Cleaning house is often reserved for the spring time but the local baseball team is moving on from some of the assets they find themselves no longer in need of and creating space for something new.

The Colorado Rockies have done a little bit of rearranging here in the early days of the offseason and as we proceed forward with analysis of the current team it’s worth going through each small move even though none of them amount to franchise-shifters on their own.

Let’s dive right into it and begin with a list of names no longer with the organization as they clear out a bit of their farm system.

Here is a list of names no longer with the organization that, outside of the first one, only the most hardcore Rockies prospect hounds are likely to be familiar with: Ashton Goudeau, Alexander Martinez, JD Hammer, Brandon Gold, Corey Oswalt, Riley Smith, Zach Neal, Logan Cozart, Matt Dennis, Nate Hadley, Frank Duncan, Zach Lee, Joel Peguero.

Additionally, the slightly more well known prospects Wynton Bernard and Helcris Olivarez were outrighted to Triple-A as was left-handed reliever Ty Blach. 

The most disappointing moves considering the long-term hopes of the club came when catcher Dom Nunez was claimed off waivers by the San Francisco Giants and super utility player Ryan Vilade was taken by the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Both had a bit of hype in their early days in the minors and showcased intriguing skillsets worthy of dreaming upon but neither appeared to be maximizing their potential and Vilade in particular was struggling to stay on the field.

Either could come back to bite the Rockies but in the broadest sense it seems clear that Colorado is clearing out mostly position players they believe aren’t going to be much better than replacement level in MLB at best in order to make room for others.

But who?

The trade of Sam Hilliard for Dylan Spain helps give us some insight to the thinking. Hilliard, like Nunez and Vilade, has tools and potential but wasn’t performing and doesn’t fill as important a need for the club as Spain who is a pitcher. And the Rockies need as many of those as they can get.

This philosophy was also at play in the signing of Jose Urena, to a one year $3 million contract with a club option for a second year at $4 million. 

He was up and down in 89.1 innings with the Rockies after a midseason pickup, ultimately posting a 91 ERA+ and a raw ERA of 5.14. If he can settle into the Coors Field dynamic a bit and improve just a little next season, he is more than worth the price, and there’s plenty of incentive with that contract for him to figure it out. If he doesn’t, the contract is an easy one to eat and part with if someone if pitching better but he at least gives the Rockies a veteran who raises the floor of their rotation a bit while they hope for some of the younger guys to break out.

After all the rearranging, the 40 man roster has 32 baseball players on it. For those of you who are wizards at mathematics, you’ll surely note that this leaves eight open spots for the team to play with.

So the question stands now, what do they do with those spots?

Surely, a few will need to be held open for some internal candidates. There are a few prospects who may need to be protected from the Rule 5 Draft but that is another article for another time. We also have to leave open the possibility that the meteoric rise of Zac Veen continues through spring training, forcing him onto the roster as well.

But that still will only account for a few spots meaning that we are likely about to see a few new faces donning purple pinstripes.

The club has talked publicly about the need to acquire more pitching, which is very much backed up by the data and something the early moves have shown us they are already working toward.

Bullpen arms are rarely exciting and typically the Rockies have to overpay for them but it is worth exploring that market given what a disaster the relief pitching has been the last two years and how few high-end hurlers the team has coming up through the system. This is a place to go bargain shopping and hope to find some diamonds in the rough.

They’ve also spoken on the need for a new leadoff hitter and a new center fielder, perhaps both in one player if they can get it. The prize free agent in that category is the oft-injured Brandon Nimmo who grew up a Rockies fan and while the budget or good sense might not allow for it, the roster sure could use his healthy production.

Whichever direction they go, the Rockies have some room now to make some improvements. And we will be here to break down whatever they do with those eight spots.