LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — While the Rockies are working on shoring up their bullpen, the idea of adding a first baseman remains a possibility, even if it’s not the club’s highest priority.
The Rockies continue to have discussions about bringing back veteran Mark Reynolds, while the idea of signing free agent Carlos Santana remains a possibility. But how serious the Rockies are about pursuing Santana isn’t quite clear.
“Theoretically, Santana is a fit,” general manager Jeff Bridich said again on Wednesday. “Practically? We’ll see.”
Asked if money spent on late-inning arms could affect the club’s ability to spend money on a corner bat, he said: “It’s just a natural part of team building and trying to plan, and it’s a fluid situation.”
A number of teams are interested in Santana, but the price tag for him is still being determined. According to national media reports at the winter meetings here, the Indians have made him a three-year, $36 million offer.
No sale. Bridich said the Rockies are getting a lot of inquiries about their young starting pitchers, but the Rockies aren’t likely to trade any of them.
“We really don’t have any need or desire to trade any of our young starting pitchers,” Bridich said. “But I will say that when we talk to other teams or when teams bring ideas to us, those guys are usually pretty darn popular.”
With youngsters Jon Gray, Kyle Freeland, German Marquez, Antonio Senzatela and Tyler Anderson leading the way, Colorado’s starting rotation had a 1.38 WHIP (walks, plus hits per innings pitched) in 2017, the fifth-lowest mark in franchise history.
Rusin’s role. Versatile left-handed reliever Chris Rusin, the Rockies’ Swiss Army knife out of the bullpen, is likely to remain a reliever. He was auditioning for a starter’s job during last year’s spring training before suffering an oblique injury.
When he got healthy, he shined as a reliever, going 5-1 with a 2.65 ERA in 60 games and finishing second in the majors among relievers with 85 innings pitched.
“He did a really nice job for us in the bullpen and he’s grown,” Bridich said. “So, I guess you can never say never, but I would hope that we would move forward with him, doing the really fine job he’s done for us in the ‘pen. His versatility there in the ‘pen is a big deal.”