Denver Post sports writer Patrick Saunders with the latest installment of his Rockies mailbag.
Ask a Rockies – or MLB – related question for the Rockies mailbag.
Why would Trevor Story want to join the Texas Rangers? They were worse than the Rockies.
– Sandra Sprecker, Salina, Cannes.
Sandra, that’s an excellent question.
Let’s start with the story told during the final series of the season in Phoenix. He was essentially bidding farewell to Colorado.
“I’ve always said that winning is above all for me, and the culture and the environment,” Story said. “Obviously geography. There’s a lot of different things in this, a lot of which are ones that we’ll keep near our vests.
There’s a lot to digest, but “obviously the geography” is a big part of the reason why the story might just sign off with Rangers. Story was born and raised in Irving, Texas, which is close to the Rangers’ home in Arlington. He still makes his offseason home in the Dallas area.
And while you’re right that the Rangers (60-102) were worse than the Rockies (74-87), the Rangers are expected to be the big spenders this off-season. In other words, they have come down from the bottom and want to rebuild quickly.
According to a November story in MLB.com, General Manager Chris Young and President of Baseball Operations John Daniels said that Texas is planning to be “proactive and aggressive” in free agency and that it is moving to spend larger than ownership. Gone if necessary.
There’s no grudge against the Rockies in the story, but from what I’ve been told, he doesn’t believe the franchise is close to being a contender.
And, of course, you can’t discount the money factor. Now it remains to be seen which team will offer the best deal to Story.
Greetings, Patrick. I think Bud Black is entering the final year of his contract, isn’t he? If so, why haven’t the Rockies expanded them yet? Or maybe he’s not coming back?
– Eric, Broomfield
Eric, interesting that you brought it up. I had a source who told me recently that he heard Black was talking to the Rockies about a contract extension. I checked it with General Manager Bill Schmidt, who told me it wasn’t true. However, Schmidt said talks with Black are certainly possible in the coming months.
In February 2019, as Black entered the final year of his initial three-year contract, he signed his current deal. So I won’t read too much into the fact that Black hasn’t been boosted yet.
Having said that, there is no guarantee that Black will be around for the 2022 season. For one thing, Black is 64. For another, perhaps he might consider another job outside of Colorado if one emerges.
In the end, who knows how Schmidt and Black will get along over the long haul? From what I’ve seen and told, the two get along well and share a vision of what the Rockies need to do to get better.
Still, GMs often like to choose their managers. Certainly such was the case with former Rockies GM Jeff Briditch. She had a very controversial and volatile two-year relationship with Walt Weiss, who left after the 2016 season.
Now that free agency is in full swing, I’d like to know how free agency works for minor league players, especially triple-A players. If Triple-A players had a one-year contract, and they don’t re-sign with that team, are they considered free agents? Since Triple-A players rarely have multi-year contracts, I’m assuming there will be many Triple-A free agents from which teams can choose. My second question, if this is true, where can we find a list of Triple-A free agents?
— Judy, Danverso
Judy, let’s start with the basics. Players become minor league free agents when they are released from their original contract or after their first six full seasons in the minors. So, essentially, a team can “cut” them, thus freeing them to sign with any team they wish. Or the player can only start searching after six full seasons.
Also, without getting too technical, if you hear or read that a player is “outright,” it essentially means that a player is being “assigned to minor leagues outright.”
For the first time in a career this happens, the player must accept the assignment. Thereafter, a player has the option to either decline the assignment and become a free agent immediately, or the player can accept the assignment at the end of the season and become a free agent if he is returned to the 40-man roster. has not been done.
A player with three years of major league service time may refuse the assignment outright and choose to become a free agent immediately or at the end of the season.
As far as tracking down minor league free agents, Baseball America is a good place to find that information.
Or you can go to MLB.com, select a team, then view that team’s transactions page. For example, here’s a link to the Rockies Transactions page: mlb.com/rockies/roster/transactions
I remember hearing a few years ago (maybe it was a rumor) that the Rockies were probably coming out with a new jersey or design. Is there any truth to this?
– Anthony M., Parker
Anthony, I remember that “rumour”. It was based on an email to a fan of owner Dick Monfort. I don’t know if the email was genuine, and it was unclear whether Monfort was referring to a 2021 team, a 2022 team, or simply a new, alternative jersey. As far as I know, there are no plans to reform the uniform.
Greetings Patrick. You’re covering almost every sport in Colorado except hockey, or is that coming? With the demands of covering a large outfield i.e. Coors Field, I am impressed by Chris Taylor’s versatility. His regular stats were pedestrians, but they don’t shrink when the moment is big. Among potential outfielders after him, Kris Bryant would be good if he was economical or Starling Marte. I haven’t seen enough of the other players for the old eye test. In my humble opinion, going all-in for raw numbers on a sub-par defense is a gamble at Coors.
— Robert Emmerling, Limon
Robert, trust me, you don’t want me to cover hockey.
As far as Taylor is concerned, I know Rockies manager Bud Black loves Taylor’s versatility, and you’re right, he’s exposed in the big moments. But as someone with the Rockies told me, you have to wonder how Taylor would perform if she were to be a “big ponytail.” After all, he was surrounded by a lot of stars with the Dodgers.
From a fielding point of view, Marte would be best suited at center field. But he’s 33 and thinking he might be the missing piece for a competitive team.
In Sunday’s Denver Post, I charted the top free-agent outfield prospects.
What does this team have to do through free agency (and what is most likely to happen to this GM) to become relevant or close to .500 in the off-season? What little kids should we expect in the farm system this spring to reach .500? Looking for any signs of hope.
– Aaron, a Rockies fan disappointed in Littleton
Aaron, this is a broad question but I’ll give it a shot:
* I think the Rockies have a chance of becoming a .500 team in 2022, but I don’t think they will be a playoff contender.
* It’s no secret that they need to find a power-hitting outfielder (or even two at a low cost), bullpen arms (possibly a close one), possibly an experienced starting pitcher (if they can’t re-sign) John Grey), and a replacement for Trevor Story at shortstop. Not all of those needs will be met through free agency.
* For the kids in the system, lefty starter Ryan Rollison will be crucial, but he is also likely to experience growing pains in 2022. Same goes for right-handed Ryan Feltner. Perhaps outfielders Ryan Vilade or Colton Welker will provide some pop to the order. I’m also interested in left fielder Conor Joe, though at 29 he’s hardly a kid.