Decisions Await Rockies

October 14, 2009 | 7:27 am | 59  

The Rockies winter checklist starts with signing general manager Dan O’Dowd to a contract extension. It’s hard for him to make decisions on the future when his deal is weeks away from expiring.

Then comes the signing of manager Jim Tracy, after which the 2010 coaching staff can be put together.

And then comes the real challenge, the groundwork for the 2010 roster.

Here is the status of players from 2009:
Potential Free Agents, 2009 salary (buyout of 2010 option)

  • RHP Jason Marquis $9.875 million: Has told former teammates his goal is signing with the Mets.
  • C Yorvit Torrealba $3.5 million ($500,000 buyout on option of $4.0 million): Could be back in part-time role, but $1 million is most likely max salary.
  • LHP Alan Embree $2 million ($250,000 buyout on option of $3.0 million): Age and late-season broken leg make retirement likely.
  • RHP Josh Fogg $750,000: Could return but would be a minor-league deal again.

The Rockies paid a minimal amount of salary for following potential free agents:

  • RHP Jose Contreras, $10 million: Interest in returning in middle relief, but Matt Belisle would probably fit better in light of age.
  • 1B Jason Giambi, $4 million: Great clubhouse presence and could return, but Rockies might need roster spot for a right-handed bat who can play first and third.
  • RHP Rafael Betancourt, $3.35 million ($5.4 million option): A keeper, but contract would have to be redone, most likely leading to a two-year deal at a lesser amount annually.
  • LHP Joe Beimel, $2 million: Could be back, more likely Rockies will keep Randy Flores to go with Franklin Morales.
  • RHP Juan Rincon, $750,000: Minor-league invite possible.
  • RHP Matt Herges, $800,000: Minor-league invite possible.

Potential Arbitration Cases, 2009 salary

  • 3B Garrett Atkins, $7.05 million: Likely non-tender.
  • RHP Huston Street, $4.5 million: Three-year deal likely
  • LHP Jorge De La Rosa, $2 million: Multi-year deal possible
  • 2B Clint Barmes, $1.625 million: Multi-year deal likely
  • RHP Taylor Buchholz, $1.055 million: Will open 2010 recovering from surgery.
  • RHP Matt Belisle, $800,000: Seems a lock to return
  • RHP Joel Peralta, $640,000: Not expected back
  • LHP Randy Flores, $600,000: Should return for similar deal
  • RHP Jason Hammel, $422,200: Expected to be in rotation
  • C Chris Iannetta, $415,000: Will return as No. 1 catcher
  • OF Ryan Spilborghs, $415,000: Trade possibility
  • SS Omar Quintanilla, $408,000: Trade possibility
  • OF Matt Murton, $403,000: Likely replacement for Spilborghs as extra outfielder.

Signed to deals for 2010 (increase from 2009)



  • Mike | October 14, 2009 | 8:54 am

    Thanks Tracy! Great information.

    Spilly seems like such a good deal, and a big part of the heart of this team. I would be very upset if they traded him.

    Hammel is also a bargain. Definitely sign him! DLR and Jimenez are also keepers.

    Good analysis in Giambi. He was a great addition for the late season, but that is a tough choice for a whole season.

  • Dustin | October 14, 2009 | 8:56 am

    Time to fish or cut bait with Spilly.

    Also, I didn’t see Stewart mentioned, but I suspect he’s making the league minimum or close to it, but what exactly does his contract look like?

    He’s got over 700 big league at bats now, but I don’t think we’ve seen the best from him quite yet. Hopefully he’ll make some strides in the strike out department next year.

    Also, Seth Smith isn’t mentioned either. Could we be looking at Smith as a trade candidate for a right handed bat?

    Hopefully Atkins can come back to his old form in 2010. He is about 1/10th of the club’s budget and for him to not produce is a real killer.

  • Jeff S. | October 14, 2009 | 9:09 am

    My concern with Barmes is that he’s such an all-or-nothing guy, and in the last month was more of the latter. A long-term deal also blocks EY2, who might not have the defense but adds so much havoc to the top of the order. Or, what about trying to figure out a deal with the Orioles to get Brian Roberts? In looking at his stats, he might be unavailable, but they could use a thump in their lineup like Hawpe.

  • Jack Etkin | October 14, 2009 | 9:30 am


    You are right on Stewart’s contract. It was $404,000 this year.

  • Will | October 14, 2009 | 9:50 am

    Tracy, there’s a typo in the title. It should read “Decisions Await Rockies.”
    I’ll truly miss Spilly if he’s traded. It’d be nice to keep Giambi, but I agree that he lacks some flexibility off the bench.

  • Reader f/k/a Mike | October 14, 2009 | 10:11 am

    Dustin: yeah, the guys who are missing are pretty much the pre-arb guys, those with fewer than 3 years of service time. It seems like the standard Rockies procedure, if the players aren’t on multi-yr deals (like Corpas, Tulo and Jimenez), is to give them nominal raises over the MLB minimum.

    Spilly’s issue is that with Fowler and Gonzalez around to cover center, filling his remaining role (RH backup corner OF) with Murton, who has 1 pre-arb year left, will be very tempting. Even if Spilly were to accept a modest raise in his first arb-eligible year, Murton would be about a $million cheaper.

    I would guess that Giambi is going to try to find an AL team if at all possible (so he can DH), so even if the Rockies were interested, re-signing him would be a long-shot. And as Tracy notes, that’s a huge “if” given that there’s not really a space for him.

    How did this meme of trading for Brian Roberts start? As long as we’re dreaming, why not dream of Chase Utley?

  • Mike | October 14, 2009 | 10:13 am

    I sure hope the Rockies management exercises some constraint. All this talk of trading and wheeling-and-dealing is giving me a bad taste in my mouth. It’s one thing to let Marquis go and perhaps trade Hawpe or Atkins for a money player who can produce in the crunch. But it’s another to put Smith, Spilly, and possibly Torrealba, guys who contributed in a big way to this team’s personality, on the chopping block. I want to win the World Series too, but I grew to love this team because of the players, not just because they happen to play in Denver.

    No disrespect to you Tracy. Excellent report. I would just rather see the team tweaked for next year, not overhauled.

  • ProgMatinee | October 14, 2009 | 11:11 am

    How about a trade in the line of Hawpe and Barmes for Dan Uggla? Get a third team involved if the Fish don’t want Hawpe.

    I do wish we had more right handed bats, but I think it would be a huge mistake to trade Smith. At this point I’d rather trade Stewart for a right handed third baseman than Smith for a right handed OF. Smith is the real deal all around hitter and I would gladly give up Stewart’s power for the consistency of Smith.

  • Jay | October 14, 2009 | 11:16 am

    If we use the VORP (Value over Replacement Player) methodology, I see more pluses with not signing Barmes. While his defense is spectacular, his clutchless hitting (even with ~75 RBI and ~25 solo shot HRs) leaves such a hole in the lineup.

    Would we have been better off with 4-5 clutch hits in the Divisional series vs. solid defense at 2B in the 4 games? EY would really change the dynamic of this team with Fowler and Gonzales, how much worse could his defense be?

    That Barmes 0 for 14 was so painful to watch…

  • Katy | October 14, 2009 | 12:06 pm

    The Denver Post said that there is a great possibility that Hawpe will be traded and we won’t have him next year. Do you think this is possible?

  • Dustin | October 14, 2009 | 12:08 pm

    Whatever happens, the starting pitching looks like its going to keep this club deep for a while now. Hopefully we can carry the successes of this on to the next year in regards to pitching. Could be Ubaldo’s break-out year. It would be nice to see him sub 3.0 ERA.

  • Reader f/k/a Mike | October 14, 2009 | 12:15 pm

    Mike: I’m not sure where you draw the line between “tweaking” and “overhauling,” but the Rockies’ core is young and will remain largely intact. So I’m pretty sure the organization will be “tweaking” and augmenting by most people’s definitions.

    Some favorites will likely move on, but a strong core will remain to lead the team.

  • Wayne | October 14, 2009 | 12:23 pm

    I agree with ProgMatinee about Stewart. I’m just not sold on him offensively. Defense is great though. Reminds me too much (and I’m dating myself here) of a left handed Dave Kingman–all or nothing.

    I really don’t want to watch Barmes anymore. As much as I have rooted for him to get his game together, he has no sense of his own strike zone. Uggla or Roberts are interesting, but so might Orlando Hudson who will be a free agent.

    Anybody think Matt H might consider coming back, or will the bidding get way out of hand.

    A trade or free agent pickup for a right hander to replace Marquis until Chacin or Friedrich are ready seems imperative.

  • Derrek | October 14, 2009 | 12:46 pm

    Don’t waste ur time or money with Marquis! Also, I would like to see them keep Yorvit, but as Tracy mentioned at a much lower cost. He was great at the end of the year with his bat but the future at catcher for the Rox is definitely not him. I would like to see the Rox do something at 2nd too. Barmes isn’t going to cut it. The guy can’t lay off of balls, therefore will never hit consistently.+

  • JR | October 14, 2009 | 12:48 pm

    Consider a “speed” game in 2010. Here’s my line up

    Eric Young – 2B (sacrifice the defense for the speed at top of order – does it remind you of ’07 Matsui & Taveras?)
    Dexter Fowler – CF (needs upper body strength to be a very special player but seems to be able to move the runners along)
    Carlos Gonzales – RF (His increasing maturity is scary good)
    Tulo – SS (not a true #4 but who else?)
    Seth Smith – LF (How high is up?)
    Todd Helton – 1B (it’s time to become a “role” player but watching his swing and plate savvy is is worth the price of admission)
    Ian Stewart – 3B (must become a 280 to 300 hitter with 80+ RBI’s – hard out of the 7 hole)
    Ianetta/Torealba/TBD – C (Ianetta must carry the load with his bat. Hit 270 and 15 HRs)
    Pitcher’s Spot

    Jimanez (All the tools! but what’s between his ears?)
    Cook (stay healthy – he’s not a #1)
    Francis (win 15+ like ’07? Wouldn’t that be special!)
    De La Rosa (Its not the arm that’s the issue but the game that is played between his ears)
    Morales (doesn’t have the mind set to close but does have the arm to start and dominate! Maturity?)

    Long Relief
    Fogg (?)

    Eight Inning


    Off the Bench
    Barmes (can we afford his bat on an everyday basis? Probably not)

    Trade Hawpe, Barmes, Atkins and maybe even Stewart for a real #4 hitter? probably doesn’t work but we can’t assume we get nothing for these guys. Also, the pitching in the system looks impressive with Chacin, Rogers, Smith and Reynolds just to start.

    The future looks bright – I got my purple shades!

    Get the deals done with Tracy and O’Dowd. Both have earned it.

  • Tracy Ringolsby | October 14, 2009 | 1:19 pm

    The players who aren’t mentioned are under control of the Rockies without arbitration potential so I didn’t mention them.

    The salaries listed for arbitration eligible are the salaries of last season and they will increase dramatically.

  • Steve N | October 14, 2009 | 1:25 pm

    Barmes had the most hits of any major leaguer back in the month of June. Can he get back to that is the big question… Talk of a mult-year deal seem the Rockies are behind him.

  • Tracy Ringolsby | October 14, 2009 | 1:45 pm

    The initial expectation is that Hawpe will be with the Rockies next year, unless someone comes in and makes a strong offer, simliar to a Matt Holliday deal, there is no desire to move Hawpe.

  • Agbayani | October 14, 2009 | 1:49 pm

    Excellent conversation starter, Cowboy. Here’s my random thoughts:

    1. You’d have to be nuts not to try to trade Hawpe. He’s clearly our 4th best outfielder now. He looked like a bargain earlier this year; now you’d have to take someone else’s big contract on in order to move him. You’ve got to be looking for clubs with matching pieces – Hawpe for someone else’s middle reliever, or for a RH hitting corner player would work. Carrying his full salary simply ties ownership’s hands.

    2. Spilly. Why trade him? I mean, I would if I could get a top prospect, or a cheaper Betancourt. But he’s not worth that much. His arb salary will be manageable, and he perfectly fills this club’s needs with 2 lefty hitting outfielders in front of him on the depth chart – 3 if Hawpe is back. Keep him for another year.

    3. Barmes. Long-term contract = long-term mistake! He’s 30, he probably had his career year at the plate, his defense is great, but he’s only going to head in the wrong direction as he ages. A 1-year arb signing is fine, but expensive utility men (and that’s what he is going forward, 2011 on) are a luxury we can’t afford. If EY or Chris Nelson develop, we’ve got a cheap alternative.

    4. Q. Nice guy, replacement level, zero trade value. Someone else’s NRI. I hope he catches on somewhere.

  • Brett | October 14, 2009 | 2:05 pm

    I like Barmes…I think the Tulo/Barmes combination make a lot of difficult double plays that fans take for granted. I was lobbying for Tracy to pinch hit for him at times in the postseason, but not necessarily because he’s a bad hitter he was just in the middle of a terrible slump. That happens.

    Moving Gonzalez to more of a power-hitting spot in the lineup would be interesting. You probably never would have thought Tulo would be our cleanup man two years ago…It would be hard to move him from the leadoff though where he’s shown the potential to be one of the best in the league there.

    I also think we need to keep Atkins just because he can play 3rd and 1st, which means he’s very valuable in replacing an injury to either position.

  • ProgMatinee | October 14, 2009 | 2:46 pm

    I love Carlos in the leadoff spot. You can’t put Cargo behind a slower guy because it takes away his speed. The only other place is #2 and it seems for whatever reason Dex is comfortable there. I kinda like it because Carlos is too powerful to ask him tobunt, but Dex with a little more practice could be a terrific bunter. Its better to have Carlos #1, so Dex can bunt him over, then you got Todd and Tulo to drive Carlos in.

    If you switch Dexter to the #1 I think it commits the Rox to swing away with Carlos, Todd and Tulo, which becomes “all or nothing”.

  • Rockpile | October 14, 2009 | 7:23 pm

    I’d love to see a lineup with Young, Fowler and Cargo as the first three like JR said here. But I don’t think Young’s defense will earn him a starting nod, though.

    I think when it comes to infielders the Rox are going with defense first. I don’t think Barmes has much of a stick, but until someone else steps up (like Chris Nelson or Eric Young from the minors) Barmes is our guy. He’s about as close to perfect on defense as you can get.

    I’d like to see the Rox pickup Uggla like ProgMatinee said, but Uggla is terrible in the field, so I don’t see it happening. We sure could use a big-time right-handed power hitter, though, to keep the opposing leftys honest.

    All I can say about next year is that I am excited. At least we’ve got our starting rotation set (as long as Francis comes back). That’s usually the biggest concern going into spring training. The last few years it’s been Cook, UBaldo, after that who knows.

  • Bob | October 14, 2009 | 7:33 pm

    In MHO the first question the Rockies have is do they want/need a right handed power hitter. If the answer is yes, who do they sit? If the answer is no then I think you have to let these “leftys” play even against the left handed pitchers. It reminds me of how Baylor handled Helton (no leftys, some leftys, then all the time). If these guys are going to be the starters they have to be the starters all the time with the backups playing only 1 or 2 times a week. It is the only way they will get better.

    In MHO the second question involves Barmes. As a defender he is great. I think he can make 99.9% of plays. But as a batter he is ??????. I think the HRs were a fluke. He did have that one good month, but was that a fluke too? He can’t bunt. He can’t hit to the right to move a runner over. He swings at balls because pitchers know they don’t have to throw strikes to him to get him out. I think the Rockies should keep him though to be the infield backup at 2nd, SS, and 3rd. and the mentor for EY Jr. EY brings alot more to the table than Barmes. He is not the fielder but he can hit lead off, (wasn’t he hitting over .300 in CS when the brought him up), bunt steal plus is a switch hitter. EY and Dex batting one two as switch hitters remind you of anybody?

    I agree with JR’s batting order except with Helton batting 5th (in 2010 and 6th in 2011) and maybe the catcher (right handed bat) batting 7th with Stewart 8th to break up the left handed bats.
    With Barmes becoming this year’s Q, that would open a spot for a right handed power hitting 1st baseman to back up Helton.

    What do you guys think?

  • Bob K. | October 14, 2009 | 8:03 pm

    I have said this before time and again, Stewart had much better numbers this year than Mike Schmidt did at the same age. Look it up! The Rockies would be foolish to trade him. He has way too much upside offensively and his defense is great. Some pieces of the puzzle need to continue to develop from within and he is one of those pieces.

    On another note, this has been one heck of a website this year. All of you continue to post responsibly and leave the trash talk out of it, something that seems rare these days. Most comments are very thoughtful and I pick up a lot from them. Tracy, Jack, and whoever else drives this thing…thank you!

  • Julian | October 14, 2009 | 8:47 pm

    Great column and comments.

    As Agbayani said, I think that Hawpe should get traded because he is the 4th best outfielder on the team, and, if the Rockies free up his salary, it can be put to better use elsewhere. My hope is that some other team wants Hawpe (why not, he was an all-star this past year) and we can get a good young player or two, rather than some other team’s overpriced veteran, in return for him.

    I think that we should resign Barmes for 2 more years. His defense was great, and hopefully he can regain his stroke at the plate. Hopefully, within 2 years someone else within the system is ready to take over.

    I think that Atkins should be non-tendered, and we need to sign a right handed hitting corner infielder who can pinch hit and step in when Helton or Stewart need a day off. Atkins is too expensive for how he is performing.

    I would hope that we could keep Spilly at the 4th outfielder. Tracy, what do you think Spilly will get paid this coming year, and how much more will that be than what Murton will get paid this coming year? Spilly is a good fielder, a pretty good hitter, he bats right handed, and I think that he is great in the clubhouse.

    For the first time in many years it seems that our pitching is set up pretty well for the coming year. The starters should be Francis, Ubaldo, Cook, Hamel, and DLR, and we seem to have a number of relievers (hopefully the Rockies resign Bettancourt). I assume that Chacin, Rogers, Deduno, and Roe will be 4 of the starters at AAA, and Friedrich should be there before too long, so hopefully if a starting pitcher gets injured that one of these pitchers could step up. Tracy, what do you hear about Greg Smith, Greg Reynolds and Casey Weathers?

    I think that Omar doesn’t make the team next year. Barmes becomes Tulo’s backup, and EY backups Barmes and is a 5th outfielder.

    Yorvit was certainly an asset at the plate. Perhaps he gets resigned for a year, until either Chris steps up and can take back the starting job, or McHenry or Rosario make their way through the minors to the Rockies.


  • Karl | October 15, 2009 | 9:34 am

    Nice to see a winter checklist that is realistic as well. We as fans and followers of this team are even taking note of what this team is about and how it is run. Hope the Monforts lock up O’Dowd and Tracy for next 3 years and then after the Series let the chips fall as they may in the coming months.

  • Elliotlc | October 15, 2009 | 10:34 am

    I would really like to see a few sound moves this off season whether that means trades or signings but there needs to be a little work with the bullpen again if we can’t keep guys like Beimel and Betancourt. I hope we can work those guys in and keep them around to help out Street but you also can’t forget Taylor Buchholz will be back mid way next year to add even more support. Our rotation looks good and I don’t know what you would do to upgrade it other than sign a veteran or two to keep in the springs in case of injury. I think we would all like to see Giambi back but I don’t know if another national league team will try to outbid us once he hits the market. I wouldn’t mind seeing Hawpe moved if we got back a good package like we did for Holliday.

  • Reader f/k/a Mike | October 15, 2009 | 11:38 am

    Murton is pre-arb, so he’ll be around the $400,000 mark. Spilly will likely come in around at least 1 – 1.5 million higher.

    Spilly’s in his first year of arb eligibility. Last year in his first year of eligibility, Barmes negotiated a $1.625M deal. 1st year arb-eligible OF’s from other teams with less than full-time playing time seemed to have signed deals ranging from around $1.2M (Gabe Gross) to $2.25M (cf. Cody Ross and Jeremy Hermida). Note that none of these guys are exact comps–Gross was worse, Ross probably a bit better, and Hermida got more playing time.

    The difference doesn’t force their hand but it’s not insignificant, either if the team’s budget is such that O’Dowd needed ownership approval to take on the $1.6M or so left on Betancourt’s contract.

    It probably depends on how they feel about Murton’s bat and how much they value Spilly’s glove and clubhouse presence.

  • Reader f/k/a Mike | October 15, 2009 | 11:40 am

    If EY2 is seen more as a super-sub than starting 2B candidate, which seems to be the case given the rumors of a multi-yr deal for Barmes, then that’s another threat to Spilly’s role with the team.

  • Agbayani | October 15, 2009 | 1:59 pm

    Mike, good analysis on arb salaries. But after a year in which he was well below average, I can’t see Spilly comin in at more than 1.5.

  • Tracy Ringolsby | October 15, 2009 | 3:12 pm

    Agbayani, don’t forget the Boras Factor.

  • Dan | October 15, 2009 | 4:49 pm

    Tracy, Great site and comments from all. Question for you or Jack: How much value does Atkins, Hawpe, and Barmes have on the trade market? What can you reasonably expect to get for each of them? Personally, I would trade Atkins and Hawpe, and maybe even Barmes. I too think Barmes has seen his best years and now has settled into what you see now- decent power, lots of srikeouts, not much clutch hitting, and ok fielding. Too bad Giambi isnt a RH hitter, which the Rocks badly need, but he fits in better as a DH in the AL anyway. I sure missed my guess on him. Didnt think he would help the Rocks, but he sure did. Isnt it fun playing GM!

  • Julian | October 15, 2009 | 8:46 pm

    Is Spilly a free agent after next season? Does he have much trade value this off season?

    How do the Rockies feel about Matt Murton as a replacement for Spilly? Is Matt Miller in the Rockies’ plans at all? He appeared to have a very good season in Colorado Springs this past year, and yet I never read anything about him.

  • Jack Etkin | October 15, 2009 | 10:25 pm


    Spilborghs is arbitration-eligible for the first time after this season. So he won’t be a free agent until after the 2012 season. Miller’s shortcoming is his defense. One member of the organization described it as “bearable.”

  • Mark | October 16, 2009 | 10:22 am

    My take is that Spilly will not sign with the Rockies, first because Boras is his agent, and second because he wants to have an opportunity to start every game. If the Rockies have no plans of unloading Hawpe ($7.5M), there is very little chance of him starting next season with Smith, Gonzalez and Fowler also in the mix. I’ll miss Spilly if he isn’t offered arbitration, but this is a business.

    I’m guessing they’ll sign Barmes for a few years. He’s very streaky as a hitter, but his defense is above average. He’ll likely groom EY2 to replace him in the next few years, if Young can settle down, and he’ll be the utility middle-infielder. People talk about Young’s speed, but he was caught 50% on stolen base attempts. He needs to mature, and I still don’t understand why he was on the post-season roster with his penchant for being picked off. I’m saddened they didn’t use McCoy in the post-season instead since he was more deserving of it.

  • Julian | October 16, 2009 | 11:09 am

    Thanks, Jack, for answering my question about Matt Miller. If his defense is just “bearable”, that’s certainly a concern given the size of the Coors Field outfield and the fact that we have plus outfielders in Fowler, CarGo, and Spilly.

    I have heard concerns about EY Jr.’s defense as well. We have seen some players work hard and improve their defense. Helton made himself into a great fielder with practice, and Atkins made himself into a better fielder, although still not great. Do we have any sense as to EY’s work ethic and whether he can work himself into a good fielder. He certainly has all of the athleticism that you could ask for.

  • Tracy Ringolsby | October 16, 2009 | 11:26 am

    Julian, Rockies have no desire to trade Hawpe unless they were to get a Holliday-type deal, which means a right-handed hitter at the stage of a Carlos Gonzalez, and a young, quality, late-inning reliever.
    There is a feeling within the organization that Hawpe is a part of the foundation of the attitude of this team. He presents a stronger package in clubhouse than he does on the field, and on the field he There is a strong team concept to Hawpe’s entire approach. His contract is very reasonable at $7.5 million. And while there were some struggles this year, remember he did hit .272 against right-handers a year ago.
    What Hawpe has shown throughout his career is that he accepts challenges and surprasses expectations.
    Just my opinion, on this point, but I wouldn’t be surprised if the organization feels that in two years, after Helton’s contract is up, that Hawpe could return to first base, his natural position.

  • Mike G. | October 16, 2009 | 11:40 am

    I have no problem with a couple year deal for Barmes at all. His defense is fantastic at 2B which is a critical up-the-middle position. I get just as frustrated as everyone else when he continually gets fooled on sliders low and away, or grounds out weakly to 3B on fastballs on the outer half that he should be going the other way with. But he will crush a mistake in the middle or on the inner half, and we’re talking about the 8-hole hitter here…not someone in the heart of the lineup. He will expand his strike zone sometimes, but that’s not all bad necessarily for an 8-hole hitter. I would rather see him try to hit a ball just off the plate with RISP and 2 out than take a walk and leave it to the pitcher to get that hit. That being said, if he gets hot for a week and Tracy starts batting him 5th (seriously Tracy??? Torrealba batting 5th???) I will have a problem. :)

    As for Stewart, the kid deserves a chance to be in the lineup every day. Give him the chance to succeed or fail for all of 2010…he deserves that chance. He’s one of the most patient hitters on the team, so my bet would be that he succeeds.

  • ian olson | October 16, 2009 | 12:00 pm


    A lot of people seem to want to trade Hawpe, I don’t, because he was horrible in the second half, he was. He might have been a victim of his own first half success. If some one said in March he’d end up with the stats he did, most people would’ve been happy. The problem was the greatenss before the All Star game and the crappiness after. Maybe he was bummed that Carl Crawford caught his home run.

    Why was he horrible in the second half? How did he go from All Star stud in the first half to being benched in the playoffs? Is this something he’ll overcome and be productive over entire seasons in the future?

    That’s what I’d like to know. It would be a bad idea to get rid of his power. There doesn’t seem to be enough of it down on the farm.

  • Tom H | October 16, 2009 | 1:23 pm

    Hey, speaking as a Mets fan, I’d love to see Marquis come to Flushing. I think he’d be a great fit.

    Also, redirected from MetsBlog, and they pointed out that you’re now keeping this blog up independently of your now-defunct newspaper. Good for you, man, because nobody would blame you for packing up and seeking greener pastures. Keep up the good work (for as long as you can)!

  • metsfan | October 16, 2009 | 2:41 pm

    I sure hope Mets get Marquis! :)

  • metsfan | October 16, 2009 | 2:43 pm

    and trust me u rox fans we like your team way better than those Phillies..i was rooten for ya the whole way

  • Rockpile | October 16, 2009 | 6:56 pm

    If Francis weren’t coming back to the Rox rotation, I’d say lock Marquis up to a multi-year contract. He was brilliant for 5 months out of the year. If we did not have Marquis we would not have made the playoffs. He has made the playoffs 10 straight years for four different teams–the cubs, Cards, Rox and Braves. He’s a winner. Period.
    And if he does go to the Mets, he’ll do really well in the pitcher-friendly Citi Field. And, who knows, he might make it eleven straight years with five different teams.

  • Tracy Ringolsby | October 16, 2009 | 9:48 pm

    Rockpile, I think you are on target. The reason that Marquis was acquired, to begin with, was because the Rockies were not expecting Francis to pitch in 2009. They knew it had to be his decision to have the surgery, but they figured it was inevitable. As a result, they wanted a veteran guy who had a track record. Marquis lived up to his track record. Remember, he did win 15 games, and in the first two months, when the Rockies were stumbling he kept them from disappearing. Face it, he ahd sevne of the team’s first 19 victories. Bottom line, though is while his addition only added $5 million to Rockies payroll, becuase Rockies were unable to uinload Vizcaino in the deal, and Cubs chipped in some money, but it’s a $10 million payroll item when you bottom line the deal and Francis is already signed. I would think Rockies fans and followers would all wish Marquis well whatever happens because he was a true professional.

  • C Thistle | October 16, 2009 | 10:01 pm

    I loved watching Marquis pitch (and hit). He is the type of pitcher that I would welcome on any team I root for any time. But he will be gone, both by his own wish, and by the needs of the team.

    He reminded me of the good, early Mike Hampton when he was here — a true battler on the mound and at the plate.

  • Mark | October 16, 2009 | 10:10 pm

    When we signed Marquis, I figured we were getting someone who would be able to throw a ton of innings, and he didn’t disappoint. For me, the true gem came on June 30 when he 2 hit the Dodgers while throwing only 86 pitches in the CG shutout. That was simply amazing and probably the best game he’s ever pitched. I’m glad it was in a Rockies uni. I don’t think there is anyone more disappointed in how he pitched in the last few months more than him. He kept the team afloat during those rough first few months, and the true fans won’t forget that. He’s leaving some big shoes for Francis to fill.

  • Reader f/k/a Mike | October 17, 2009 | 10:54 am

    Spilly doesn’t have a choice on whether to sign or not, except that he can retire. The choices are on the Rockies side: non-tender him (make him a free agent), or tender a contract, in response to which Spilly can file to go to arbitration. All Boras can do is push the arb case, and the Rockies will still have a good idea of the pay range given Spilly’s past salary, experience (first time arb-eligible) and performance.

  • Steve N | October 17, 2009 | 12:54 pm

    Hell, yeah. I’ll be rooting for Marquis as long as he doesn’t sign with an NL West team and also not when the Rox play whoever he signs with. ;) Really enjoyed having him be part of the Rockies family this year and wish him all the best.

    Tracy, as others have asked, opinion on chance of getting Holiday back?

    25% plus?

    Cards made it as far as Rox for all practical comparisons. Holiday, “I want to sigh with a contender”.

    Boras makes it 1% or less with me unless Holiday takes more control of his destination and heart(getting back with his friends) and will settle for “realistic” money.

  • Tracy Ringolsby | October 17, 2009 | 5:43 pm

    On a couple subjects,
    Hawpe isn’t going to be traded unless it’s a solid deal, along the lines of what the Rockies received for Holliday. Attitude, personality in the clubhouse, and offensive potnetial are top quality. Final six weeks were a struggle for him, but he is learning. I don’t see him being dealt.
    Holliday is a long shot, at best with the Rockies. Less than one per cent might be overstating the chances the Rockies have. I would say none is more likely.
    I wouldn’t even expect the Rockies to broach conversation. He turned down the 4-year, $18 million extension that would have kicked in in 2010 without any type of counter offer.
    As for saying he wanted to play with a team that had a chance to win, that was one of four explanations I heard that was attributed for him on leaving. I don’t think he really knows why he left other than money and that is his option. I think he tired to come up with various explanations to try and justify leaving, when in reality it is not something he needs to justify because it is an option he has.

  • Steve N | October 17, 2009 | 6:13 pm

    Thanks, Tracy.

    There was an interview with Holiday, I believe by one of your colleagues, Krieger maybe, I think before the season started in which a couple comments from Holiday stuck with me that I always thought if Matt searched his soul he might come back to the Rockies. I think Holiday ended up admitting that he didn’t even know what the offer from the Rockies was (the 4-year, $18 million extension). When he was told he kinda went, huh, really? I got the feeling he felt a little ashamed. But who knows? This was an interview in print and sometimes hard to interpret. Also, The Rockies may feel scorned and dealing with Boras is not desirable to them, correct?

  • Tracy Ringolsby | October 17, 2009 | 8:45 pm

    Steve N., I think you have a good grasp of the situation.

  • Steve N | October 17, 2009 | 11:59 pm

    And Phillies slugger Ryan Howard “settled” on similar money to stay with the team he loves…just sayin’. :)

  • Josh | October 18, 2009 | 1:53 am

    Marquis would be a good fit for the Mets. If he can pitch at Coors Field, he can certainly pitch at Citi Field.

  • Tim R | October 18, 2009 | 6:11 pm

    As I read the comments there seems to be a consensus that Barmes and Hawpe should be packaged and shipped out. Barmes had a lousy August, batted sub .200 but nearly .260 in September. The case for Barmes is that he could be the next Mark DeRosa with a versatility that any club would want. His numbers as a second basemen put him ahead of Uggla and Hudson along side Utley when it comes to fielding. Funny that some say Barmes is ‘over the hill’ at 30 but want to trade for a 31year old Utley. Give him a decent three year deal, he’s better playing for us than against.

    Hawpe would be a real loss to this team and a gain to a number of others (don’t you think the Cubs would put together a solid package to replace Milton Bradley with Hawpe). A left handed power hitter with a cannon for an arm, he’d look great in Wrigley’s right field.

    I suggest that having Barmes, Hawpe, Stewart and Ianetta in major slumps in the second half, that maybe it’s time to look at the hitting coaches. They aren’t swinging the bats but they should be providing the guidance and diagnosis to get these guys back on track. Management brought in two experienced former managers at the beginning of the season in anticipation that Hurdle would fail to right the team. Tracy became interim, Baylor didn’t. When the team jelled it became more apparent that Tracy would be offered a deal. Baylor may have realized he isn’t in the Rockies long range plans.

  • Tracy Ringolsby | October 18, 2009 | 9:44 pm

    Tim R, Baylor was never brought in as a possible replacement to Hurdle. The assumption you made about him not feeling he fit into the Rockies long-range plans is a bit of speculation without any basis. I don’t mean to sound to hard on this, but Baylor did not mail anything in.
    If you are going to have the hitting coach shoulder the blame for the players who slumped in the second half, then who do you credit with the turn arounds for Tulo, Gonzalez and Torrealba, and steady improvement of Fowler and the solid season of Helton?
    This team did win more games than any team in Rockies history and had a winning record on the road for the first time ever. Not bad for a 20-32 start.

  • Tim R | October 19, 2009 | 8:58 pm


    The comment regarding Baylor was speculative. In what has become a very long thread I thought there was little if any mention of the role that the hitting coach may have played in the poor second half performance of some players.

    Regarding those who did hit well, I won’t discount Baylor’s contribution to Gonzalez or Fowler any more than I’d discount Tracy’s contribution in allowing them to become starters. I’ll concede to you (and Baylor) on Torrealba. He had a terrific second half. Helton was healthy again and it showed not only in his performance but enjoyment of the game. He should be a future Hall of Famer, but very under appreciated outside of our region. Tulo was also healthy and returned to his 2007 form. I’m sure Baylor makes suggestions to both but they are natural hitters. I’m sure that someday though, Tulo will realize that not every high fastball is a pumpkin ready to be put on the concourse.

  • Reader f/k/a Mike | October 20, 2009 | 8:28 am

    “And Phillies slugger Ryan Howard “settled” on similar money to stay with the team he loves…just sayin’.”

    The difference is that Howard is making that much as an arb-eligible player! If Howard were a free agent, do you think he’d “settle” for that deal?

  • Reader f/k/a Mike | October 20, 2009 | 8:31 am

    I’m not sure why I thought Murton was pre-arb since Tracy listed him as arb-eligible. Looking over his record, it does seem that this year pushed his service time over 3 yrs. So scratch that above. He won’t make as much as Spilly, but the difference between them is less than stated above.

  • Trip | October 21, 2009 | 9:13 am

    Jack and Tracy,
    One of the main determining factors for the Rockies roster is payroll. The Rocks spend around $70M per year, the Yankees spend around $200M per year.

    I understand baseball teams will get much of their revenue from radio and television broadcast rights, in addition to the number of fans attending the games.

    I know this has been done before, but not for a while that I have seen, is how much each team will earn from their various revenue sources.

    I think it would be interesting to see how much more revenue the large market teams, Yankess and Red Sox for example, than the small and mid size markets.