Winter hush falls over Rockies
If what has happened — or, more to the point, hasn’t happened — at baseball’s winter meetings is any sort of gauge, the 2010 Colorado Rockies are going to look a lot like the 2009 Colorado Rockies. Of course, we mostly expected that before the meetings started, but as the days have passed and the rumor mill has spun a bit, the Rockies seem to be eliminating their question marks with answers they already know.
accepted arbitration, eliminating the possibility of a return by LaTroy Hawkins to replace him. Whether the Rockies can sign Betancourt to a multiyear deal remains to be seen, but the team’s biggest question — who would be pitching the eighth inning — has been settled.
The Rockies may have focused their search for a backup catcher on the man they would otherwise need to replace, Yorvit Torrealba. The Rockies aren’t budging on their reported offer of two years and significantly less than the $6 million Ivan Rodriguez received from the Washington Nationals.will return to the starting job in 2010 — with a new three-year deal in place — so the Rockies have no motivation to overpay for a backup, even one who has played such a key role in the past. Torrealba is still in the picture for a couple teams, including the Mets who are more focused on Bengie Molina. But given the lack of a lucrative offer elsewhere, a Torrealba return to Colorado appears the most likely scenario at this point.
So, barring a major move such as tradingor — both unlikely at this point, but you never know — the Rockies are shopping for only one major piece for 2010: either infield/bench help or, depending on what rumors you pay attention to, a second baseman who would push into a super-utility role. Orlando Hudson, Jamey Carroll, Fernando Tatis and Robb Quinlan are some of the names linked to Rockies in various incarnations of that roster spot.
Other than that, the Rockies’ remaining moves are likely finding cheap depth via minor league deals, trying to sign the rest of their arbitration-eligible players — among them, Barmes and Betancourt — to multiyear deals and watching with mild interest to see where Jason Marquis lands.
So it’s time to reset the debate with this question: Is a boring offseason a good thing or a bad thing for the Rockies? Discuss.