Colorado Rockies – MLB Trade Rumors 2019-04-24T20:00:04Z https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/feed/atom WordPress Steve Adams <![CDATA[Daniel Murphy's Return To Lineup "Imminent"]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=156859 2019-04-23T16:02:09Z 2019-04-23T16:02:09Z Rockies first baseman Daniel Murphy is ahead of schedule in his rehab and is expected to be activated in the near future, manager Bud Black said Tuesday in an appearance on MLB Network Radio on SiriusXM (Twitter link, with audio). While Black said that Murphy was unlikely to be activated for tonight’s game, the skipper called Murphy’s return “imminent,” assuming one final evaluation of his fractured finger checks out. “Probably not. We’re probably going to give him the day,” Black said when asked about potentially activating Murphy on Tuesday. “He had three days in [Triple-A] Albuquerque. We figure we’ll get him back in Denver, reevaluate the finger and then make a decision tomorrow or the next day what direction we’re going to go with Daniel.” Black added that Murphy didn’t feel any pain or discomfort in his rehab games or after the fact.

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Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Rockies Place Kyle Freeland On 10-Day IL]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=156824 2019-04-22T21:51:48Z 2019-04-22T21:32:35Z The Rockies announced today that southpaw Kyle Freeland has been placed on the 10-day inured list with a blister. He’ll be replaced by fellow southpaw Tyler Anderson, who was activated from his own stint on the IL.

It had been hoped that the blister to Freeland’s left middle finger wouldn’t require any time on the shelf, but it seems not to have responded quite as well as had been hoped. Blisters can become major problems for pitchers, though there’s no reason at this point to think Freeland’s will turn into a long-lasting issue.

The news comes as a mild disappointment for a club that has been on a nice run of late. Freeland, 25, finished fourth in the Cy Young voting last year and is a key rotation cog for Colorado. Then again, it may not amount to much at all; with his IL placement backdated to April 19th, he could in theory will miss only a single start. That’s just what the southpaw is hoping for, Nick Groke of The Athletic tweets.

As for Anderson, the 29-year-old will be looking to bounce back after experiencing knee inflammation and throwing two rough outings to open the year. He hasn’t reached the heights some might have hoped for a first-round pick, but has been useful for the Rox since reaching the majors in 2016. Anderson showed a worrying velocity drop of nearly 2 mph to open the current campaign; that’s something to watch now that he’s back in action.

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Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Rockies Move Chad Bettis To Bullpen]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=156333 2019-04-16T20:17:55Z 2019-04-16T13:26:49Z
  • The Rockies have bumped veteran right-hander Chad Bettis to the bullpen, as Nick Groke of The Athletic was among those to tweet. It seems likely his new role will dovetail with the return of Tyler Anderson from a stint on the injured list. Soon to turn 30, Bettis was also bumped to the pen for seven outings last year, though he still took twenty starts. He has struggled to an 8.78 ERA over his first 13 1/3 innings of the 2019 campaign, with eight walks to go with nine strikeouts and twenty base hits already on the ledger. Bettis is earning $3.35MM this year in advance of a final season of arbitration eligibility. In other news out of Colorado, the club seems likely to place outfielder Noel Cuevas on the 10-day injured list after he came down with a quad strain, manager Bud Black told reporters including Kyle Newman of the Denver Post (via Twitter).
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    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Rockies Select Drew Butera, Place Chris Iannetta On 10-Day IL]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=156321 2019-04-15T22:59:58Z 2019-04-15T22:59:58Z The Rockies announced today that backstop Drew Butera’s contract was selected from Triple-A. He’ll take the active roster spot of fellow receiver Chris Iannetta, who was placed on the 10-day inured list with a strained lat muscle.

    In other roster moves, the club announced that outfielder Noel Cuevas and righty Antonio Senzatela are also joining the big league club. Outfielder Yonathan Daza and righty Yency Almonte were optioned down to make way.

    It’s not clear at this point how severe an injury Iannetta is dealing with, but it’s hardly promising to see him go down. He’s the latest veteran position player to hit the IL, further downgrading an already terrible offensive outlook for the Colorado organization.

    Butera has loads of MLB experience and represents a worthwhile insurance policy to cash in. But he’s known far more for his sturdy presence behind the dish than his work with the bat in hand. The 35-year-old is a .201/.258/.299 lifetime hitter in the majors.

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    Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Poll: Slow-Starting Playoff Contenders]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=156179 2019-04-14T03:58:29Z 2019-04-14T03:58:29Z The Red Sox, Yankees, Cubs and Rockies were among the majors’ most successful clubs in 2018, when the quartet comprised 40 percent of the league’s playoff bracket. No one was better than the Red Sox, who rolled to 108 regular-season wins before steamrolling the Yankees, Astros and Dodgers in the postseason en route to their latest World Series title. The Yankees, despite their loss to archrival Boston, enjoyed a more-than-respectable year in which they notched 100 victories. And Colorado knocked out Chicago in the National League wild-card game, a battle of two 90-plus-win teams, before succumbing to Milwaukee in the divisional round.

    Given the excellence those clubs displayed last year, it would have been fair to expect each of them to earn playoff berths again in 2019. Instead, while we’re just a couple weeks into the season, all of those teams have tripped out of the starting block, having combined for 19 wins in 58 games. They’re the only members of last year’s playoff field that are under .500 at this point.

    Boston, whose roster is almost the same as its title-winning version (sans relievers Craig Kimbrel and Joe Kelly), dropped a game to the lowly Orioles on Saturday. Fifteen contests into the season, the Red Sox have already lost 10 times – something they didn’t do until Game 35 a year ago. Neither their all-world offense nor their high-end pitching staff from 2018 have come close to replicating those performances thus far, and questions have swirled around ace Chris Sale. Signed to a five-year, $145MM extension before the season, Sale’s velocity – which began dropping amid an injury-limited 2018 – has continued to plummet. Unsurprisingly, the 30-year-old’s effectiveness has waned as his fastball has lost power. Not only has Sale allowed an earned run per inning across 13 frames, but one of baseball’s all-time strikeout artists has fanned just eight batters.

    Maybe Sale is battling a physical issue, but the Yankees are dealing with plenty of their own. Eleven of their players, including standouts Luis Severino, Giancarlo Stanton, Gary Sanchez, Didi Gregorius, Miguel Andujar, Aaron Hicks and Dellin Betances are on the IL. The majority of that group won’t be back in the near future – or perhaps until 2020 in the case of Andujar – while Severino, Gregorius, Hicks and Betances haven’t suited up yet this year. With so many integral contributors unavailable, the Yankees have started 6-8. That would be less concerning if not for their inability to capitalize on an easy early season schedule. The Yankees have played 11 games against the Orioles, Tigers and White Sox, all of whom are regarded as bottom feeders, and only won six of those matchups. The AL East rival Rays (11-4) have taken advantage, evidenced by their 4.5-game lead on New York and their six-game edge over Boston.

    Over in the NL, the Cubs – on the heels of a widely panned offseason – have sputtered to a 5-9 showing and a four-game deficit in the Central, which could be one of the majors’ most competitive divisions. Although cornerstone hitters Kris Bryant, Javier Baez, Anthony Rizzo and Kyle Schwarber haven’t resembled their best selves, the Cubs’ offense has still done well statistically. Their pitching has been abysmal, on the other hand. Yu Darvish, who’s in Year 2 of a huge contract, continues to perform nothing like the pitcher he was pre-Chicago, while the bullpen the Cubs did little to bolster over the winter has looked predictably vulnerable.

    Speaking of vulnerable, the Rockies have christened their season with the majors’ worst record (3-12) and its last-ranked run differential (minus-36). If the Rockies are going to overcome their horrific start to pick up their third straight playoff appearance, they’ll need far more from their position players. Their hitters have put together a woeful 37 wRC+ and minus-2.6 fWAR, both of which easily rank last in the game. Injuries have played a part, as regulars David Dahl, Daniel Murphy and Ryan McMahon are all on the IL. Meanwhile, the Rockies’ primary offensive catalysts – Nolan Arenado, Trevor Story and Charlie Blackmon – have all been duds so far. Those three won’t stay down forever, though, and Colorado’s starting staff also has the talent to rebound from its early season mediocrity. But the Rockies can’t afford to let this skid continue to fester, especially considering they’re stuck in a division with the perennial champion Dodgers. Realistically, it’s wild card or bust for the Rockies, but rallying to steal one of those two spots in a crowded NL won’t be easy.

    While it would be unwise to panic on April 13, there are more reasons for concern than expected in all of these teams’ cases. Then again, the same was said last year about the Dodgers, who began 16-26 on their way to 92 wins and another pennant. The Red Sox, Yankees, Cubs and Rockies can take solace in that, perhaps, but do you believe any of them are already in serious trouble?

    (poll link for app users)

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    Ty Bradley <![CDATA[Rockies Sign Craig Gentry To Minors Deal]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=156141 2019-04-13T19:47:52Z 2019-04-13T19:47:52Z Per mlb.com’s transaction page, the Rockies have signed OF Craig Gentry to a minor league deal. The 35-year-old outfielder was signed by the Giants in mid-February, but ostensibly had been released at some point near the end of Spring Training. Gentry’s already reported to Triple-A Albuquerque, where he went 2 for 5 in last night’s 10-3 defeat at the hands of Tacoma.

    Gentry remains one of the few active players – along with perhaps Jarrod Dyson of the Diamondbacks and Alex Gordon of the Royals – to sustain elite outfield defense well into his mid-thirties. Never a full-time regular at a position with any of the four organizations with whom he’s been a part, Gentry’s still managed to post 54 defensive runs saved in just over 3,330 innings since his debut in 2009. Though he’s failed ever to show much power (a career .339 slugging percentage in 1402 big-league plate appearances), Gentry’s always been a solid on-base threat, with a .333 career OBP responsible for the bulk of his career 85 wRC+ line.

    At the very least, he’ll be a solid late-inning option for a Colorado club that’s relied on aging and inexperienced veterans at the position over the last few seasons. Ian Desmond is the latest to try his hand, but the veteran former first baseman has plunged even further into an ever-widening abyss at the plate. The club apparently doesn’t trust the injury-prone David Dahl or the wiry Raimel Tapia at the position, and already punted incumbent Charlie Blackmon over to right, so Gentry seems a prime option to give MLB’s toughest center field a crack.

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    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Daniel Murphy To Avoid Surgery]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=156089 2019-04-13T04:35:07Z 2019-04-13T01:57:39Z
  • Rockies first baseman Daniel Murphy will not require surgery to repair his fractured left index finger, Patrick Saunders of the Denver Post reports on Twitter. That seems generally promising, if only because it’s always preferable to avoid the risks of a procedure. It’s not clear exactly how long he’ll be sidelined; at last look, the club expected he’d be out of commission through at least the end of the month, but that seems like the bare minimum. Whatever the duration, it’ll be more than desirable for a team that currently sports the league’s worst offense.
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    Steve Adams <![CDATA[David Dahl Lands On IL; Yonathan Daza Recalled]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=155889 2019-04-09T22:42:40Z 2019-04-09T22:42:40Z The Rockies announced Tuesday that they’ve placed outfielder David Dahl on the 10-day injured list due to a “left-side core injury.” Fellow outfielder Yonathan Daza has been recalled from Triple-A in his place. Dahl’s injury isn’t believed to be especially serious, and the hot-hitting 25-year-old in fact told MLB.com’s Thomas Harding that he hopes to return after a minimal 10-day stay on the IL (Twitter link). Dahl joins Daniel Murphy as a key middle-of-the-order presence whose absence will surely be felt by a Rockies lineup that entered play Tuesday tied for 20th in total runs scored (37th), 24th in batting average (.219), 26th in on-base percentage (.283) and 23rd in slugging percentage (.350). Dahl was off to a scintillating .343/.385/.629 start to the season through 39 plate appearances.

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    Steve Adams <![CDATA[NL Notes: Lester, Kershaw, Urias, Dahl]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=155814 2019-04-09T13:40:11Z 2019-04-09T00:18:22Z The Cubs’ offense clicked in today’s home opener, but there’s still some cause for concern. Left-hander Jon Lester exited the game in the third inning due to tightness in his left hamstring, per Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times. Lester had singled and scored in the prior frame, and Wittenmyer notes that the southpaw was slow to get up after sliding safely into home plate. More will be known after an MRI tomorrow, as Wittenmyer tweets. While Lester says he’s optimistic and isn’t even counting out making his next scheduled start, it seems safe to assume he’ll miss at least one outing. If that comes to pass, the Cubs would likely have to turn to righty Tyler Chatwood to make a start, given that Mike Montgomery is currently on the injured list due to a lat strain.

    Here’s more from the NL …

    • Clayton Kershaw will make what is expected to be his final rehab start tomorrow for the Dodgers’ Double-A affiliate, tweets Bill Plunkett of the Orange County Register. If Kershaw is indeed ready to be activated after that outing, he’ll step back into the rotation in place of fellow southpaw Julio Urias, Pedro Moura of The Athletic tweeted last night. Los Angeles hasn’t exactly felt Kershaw’s absence in the win-loss column, as they’re sitting at 8-2 on the season, but he’ll nevertheless be a boon to an already dangerous roster that sports baseball’s best run differential (+36). Urias has shown a velocity uptick to open the new season, but the Dodgers will be happy to take things slow given that he only returned from injury in time to record 15 2/3 total innings last year.
    • Rockies left fielder David Dahl exited last night’s game early due to an abdominal injury sustained on a swing, writes MLB.com’s Thomas Harding. While the outfielder himself doesn’t believe he’ll need to miss an extended period of time, manager Bud Black offered a more cautious outlook, simply stating that the Rox have their “fingers crossed” and are hoping for a slight tweak as opposed to something like an oblique strain that would require a trip to the injured list. Dahl has been brilliant to start the 2019 season for the otherwise offensively challenged ballclub, raking at a .343/.385/.629 clip and getting a look as the team’s cleanup hitter. Should he require an IL stint, Raimel Tapia would figure to fill in during his absence.
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    Connor Byrne <![CDATA[No Extension Talks Yet Between Rockies, Kyle Freeland]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=155762 2019-04-08T02:03:47Z 2019-04-08T02:03:47Z
  • Although Rockies owner Dick Monfort seems interested in extending left-hander Kyle Freeland, the two sides haven’t engaged in talks yet, Heyman reports. Colorado just extended righty German Marquez for a guaranteed $43MM – a number Heyman regards as “an obvious floor” for Freeland, who’s in his final pre-arbitration season and has three years of control left thereafter. Freeland, 26 next month, made a major case for long-term security in 2018, in which he amassed 202 1/3 innings of 2.85 ERA pitching and finished fourth in the NL Cy Young race.
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    George Miller <![CDATA[Rockies Place Tyler Anderson On IL, Recall Yency Almonte]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=155752 2019-04-07T21:01:08Z 2019-04-07T20:33:18Z According to a team announcement (Twitter link), the Rockies have placed left-handed pitcher Tyler Anderson on the 10-day injured list due to left knee inflammation. In a corresponding move, the team recalled right-hander Yency Almonte from Triple-A.

    Anderson, 29, has looked out of sorts in his first two starts of the season, surrendering 11 runs in just nine innings of work. His slow start comes on the heels of an impressive 2018 campaign in which Anderson worked 176 innings, posting a 4.55 ERA while striking out 164 batters.

    It’s disappointing news for a Rockies team that has had to endure more than its fair share of injuries early in the season, with infielders Daniel Murphy and Ryan McMahon also on the IL. With Anderson unavailable, it’s unclear just how the Rockies will fill his spot in the starting rotation. The preferred candidate, Antonio Senzatela, is also on the injured list, so he was not an option to replace Anderson. Yency Almonte, who will fill Anderson’s spot on the 25-man roster, has not started a game at the Major League level, but started 10 games in Triple-A last season. However, the Rockies plan to use Almonte as a reliver in the big leagues.

    A bullpen day is not out of the question when Anderson’s turn in the rotation comes up next, but the circumstances are not ideal for a Rockies team that already had questions surrounding the back end of the rotation. For the time being, though, it appears that the Rockies will need to patch together a rotation while Anderson and Senzatela recover from injuries. Anderson’s spot in the rotation will come up next on Wednesday. Jeff Hoffman, who started 16 games for the Rockies in 2017, remains in Triple-A as a depth rotation option.

     

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    Mark Polishuk <![CDATA[Rockies Place Ryan McMahon On 10-Day IL, Promote Josh Fuentes]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=155666 2019-04-06T23:35:48Z 2019-04-06T23:18:34Z The Rockies have placed infielder Ryan McMahon on the 10-day injured list due to a left elbow strain, as per a team announcement.  Infielder Josh Fuentes has been called up from Triple-A to take McMahon’s roster spot.

    McMahon has been in the starting lineup for seven of Colorado’s eight games as either a first baseman or second baseman, getting more time at first base since Daniel Murphy hit the IL.  There hasn’t been much production yet for McMahon (.200/.310/.280 over 29 PA) as the former top prospect is still looking to break through at the Major League level.  McMahon has only a .661 OPS in 255 PA for the Rockies over the last three seasons, though the team was hoping McMahon could take that next step in more of a regular role this season.  McMahon and Garrett Hampson were expected to split time at second base in the wake of DJ LeMahieu’s departure.

    With both Murphy and McMahon now sidelined, Mark Reynolds, Pat Valaika, and Fuentes are likely to handle the bulk of the time at first base until McMahon is back.  There hasn’t yet been any indication about the severity of McMahon’s injury, though it seems reasonable to assume he’ll return before Murphy, who isn’t expected back until May.

    Fuentes’ promotion caps off his unlikely rise through the Rockies’ farm system.  After going undrafted, Fuentes signed on with the Colorado organization as a minor league free agent and proved his value, hitting .300/.349/.477 over 2034 PA in the minors.  This included a big 2018 season that saw him named as both the MVP and Rookie Of The Year in the Triple-A Pacific Coast League.  With extensive experience at both first base and third base, Fuentes also provides some extra backup at the hot corner for his cousin, Rockies superstar Nolan Arenado.

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    Steve Adams <![CDATA[Rockies Extend German Marquez]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=155368 2019-04-08T13:44:59Z 2019-04-06T15:20:07Z April 6: The Rockies have formally announced the extension. Marquez  is now signed through at least the 2023 season.

    Per MLB Network’s Jon Heyman (Twitter link), he’ll receive a $1.5MM signing bonus and earn $1MM this season before earning $4.5MM in 2020, $7.5MM in 2021, $11MM in 2022 and $15MM in 2023. The option is valued at $16MM and comes with a $2.5MM buyout.

    April 2: The Rockies and right-hander German Marquez are in agreement on a five-year, $43MM contract extension, Jeff Passan of ESPN reports (via Twitter). The deal contains a club option for a sixth season, though a pair of top-three finishes in Cy Young voting over the life of the deal would convert that into a mutual option. The contract begins in 2019 and runs through the 2023 season, Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic tweets. Marquez is represented by Daniel Szew of L.A. Sports Management.

    German Marquez | Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

    The $43MM figure promised to Marquez is the second-largest guarantee ever received by an arbitration-eligible pitcher with between two and three years of MLB service time. Rays lefty Blake Snell recently set a new precedent in that regard by landing a $50MM sum over the same five-year term, which may have helped to move the market forward a bit for Marquez.

    Marquez, who turned 24 in February, was not yet eligible for arbitration and will now forgo that entire process. The new contract includes the current season as well as three arbitration years and what would have been Marquez’s first season of free agency. The club option covers a second would-be free-agent season. Marquez would’ve been on track to reach free agency heading into his age-28 season, but he’ll now be controlled by the Rockies through age 29 and reach the market in advance of his age-30 campaign.

    While Marquez didn’t generate the most attention among Rockies starters last year  — teammate Kyle Freeland placed fourth in National League Cy Young voting — he did break out as a high-quality mid-rotation piece with the potential upside to become more. Over the life of a career-high 196 innings, Marquez posted a 3.77 ERA with 10.6 K/, 2.6 BB/9, 1.10 HR/9 and a 47.3 percent ground-ball rate. Metrics such as FIP (3.40), xFIP (3.10) and SIERA (3.31) all felt that Marquez handily outperformed an earned run average that already appeared solid (particularly when accounting for the fact that his home games are played at Coors Field).

    Marquez complemented those numbers with a fastball that averaged 95.2 mph, a 12.5 percent swinging-strike rate and a 30.7 percent opponents’ chase rate on pitches outside the strike zone. Dating back to Opening Day 2017 (and including the lone start he’s made in 2019), Marquez has a 4.01 ERA with 384 strikeouts against 109 walks across 364 innings for the Rox.

    Moving forward, the Rockies will count on Marquez and Freeland to anchor a rotation that also features lefty Tyler Anderson, the talented but wildly inconsistent Jon Gray and veteran righty Chad Bettis. There’s a chance that Marquez proves to be the best of that bunch, though the rates at which he’s being paid would be a bargain even for a mid-rotation starter (as is the inherent nature of pre-arbitration contract extensions).

    The Rockies now control Marquez longer than any player on the roster other than their other spring extension recipient, Nolan Arenado, who is signed through the 2026 season (albeit with an opt-out after 2021). The Rockies aren’t in any real proximity to the luxury tax threshold, so any ramifications of the deal’s impact on Colorado’s luxury payroll are negligible. Colorado already had $116.75MM on the books for the 2020 season, and the Marquez contract will nudge that forward by a few million dollars.

    Marquez’s agreement continues an unprecedented barrage of long-term extensions for players who are already under club control — many of whom have signed on the dotted line just months before what would’ve been their first foray into free agency (e.g. Arenado). The onslaught of long-term deals has manifested against the backdrop of significant tension labor tensions stemming from a deteriorating middle class among MLB free agents and questions surrounding the increasing number of tanking (“rebuilding”) teams throughout the league.

    As shown in MLBTR’s Extension Tracker, Marquez’s deal is, stunningly, the 25th extension of the calendar year. In past offseasons, it was commonplace for a handful of players to ink long-term deals each spring, but this is the first time in league history that the equivalent of an entire team’s active roster has signed extensions. While it’s hard to fault any player for signing on board for a life-changing sum of money, the increased number of pre-market deals also serves to suppress the age at which players reach free agency, leading to more free agents in their early 30s and creating potential for additional strife down the line. Of course, the league and MLBPA are already in the process of discussing changes well in advance of the current Basic Agreement’s expiration at the end of the 2021 season, so perhaps there’ll be changes that mitigate much of that tension as we move ahead.

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    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Rockies Interested In Additional Extensions]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=155594 2019-04-06T04:27:23Z 2019-04-06T04:27:23Z The Rockies are fully on board the extension train, having inked two significant deals with existing players this winter (Nolan Arenado, German Marquez) after doing the same this time last year with Charlie Blackmon. Club owner Dick Monfort indicated today that the team is interested in pursuing yet more deals, as Nick Groke of The Athletic reports (Twitter links).

    Two players, in particular, seem to be in the crosshairs for Monfort and his front office, which is led by GM Jeff Bridich. Shortstop Trevor Story is one; Monfort said that the team would rather ink a long-term deal than try to find an eventual free-agent replacement. And Monfort also suggests he sees a path to a multi-year arrangement with lefty Kyle Freeland.

    It’s interesting to see the concept of a free-agent replacement cited in relation to Story, since the Rox’ top prospect is also a shortstop. Brendan Rodgers figures to be ready for the majors well before Story hits the open market in advance of the 2022 season, though perhaps the preference is for an infield that features both — along with Arenado.

    Story, certainly, has shown himself worthy of an investment. The 26-year-old turned in a sub-par season with the bat in 2017 but still launched 24 long balls. He has been outstanding with the bat in his other two seasons in the majors. Last year, he drove the ball out of the park 37 times and slashed .291/.348/.567 over 656 plate appearances — good for a healthy 127 wRC+. Story also swiped 27 bags. While his defensive metrics lagged following a strong ’17 showing, he has graded in range of league average at short. It’s an impressive overall package.

    The Rox aren’t likely to get too much of a discount on a deal with Story. He’s already earning $5MM this season, which sets the stage for large earnings in his final two seasons of arbitration. With age generally on his side, and big money already locked in, Story can hold out for a significant payday.

    As for Freeland, there’s always more risk for a pitcher — particularly one who calls Coors Field home. But altitude comes with the territory for the Colorado native, who’s in the same 2+ (non-Super Two) service class as Marquez. Freeland is a bit older — he’ll soon turn 26, while Marquez only just turned 24 — but has an argument for even greater earnings after a monster 2018 season. (Marquez was guaranteed $43MM over five years.)

    Freeland showed ample promise in his MLB debut, but took things to quite a surprising new level last year. In 202 1/3 innings, he worked to a 2.85 ERA with 7.7 K/9 and 3.1 BB/9 to go with a 46.0% groundball rate. That showing earned him a fourth-place finish in the N.L. Cy Young voting — and probably would’ve warranted higher placement in most seasons.

    There’s certainly an argument to be made that Marquez is the better pitcher to invest in, but that’s not to say that Freeland isn’t worthy — even if he does end up costing more. His history of 50+% groundball rates in the minors is noteworthy. And his productivity to date has already boosted his arb earning capabilities, so the Rockies figure to face some reasonably significant obligations in the near term.

    It’s not clear whether talks will be pursued in the immediate term with either player. The team may prefer to wait and see how the season shakes out. Rodgers could reduce the long-term need for Story; Freeland may not repeat his ’18 successes. On the other hand, repeat showings from these quality younger players could make it that much more expensive to secure their services for the future.

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    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Rockies Sign Jorge De La Rosa]]> https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=155580 2019-04-06T00:26:28Z 2019-04-05T23:56:02Z Lefty Jorge De La Rosa is back in the Rockies organization after officially inking a minors deal with the club. His initial destination is not yet known, but it may be that he’ll begin with some time at extended spring training.

    De La Rosa found himself in Colorado after a few rough seasons to open his career. Over nine years with the Rockies, he made two hundred starts and pitched to a 4.35 ERA.

    Now 38 years of age, De La Rosa will return to the organization after two years spent with the Diamondbacks and Cubs. He has been utilized exclusively in a relief role of late, and it seems reasonable to presume he’ll continue to do so.

    While he struggled to open the 2018 season, De La Rosa picked up steam upon landing in Chicago later in the year. He spun 21 innings of 1.29 ERA ball over 17 appearances with the Cubbies, compiling twenty strikeouts against eight walks and 14 hits.

    For the Rockies, the addition brings a familiar southpaw with ample experience pitching at altitude. Veteran lefties Jake McGee and Chris Rusin are on the inured list at present, increasing the appeal of adding De La Rosa.

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