The Rockies are at least “poking around” on the market for rotation help, according to Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports (via Twitter). Just how much of a priority the rotation is remains to be seen; GM Jeff Bridich did suggest earlier today that he’s most focused on bolstering the team’s pen.
While Colorado is loaded with plausible big league starters — a luxury that has rarely been afforded the high-altitude franchise — many of its options hold more future promise than present value. And some of the younger arms could also be limited by workload considerations. While Chad Bettis is also working his way back, perhaps it’s still a bit unclear what can be expected from him.
On the whole, there’s plenty of room for an upgrade, but little in the way of a clear need in the Rockies’ rotation. But adding a new starter might also bump an arm to the bullpen, perhaps providing some improvement there as well by inserting a multi-inning arm into a mix that has had its share of difficulties of late.
Of course, it’s also possible that Colorado could be compelled to part with some young hurlers — particularly if they pursue a quality, controllable arm. As Passan notes, the team does also possess an impressive collection of talent on the farm system. Given the team’s array of controlled talent in the majors, perhaps there’ll be some added willingness to move a prospect or two.
Interestingly, the Rockies are said to have inquired about Orioles Kevin Gausman and Dylan Bundy. Those two have struggled quite a bit this year; since the start of June, the former has allowed 32 earned runs in 40 2/3 innings while the latter has surrendered 29 earned over his 36 1/3 frames. Still, they’ve each experienced their share of MLB success after long runs as top prospects. And both can be controlled into the future, Gausman for three years and Bundy for four.
Those same factors will likely prevent the O’s from selling them short, despite the difficulties in 2017, even if they decide to give up on the current campaign. Indeed, Baltimore will surely be eyeing pitching in any trades it does pursue; the rotation, after all, has been a big problem this year and seems an uncertainty looking past the current season.