KEY ADDITIONS: Ubaldo Jimenez
KEY SUBTRACTIONS: Chad Bettis, Pat Valaika, Yonder Alonso
Once again, I have put the additions and subtractions list at the top of this post to make a point. The Rockies were the only team to not sign a major-league free agent this offseason — Jimenez is in camp on a minor-league deal, and he is 36 years old and until this offseason (when he played winter ball in the Dominican Republic) he hadn’t pitched anywhere since 2017.
Of the subtractions, Bettis was awful in 2019 (6.08 ERA, negative bWAR), Valaika was a bench player and Alonso played only 54 games with the Rox after he was released by the White Sox after putting up a .576 OPS in 67 games on the South Side.
What are the Rockies doing? Owner Dick Monfort explains:
“In ’08, with basically the exact same team (as ’07), we won 74 games and lost 88,” Monfort said. “But like a great American hero, Forrest Gump, once said, ‘(Stuff) happens.’ And that’s what happened in ’08, because in ’09 we won 92 and lost 70. Most of the people I talk to that were on those teams say the ’09 team was our greatest team.
“I interpolated ’07, ’08 and ’09 — I had an analytical staff go through and interpolate those numbers — and so in 2020, we’ll win 94 games and lose 68.”
Uh... what? This reaction sums things up, I think:
This might be the dumbest thing I've ever heard anyone in baseball say, ever. I can't even describe it accurately as the words necessary to describe this troglodytic spewing are unavailable in any language I can speak. https://t.co/6hXvE0zNP2— Dan Szymborski (@DSzymborski) February 1, 2020
Between that and having ownership make the team’s superstar Nolan Arenado angry, this might be the worst offseason any team has had, not just in 2019-20 but in many, many years.
For his part, Arenado says things are... better:
“I have to be optimistic,” he says. “I’m not gonna be moping around. That doesn’t bring out the best in me or these guys. I don’t want to be a bad leader. I don’t want to complain anymore. It would be counterproductive.”
So essentially the same Rockies that lost 91 games in 2019 is returning. I’m thinking another 90-loss season is in the cards here.
Last year, the Cubs played their entire season series against the Rockies within a 10-day period in June. The last time they faced each other in the regular season was June 12, 2019. The Cubs will have played, barring rainouts, 238 regular-season games before they face the Rox again, September 7-8-9 in Denver. The teams will meet again September 18-19-20 at Wrigley Field. Colorado is the only non-N.L. Central team the Cubs will play in the regular season after Labor Day, and by then who knows? Maybe Nolan Arenado will be playing for someone else.