With the Texas Rangers re-signing Carlos Gomez to a 1 year $11.5 million dollar deal (according to ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick), they had a full outfield. Sin-shoo Choo, Nomar Mazara, and now Gomez. That pushed out the possibility of Ian Desmond re-signing with them so, Desmond was prompted to sign else where and he is going to be taking his talents to Colorado.
According to Jim Bowden of ESPN, Ian Desmond has signed with the Colorado Rockies to a 5 year deal worth $70 million. The Rockies will have to give up a first round pick considering Desmond rejected the Rangers’ qualifying offer early in the offseason.
Last season, Desmond spent the majority of time playing center fielder for the Rangers after playing shortstop for his whole career. He was a pleasant surprise in the outfield and it was assumed that the team that signed him would put him right back in the outfield but, with the Rockies outfield overcrowded, it has been reported that Desmond will move to first base.
The Rockies may be bluffing about moving Desmond to first and just trade either Carlos Gonzalez, Charlie Blackmon, or Gerardo Parra, who have always been rumored in trade discussions, moving Desmond to the outfield.
The Rockies paid a lot of money for Desmond who started of 2016 like Mr. Heat miser and ended like Mr. Snow miser, hitting .322 prior to the All-Star break and .237 after it. Giving up the draft pick also really hurts.
I am not a fan of this deal because 1. I am not a fan of Desmond, 2. he does not fit the power profile of first base, 3. the Rockies gave up their first round pick, and 4. the Rockies need pitching not hitting.
Colorado was 2nd in total runs and 27th in team ERA last season. Coors Field is a launching pad for MLB players because of the thin air. Pitchers hate it and hitters love it. The Rockies starters had a 4.79 ERA and their bullpen had an even worse 5.13.
The Rockies do have some good pitchers in Tyler Chatwood, Jon Gray, and Tyler Anderson who all showed promise last season. They have never really had an ace though. If they flip Car-go or Blackmon for a high quality starting pitcher and / or reliever I would love the Desmond deal but, at this moment they are saying that is not the plan.
The pitching market this offseason is terrible and pitchers do not want to sign with Colorado anyway so, trading is the most logical way of getting some good pitching. The Rockies have enough prospects and current players to load up their pitching staff. Middle infielder Brendan Rodgers, the 6th ranked prospect in baseball, is blocked by breakout rookie Trevor Story at shortstop and blocked at second by NL batting champ D.J. LeMahieu. They could get a significant starter with the talent they have in their farm system but, for some reason the Rockies have been hesitant to pull the trigger.
The move can turn out to be a good one but, do not expect too much from the inconsistent Desmond. The Rockies won’t improve much from this deal but, going out and signing big name players shows the fan base that they want to win yet, if you are a smart fan you realize that pitching should be the main priority. Every year Colorado is in the top half of the league for runs scored and bottom half for pitching and I am not sure how the front office has not figured that out yet. It will continue to be hard for the Rockies to contend if their opponents keep hitting balls into the mountains in Colorado.