Unlike some of my posts last year (nuclear rebuild, conventional rebuild, fix Coors Field), I’m going to take a different approach. The previous articles were written like I was Owner/GM. That’s a silly approach. Monfort is the Owner, so I’ll be more cognizant of our constraints.
We know the team budget will be about 100M. There’s no indication it will be higher. Strangely, there’s also no indication it will be lower (see unnecessary Parra, Qualls, and Motte signings as evidence).
Let’s assume we carry 8 BP guys. So let’s see where we stand (in no particular order) moving forward;
1. Ottavino. Should be nearing 100% by next April. Club controlled. Obviously a keeper.
2. Estevez. Supremely talented. Cheap. Young. Club controlled. Gaining valuable experience this season. Needs to be managed better. Another obvious keeper.
3. Miguel Castro. A real head scratcher to me. Like Estevez, supremely talented. Looked great when he came up in late April. Then missed time due to sore shoulder and wasn’t (and still hasn’t been) the same. Another obvious keeper, but where, Denver or ABQ?
4. Carasiti. Yet another big talent. He needs to be used correctly with a slow evolution to higher leverage situations. I think he makes the team out of ST. Another obvious keeper.
5. Logan. I’m betting he bolts for greener pastures, even though the Rox make a strong effort to retain him. LHed RPers are at a premium. It will likely be his last contract. I won’t blame him if he goes elsewhere.
6. Qualls. No one will touch him. We’re stuck. Hopefully we’ll continue to grow our Sunk Cost program and DFA him like we did Reyes.
7. Motte. To me, a long shot but does have slightly more upside than Qualls. He should be another Sunk Cost bitter pill for Monfort to swallow.
8. McGee. Strangely, I’m not as down on McGee as most. I mean…..he sucks at the moment. I’m not going to be an apologist for him. But I wonder if he has lingering injury issues (ala Boone Logan). Regardless, no one else will touch him, so he’s ours. I think he will be given every chance to make the team out of Spring Training.
9. Lyles. He’s shown some minimal promise out of the Pen. He’s arbitration eligible, but let’s face it, he’s sucked so bad he’ll be cheap. No one else will want him….so he’ll be hunting for a job in spring training I suppose. Of course he may also be non tendered. He really needs to have a big September.
10. Rusin. Team controlled. LHed. He’s getting passed in the SP race for spots, so it will be BP or nothing in my opinion. Not very appealing. No value to any other team.
11. Eddie Butler. Cheap. Team controlled. Much like Rusin, he’s been passed by in the SP race for spots, so he needs to go all-in for a BP role. If he does, I think he has a chance.
12. Jairo Diaz. Should be ready by the All Star break.
13. Sam Moll. He’s LHed, so he’s got that going for him. Unfortunately, he hasn’t been great at ABQ (he also hasn’t been awful). Less than a K/IP average, and too many walks. The stats say he’s not ready. The good news is he’s only 24, so he’ll continue to improve.
14. German. No.
15. Oberg. No.
16. Gurka. No.
17. Bergman. No.
Looking at that list – it seems to me we need 2 pieces. Piece 1 = dynamic Closer. Piece 2 = Reliable LOOGY.
Kenley Jansen and Aroldis Chapmen are both pending Free Agents and will command (and get) huge contracts. No way the Rox go there. The remainder of the 2017 FA RP class is U-G-L-Y.
Piece 2 could be a Boone Logan resign. I can actually see that happening. The Rox stood by him for 2 years, and he’s rewarding their perseverance this season. I don’t think he’ll take a discount, but could return if the offer is competitive.
Piece 1 – this one is way tougher. In an ideal world, Otto would be an 8th inning guy. But the only way I see the Rox getting a dynamic Closer is via trade. I just don’t see that happening.
Being realistic, for the BP to take a big step forward and be League average in 2017 (not a bad thing – a good, realistic goal. Think where League average would have us this year!) it looks like we’ll really be relying on improvement from Estevez, Castro while simultaneously hoping Carasiti quickly adapts to the highest level. A Jake McGee rebound could certainly help! How does all this happen? Better management. Better coaching.