German Marquez needs Tommy John surgery. There couldn’t be much worse news for the Colorado Rockies franchise at this precise moment in time.

There’s never a good time to get this news but the impacts of this go far beyond the 2023 season that may have been lost before it even began.

This is because Marquez, who has always been incredibly durable for this team, is coming to the end of his contract at a time when they have to make some concrete decisions about their future.

After this season, Charlie Blackmon comes off the books and the Rox will be faced with either picking up Marquez’ club option of letting him become an unrestricted free agent while recovering from injury.

Just three strikeouts shy of the all-time franchise record, and coming up on a few other big milestones in terms of games won and innings pitched, Marquez may have thrown his last ballgame for the Rockies.

But he probably hasn’t.

Judging based on their long standing relationship with him and comments made by manager Bud Black who plainly asked, “who wouldn’t want him?” it seems highly likely Colorado will pay the $16 million to bring him back next season. For however much season he gets.

The even harder question will be what is to be done after that? There will be an extremely limited amount of time for the Venezuelan righty to prove what he still has left at the end of 2024, though he will still only be 29 years old.

There could be consideration of a longer term extension but that could be difficult to negotiate on both sides. The Rockies would love to run it back and just keep paying Marquez what they have been, but a healthy version of him pitching near his peak would get more than that on the free market.

Would he and his agent take a tradeoff of a bit of security over time in exchange for maybe never becoming that $20 million a year pitcher he could be?

Do the Rockies want to invest a bunch of money and the future of their rotation on a guy coming off his worst season performance wise (2022) and now his worst season from an injury perspective?

If they don’t, can they afford to start all over in their rotation around Kyle Freeland and an organization full of question marks?

You can’t win if you don’t pitch and the future of Colorado Rockies pitching is way up in the (thin) air.

This is why a team that isn’t especially known for spending big chunks of change are likely to do just that for a player we won’t see on the field again until the end of next season. Part of it is loyalty and appreciation for what he has already done for this team but just as much of it is the recognition that, even given current circumstances, German Marquez is as good a bet to be able to pitch well in Denver as just about anyone in the world.

Even just another month or two of him pitching well this season – he had a great spring and started nicely – would have made picking up the option or even a long-term extension a no-brainer.

And while there are plenty of encouraging stories of players who have returned from TJ better than ever before, it’s hard to feel anything good about the current state of the Mile High rotation.

In the meantime, the team will struggle even more without him and may end up with their first ever 100 loss season. The one silver lining to that may be that they are finally forced to hand things over to the young players and begin to see who of the next generation can emerge.

Maybe by the time Marquez gets back, he will have a new group or promising youngsters to lead.

That is, of course, if he ever comes back at all.