By: Stache Staff

Making sense of a peculiar Rockies offseason


The Colorado Rockies have done some peculiar things over the last few seasons. Everything involving Nolan Arenado was illogical. Their free agent signings have often been calamitous.

The 2021-22 MLB offseason provided one of the bigger shocks in Rockies history, however, when Kris Bryant was signed to a seven-year deal. As the odds on show, Bryant’s signing does not make Colorado a contender.

It is weirder still when looked at through the prism of extending then trading Arenado. To add to the curiosity of the situation, the Rockies also let Jon Gray depart and allowed Trevor Story to leave for Boston.

Colorado is 16th in payroll, over 30% of which is going to Charlie Blackmon and Bryant. German Marquez and Randal Grichuk, who arrived in a surprising trade with Toronto, are the only other players on more than $7.25 million in 2022.

Bryant was good, not great, in 2021. He’s five years from being an MVP-caliber player. While there’s no question he’ll put up gaudy numbers at Coors Field, his career trajectory does not fit with that of the Rox. They are projected for just 68 wins in 2022, the second fewest in the Majors.

Colorado is a long, long way from the playoffs. Acquiring Bryant would have been more understandable had they been willing to spend on Gray and Story. Although, even then, the Rockies would be no better than fourth best in their division.

Ryan McMahon has received a new deal. There is still optimism about Brendan Rodgers becoming an above-average Major Leaguer. Prospect development has been a glaring weak spot for the Rockies in recent years, however, with so many highly rated young players falling short of expectation. Garrett Hampson, for instance, posted a 71 OPS+ in 2021. There aren’t many prospects on the way either – Prospects1500 placed the Rox 24th in their February 2022 farm rankings.

The Bryant signing is that of a contender or at least a team with feasible wildcard aspirations. It only made sense for the Rockies if it was part of a bigger push to build a truly competitive roster. Alex Colome, Jose Iglesias and Chad Kuhl are not that.

Short of building one of the league’s biggest payrolls or flipping their remaining prospects for controllable talent, an ideal offseason for the Rockies would have seen a string of shorter-term deals based on upside and future trade value.

Nelson Cruz, Cesar Hernandez, Jonathan Villar, Tommy Pham, Clint Frazier and Zach Davies are just a few examples of relatively low-cost deals the Rockies could have pursued. None of these players would have required long-term financial commitment in the way that Bryant, Story and Gray did.

Ultimately, if the aim was to give fans something to be excited about in 2022, the Rockies have done that with Bryant. If the intention was to increase their World Series chances in the next five years, they have failed.

There is a risk Bryant’s contract is an albatross by the time Colorado is next competitive. The best case scenario for Bryant is clear – he could win batting titles and individual honors – but it’s difficult to see how this offseason is a win for the Rockies long-term, barring a wave of breakout seasons across the roster.

About Michael Ganci

Michael Ganci is the Co-Founder of the Daily Stache, along with Matthew Falkenbury. Since 2008, Ganci has eat, drank and dreamt all things Mets, and he'd have it no other way. Feel free to follow him on Twitter at @DailyStache.