LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — From the moment the Rockies’ offseason began, general manager Jeff Bridich said his top priority was “adding impact arms” to the bullpen.
The Rockies added the first arm Tuesday, coming to terms with free-agent right-hander Bryan Shaw, according to a major-league source. Shaw has been a stalwart of the Cleveland Indians’ bullpen. According to ESPN’s Buster Olney, the deal is for three years and about $27 million.
The deal is pending a physical and has not been officially announced by the Rockies.
Shaw, 30, pitched the last five seasons with the Indians after beginning his career in Arizona. He’s considered a workhorse and he led the American League with 79 appearances in 2017, while posting a 3.52 ERA and averaging 8.6 strikeouts per nine innings.
Overall, Shaw has also led the American League in appearances three times. He has never spent any time on the disabled list and leads all major-league pitchers with 442 appearances between 2013-17. Shaw is something of a groundball machine, with a 50.6 percent career groundball rate. That should play well at Coors Field.
Shaw had three saves last season for the Indians, but he’s never been a full-time closer. It could be that the Rockies envision him as a setup man in their revamped bullpen. Bridich has said during this week’s winter meetings that the Rockies are still having discussions with Greg Holland and Wade Davis as possible closers.
Reynolds return? Bridich confirmed the club has stayed in close contact with veteran first baseman Mark Reynolds, who played in Colorado for the last two seasons. Should the Rockies’ re-sign Reynolds, that would not necessarily preclude them from signing a free agent such as Carlos Santana.
Reynolds, 34, is coming off a terrific season in which he hit.267 with 30 homers and 97 RBIs. He played in 148 games, his most since playing in 155 in 2011. Reynolds would be an excellent addition off the bench, even if he wasn’t a starter. He was a bargain pickup last season, reporting to spring training on a minor-league deal and then getting a $1.5 million salary when he made the club.
Footnotes. Bridich confirmed the Rockies will not be in the bidding for free-agent first baseman Eric Hosmer or outfielder J.D. Martinez, both of whom figure to receive the largest contracts this winter. … Multiple reports had the Rockies as a possible trade partner with Miami for talented outfielder Marcell Ozuna, but Bridich shot down the rumors, saying, “We haven’t had any recent talks about Ozuna, whatsoever.” … The Rockies and the Double-A Hartford (Conn.) Yard Goats have reached a two-year extension on their player development contract, taking he teams through 2020.