For the Rocky Mountains, it has been here for quite some time until next year.
More precisely, the Rocky Mountains have not smelled competition since the odds of the four games at the end of June 2019 were higher than 0.500. Then, from July 6th to 19th, they finally achieved a record of 71 wins and 91 losses.
Next is the 2020 season lost in the coronavirus pandemic, followed by Nolan Arenado soap operas and trades, and finally this strange season, the Rockies are tracking the worst in team history Away record.
This brings us back to the future and understands the offseason and Colorado’s financial situation in advance.
The good news: The Rocky Mountain’s affordable starting rotation entered the weekend with 58 high-quality starts, ranking second in the National League, second only to the Dodgers’ 63.
The bad news: Even if the Rocky Mountain starters reproduce their success next season — and stay healthy — there are still big holes in the lineup to fill, and the bullpen is facing reclamation.
Can the Rockies make some bold moves in the offseason? Will they offer high-value contracts to free agents to immediately return to the playoffs? Or does this “drafting and developing” organization still need a few more years?
“We will seek to improve,” interim general manager Bill Schmidt said. “There are many ways to increase talent.”
When asked if the Rockies are willing to spend money on free agents this offseason, Schmidt said: “We will seek to improve. We will explore all ways to do this.”
However, it is not clear how open these channels are.
A well-known agent said that it is too early to judge whether this offseason will become a buyer’s market. Of course, the Rockies prefer this because the cost of free agency will be lower.
“We don’t know what will happen because they are working on a new CBA (collective bargaining agreement),” the broker said. “There are a lot of changes, so I can’t predict what my customers will look for, let alone what other players will look for.”
The current CBA will expire on December 1, and preliminary negotiations have begun. If no agreement is reached before the expiration date, the owners may shut down, thereby completely changing the offseason.
Nevertheless, some people in the industry believe that once the water calms down, a team like the Rocky Mountains may cause a sensation.
“Big players don’t seem to enter the free agency market. This is a very deep market,” said Bob Nightengale, a long-time national baseball writer for USA Today. “So I can see small and medium market teams jump into this pool.”
At least, Colorado seems to have money to spend.
Its total salary in 2021 is 114.1 million U.S. dollars, ranking 18th in the Grand Slam. According to Sportrac. This is a significant drop from the $157.2 million salary in 2019, which is the largest in franchise history.
When the Rockies rejected the offer of star shortstop Trevor Storey on the July 30 trading deadline, Schmidt made it clear that the club did not have to trade Storey for economic reasons. In other words, boss Dick Monfort does not intend to give up his payroll.
Despite this, Monfort’s words after the 60 seasons intercepted last year are still lingering.
Monfort wrote in a letter to season ticket holders: “The financial losses in the baseball industry in 2020 are shocking. The industry loses nearly 3 billion U.S. dollars, and the average club loses nearly 100 million U.S. dollars.” “The rebound takes time. In some cases, these losses will never be recovered.
“Therefore, as the industry faces new economic realities, this offseason will be abnormal and every club will have to make adjustments.”
In terms of box office, the Rockies adjusted quite well. Although COVID-19 was restricted at the beginning of the season, fans still flocked to LoDo. In fact, the Rockies ranked sixth in attendance, with an average of 24,147 fans per game at Coors Field. Since the restriction was lifted on July 1, the Rocky Mountains have averaged 32,747 fans per game.
So it seems that there should be some money to spend on rescuers or powered bats.
In addition, the Rocky Mountain’s salary obligations in 2022, including the estimated funds for players eligible for arbitration, and the salaries of pre-arbitrated players, are not important. About 80 million US dollars.
Experienced right fielder Charlie Blackmond owes US$21.3 million (player option), and right-hander German Marquez will receive US$11.3 million. Injured rescuer Scott Oberg may not throw the ball again due to a thrombosis in his right arm, but it is still sold for $7 million.
Colorado paid $18.5 million to shortstop Trevor Storey this season, but he will soon become a free agent, looking for a big contract elsewhere.
The Rockies will also eventually withdraw from Ian Desmond’s five-year, $70 million contract, even though the Rockies must pay him a $2 million buyout when they reject the $15 million club option in 2022. The St. Louis Cardinals this season, the Rockies only need to pay Arenado’s contract of $5.75 million in 2022, and this figure jumps to $21 million in 2023.
There are many players in the Rockies who qualify for arbitration, and they will line up to get a healthy salary increase. The left-hander Kelvreeland earned $5.025 million this season, and he can earn between $8 million and $10 million in the second year of the arbitration. When third baseman Ryan McMahon participated in the arbitration for the second time, his current salary was $2.375 million.
For Schmidt, if he gets a permanent General Motors position, the more immediate concern is whether he can renew his contract with right-hander Jon Gray and first baseman CJ Cron. Both plan to become free agents and will seek a deal for many years.
Gray wants to stay in Colorado, but he might consider a four-year deal worth $40 million. Cron has a strong season with 23 home runs and 0.907 OPS. He signed a one-year, $6.1 million contract with Detroit before the 2020 season. Looking to the future, he should wait in line for a substantial salary increase.
After making a decision on Gray and Cron, the Rocky Mountains will begin to seek to make up for their shortcomings. In fact, they won’t be looking for stars like Dodge shortstop Corrisig, Houston shortstop Carlo Scorrea or Atlanta first baseman Freddie Freeman in the market.
If the Rockies really want to strengthen their outfield or add a designated hitter-type heavy hitter, maybe they can target Cincinnati outfielder Nick Castellanos. His contract has two years left and a deposit of $34 million, but the player who made the All-Star for the first time seems likely to opt out of the contract.
Of course, the deal may also be part of Colorado’s offseason game plan, but the Rocky Mountains are not known as a wheeler dealer and this is unlikely to change.
Snapshot of the salary situation in the Rockies:
2018: US$141.3 million (No. 15 in Major League Baseball)
2019 year: USD 157.2 million (No. 11, franchise record)
2020 year: US$67.8 million (Season 12, 60 games)
2021: US$114.1 million (No. 18)
Major payments in 2022
Charlie Blackmond: US$21.3 million (player option)
RHP Germany Max: USD 11.3 million
RHP Scott Oberg: $7 million (injured, unlikely to play)
3B Nolan Arenado: US$5.75 million (to pay part of his salary in St. Louis)
Ian Desmond: US$2 million (buy out when the club rejects the option of US$15 million)
LHP Kyle Freeland: US$10 million (estimated salary for the second year of arbitration)
3B/2B Ryan McMahon: USD 5 million (estimated salary for the second year of arbitration)
Source: Spotrac. The numbers come from the player’s salary, including a combination of base salary, rewards, and signing bonus ratios.