rockies have activated right-hander Wade Davis off the 10-day injured list.  In a corresponding move, the team also announced that right-hander Ashton Goudeau has been sent down to the Rockies’ alternate training site.

    Davis hit the IL with a right shoulder strain back on August 2, following an ugly start to the season that saw the reliever allow five earned runs over his first 2 2/3 innings of action, resulting in a 16.88 ERA.  Given Davis’ struggles both this season and in 2019, it’s probably safe to assume that he won’t regain the closer job, as Daniel Bard has emerged as a solid ninth-inning option for the Rox.

    This role change will impact Davis going into next season, as a vesting option in his contract would have guaranteed the $15MM mutual option on his services for 2021 if Davis had finished 30 games — or, in this shortened 2020 season, either 11 or 12 games.  As a result, this will likely bring an end to Davis’ tenure in Colorado, a stint that has to go down as a disappointment for the Rockies given the lack of return on their three-year, $52MM investment in the veteran reliever.  There’s still time for Davis to go out on a high note, however, if he can pitch well down the stretch and help the Rockies reach the postseason.