Welcome to the offseason, Rockies fans, where your team needs to make upgrades, but will likely lose some of their talent as well.
DJ LeMahieu is one of the free agents the Rockies could end up seeing leave, and our own Luke Zahlmann believes they should part ways with him for a younger, cheaper option. With Garret Hampson and Brendan Rodgers knocking down the door to play at the MLB level, it could make sense to move on.
But, what if the Rockies lose LeMahieu to a division rival like the Los Angeles Dodgers?
— Jon Morosi (@jonmorosi) November 6, 2018
That’s the rumor from Tuesday afternoon, and that would hurt Colorado because he would have 19 games per season to beat up on his former team, the Rockies.
After playing 37 games for the Chicago Cubs in 2011, LeMahieu has spent the rest of his eight-year career in Colorado, where he blossomed. He’s been the full-time second baseman for the Rox the last five years, winning three Gold Gloves during that time along with making two All-Star Games during that time alone.
Last season, he slumped in terms of batting average, down to .276 on the season. But, his 15 homeruns were a career-high. In the field, his .993 fielding average was the best of his career, too, helping to earn him that third Gold Glove trophy.
According to Patrick Saunders, the Rockies aren’t looking to re-sign LeMahieu:
— Patrick Saunders (@psaundersdp) November 7, 2018
As a free agent, LeMahieu could earn in the $12-14 million range per year, and with two younger and much cheaper options, the Rockies will seemingly turn to either Hampson or Rodgers. In 24 games last season with the Rockies, Hampson hit at a .275 clip, with 11 hits and 12 strikeouts. In the field, he split time between shortstop (when Trevor Story was injured) and his native second base, showing a bit of inexperience with three errors in that limited game time.
Still, Colorado could decide it’s time to promote Hampson — or Rodgers — or they could go after someone in the free agent market. Our free agent primer breaks down three players who could fit at second base for the Rox.
Now, in early November, rumors are just heating up in terms of the MLB offseason. The Rockies could lose LeMahieu, Adam Ottavino, and fellow reliever Seunghwan Oh, who wants to finish his career in his native South Korea. Colorado also declined the option on Gerardo Parra and Carlos Gonzalez could be “CarGone” as well.
Simply, this is a huge offseason for the Rockies, who just made the postseason in back-to-back years for the first time in their 25-year history. If Colorado wants to sustain that success, general manager Jeff Bridich has a lot of work to do.