The Rockies were supposed to be fighting with the Giants around this time for the division. Instead, they're one of baseball's biggest disappointments. The Arizona Diamondbacks have all but clinched the NL West, Ubaldo Jimenez got traded, and somehow, Heath Bell wasn't traded.
The Rockies nearly acquired Wandy Rodriguez about two weeks ago, but the Houston Astros wanted too much for him.
What should the Rockies do in the offseason? Let's discuss.
The Rockies do have enough money to go get someone good. Not like Albert Pujols or Prince Fielder, but just look at the 2011 payroll for all MLB Teams.
|Team||Total payroll||Average Salary||Median||STD Dev|
|New York Yankees||$ 202,689,028||$ 6,756,300||$ 2,100,000||$ 8,468,058|
|Philadelphia Phillies||$ 172,976,379||$ 5,765,879||$ 2,625,000||$ 6,227,550|
|Boston Red Sox||$ 161,762,475||$ 5,991,202||$ 5,500,000||$ 5,576,432|
|Los Angeles Angels||$ 138,543,166||$ 4,469,134||$ 2,000,000||$ 6,048,494|
|Chicago White Sox||$ 127,789,000||$ 4,732,925||$ 2,750,000||$ 4,810,687|
|Chicago Cubs||$ 125,047,329||$ 5,001,893||$ 1,600,000||$ 6,194,469|
|New York Mets||$ 118,847,309||$ 4,401,752||$ 900,000||$ 6,693,551|
|San Francisco Giants||$ 118,198,333||$ 4,377,716||$ 2,200,000||$ 4,877,657|
|Minnesota Twins||$ 112,737,000||$ 4,509,480||$ 3,000,000||$ 5,536,653|
|Detroit Tigers||$ 105,700,231||$ 3,914,823||$ 1,300,000||$ 5,259,443|
|St. Louis Cardinals||$ 105,433,572||$ 3,904,947||$ 1,000,000||$ 5,027,807|
|Los Angeles Dodgers||$ 104,188,999||$ 3,472,966||$ 2,142,838||$ 3,631,806|
|Texas Rangers||$ 92,299,264||$ 3,182,733||$ 1,251,000||$ 4,027,146|
|Colorado Rockies||$ 88,148,071||$ 3,390,310||$ 2,318,750||$ 4,398,021|
|Atlanta Braves||$ 87,002,692||$ 3,346,257||$ 1,275,000||$ 4,279,462|
|Seattle Mariners||$ 86,524,600||$ 2,884,153||$ 825,000||$ 4,414,418|
|Milwaukee Brewers||$ 85,497,333||$ 2,849,911||$ 1,050,000||$ 3,869,134|
|Baltimore Orioles||$ 85,304,038||$ 3,280,924||$ 1,425,000||$ 3,237,465|
|Cincinnati Reds||$ 75,947,134||$ 2,531,571||$ 825,000||$ 3,357,823|
|Houston Astros||$ 70,694,000||$ 2,437,724||$ 467,000||$ 3,960,818|
|Oakland Athletics||$ 66,536,500||$ 2,376,303||$ 1,400,000||$ 2,073,296|
|Washington Nationals||$ 63,856,928||$ 2,201,963||$ 1,050,000||$ 2,783,056|
|Toronto Blue Jays||$ 62,567,800||$ 2,018,316||$ 1,200,000||$ 1,906,416|
|Florida Marlins||$ 56,944,000||$ 2,190,153||$ 545,000||$ 2,877,071|
|Arizona Diamondbacks||$ 53,639,833||$ 1,986,660||$ 1,000,000||$ 1,854,261|
|Cleveland Indians||$ 49,190,566||$ 1,639,685||$ 484,200||$ 2,763,453|
|San Diego Padres||$ 45,869,140||$ 1,479,649||$ 468,800||$ 1,858,830|
|Pittsburgh Pirates||$ 45,047,000||$ 1,553,344||$ 450,000||$ 1,880,199|
|Tampa Bay Rays||$ 41,053,571||$ 1,578,983||$ 907,750||$ 1,570,206|
|Kansas City Royals||$ 36,126,000||$ 1,338,000||$ 850,000||$ 1,143,503|
Yet the Brewers can go out and get guys like Nyjer Morgan, Francisco Rodriguez, Zach Grienke, CC Cabathia (in 2008), the Braves can go out and get guys like Michael Bourn, and the Mariners were able to get Cliff Lee before 2010 (they did trade him later, but you see the deal).
If teams with less money than Colorado have enough money to go out and get good players, why couldn't the Rockies? They could afford them too.
Aaron Cook is in line to make $11 million next year if his option is exercised. Right now, that's very unlikely, but things can change in the MLB. Aaron Cook is a bum. He's not even good for a No. 5 guy. $11 million is a lot of money that could be spent on free agents. If you want more money, either don't tender his contract, or let him come back for a lot less money. I'd prefer they let him go.
With $11 million more to spend, the Rockies could really take advantage of that.
Ty Wigginton has been awful this season. He can't hit with RISP (or at all for that matter), and he's an awful fielder. True, he doesn't have a huge contract, but 7.5 million for two years—No thanks. Trade or release him and we have even more money to spend on free agents.
Ever since Millwood joined the Rockies he's been a very solid addition, going 2-2 with a 3.79 ERA. Those aren't great numbers, but they're solid for a No. 3 or 4 guy.
We don't have anyone else in the organization to step up yet, so the team might as well keep Millwood for one more season while guys like Alex White and Drew Pomeranz develop.
Mark Ellis isn't a big name player who will hit .300 every year, but he is the type of second baseman that's a good-for-now option. He's a very good fielder, and while his average or power isn't anything to write home about, I say it's good enough for him to stay.
I also say this because we have bigger needs than second base, so let's not worry about this position yet.
Two weeks ago, the Rockies claimed Wandy Rodriguez off waivers from the Houston Astros, but a deal never went through, so Rodriguez stayed in Houston. The Astros wanted Drew Pomeranz (one of the pitchers Colorado acquired in the Ubaldo Jimenez trade) or Willin Rosario. The Rockies were only offering Casey Weathers, Jason Hammel, and another solid prospect, but Houston wouldn't take that deal, even though Colorado offered to pay his whole salary.
I can definitely see the Rockies try again for him in the offseason, and I would like that. He's a very good pitcher, and Jholous Chacin just isn't ready to be an ace.
Besides, they can always change their asking price for Wandy, so at least try again. It wouldn't hurt.
I would love to get a big-name player like Pujols, but he could obviously cost too much and we have too many needs to risk investing a lot of money in one player.
That's why we break it up and get a lot of great but not superstar players. Players that wouldn't cost an arm, leg and more.
If your team wasn't too great, and had needs, what would you rather do?
Spend $20 million per season on one superstar player?
Or spend $7 million per season (or so) on 3 good players?
I doubt we would, but just wanted to say.
Who should we get? I say start off with...
Aramis Ramirez would be a great addition to the Rockies. He's a great all-around hitter, and for a hitter like him, 5 years and 73 million is actually a solid bargain. I doubt any team would sign him for that type of contract now (since he's 33) but he would possible get around $10 million or so for the season, and I think that would be a great investment.
The Rockies have a huge hole at 3B, and nobody in the organization is good enough to fill it. We need to spend money on this position in the offseason.
CJ Wilson signing with the Rockies probably won't happen, but I say we should at least try to get him. He's a very good pitcher, and when Jorge De La Rosa comes back from injury he won't be the only left hander in the rotation (if Drew Pomeranz isn't in the rotation).
He would be a very good addition, as we have a very thin pitching staff.
Imagine our 2012 rotation if we got Wilson:
Kevin Millwood (if he doesn't retire)
Jorge De La Rosa (when he comes back from injury)
Pomeranz or White
We have our starting outfielders:
Carlos Gonzalez, Dexter Fowler, and Seth Smith.
We have our bench for outfielders. Unfortunately, they all suck in the outfield.
Ty Wigginton, Ryan Spilborghs, Eric Young Jr.
We do have a solid outfield prospect in Charlie Blackmon, but until he develops, we need outfield depth.
That's why I would like to sign a guy like Jason Kubel, Laynce Nix, or Austin Kearns. They would all be solid additions to the bench, or even start if needed.
Any of them, I'm ok with.