Rockies
Chris Carlson/Associated Press

The Rockies finished with their second straight sub .500 season with a fourth place finish in the National League West. As the 2019 season ended, the Rockies were up-front in stating that a loaded payroll prevented them from doing much, but there would be payroll relief after 2020. But after the pandemic shortened the season and forced games without fans, Rockies owner, chairman, and CEO Dick Monfort warned that this offseason is uncertain.

Both the Rays and Padres were able to make multiple under the radar moves that didn’t increase their payrolls, so look for the Rockies to attempt the same.

The Rockies are strong in the starting rotation with German Marquez, Kyle Freeland, and Antonio Senzatela. They finished third in innings pitched and quality starts in 2020 for the MLB.

The Rockies may try to trade more expensive players to reduce payroll, but they are unlikely facing a tear down and rebuild. The goal of such deals would be to produce a team that takes advantage of its solid starting pitching and to put the Rockies in a position to add a major piece at the 2021 Trade Deadline.

The Rockies added to their pool of left-handers by acquiring 23-year-old Yoan Aybar from the Red Sox in exchange for 2019 12th-round pick Christian Koss.

Offensive Quality and Depth

The Rockies’ offense used to spark debates about Coors Field because of the altitude. But 2020 was not a success. They ranked 25nd in the Majors in on-base percentage, 22nd in home runs, and 18th in OPS, and they went 12-18 at home.

The offense heard traditional criticisms during postseason appearances in 2017 and 2018, then didn’t adequately replace DJ LeMahieu after 2018. To take a step forward, the Rockies need to add at least one proven bat.

Nolan Arenado and David Dahl (who was shockingly non-tendered) saw their numbers dip dramatically in 2020. But that didn’t fully explain the team’s offensive issues.

At least one proven Major League hitter, a deeper overall lineup (which may come from improvement of players already in-house) and some depth are needed. Positionally, the Rockies were especially weak offensively at first base and catcher. But any combination to improve overall production will do.

Bullpen

Successful Rockies teams have all had strong bullpens. The team pitched most of 2020 without a left hander in the bullpen and the Dodgers and Padres took advantage of this. The team also needs experienced help from the right side, even after trading for Mychal Givens from the Orioles at the Trade Deadline.

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