Sort­ing through the ru­mors

The Denver Post - - SPORTS - By Pa­trick Saun­ders Pa­trick Saun­ders: psaun­ders@ den­ver­ or @psaun­der­sdp

na­tional har­bor, md. » ock­ies gen­eral man­ager Jeff Bridich sat in his ho­tel room here Wed­nes­day evening as the base­ball world swirled in the lobby nine floors be­low.

It’s not of­ten the Rockies make the rumor mill spin at 5,000 RPMs, but that’s ex­actly what they did at the winter meet­ings. First came sur­pris­ing news that they had agreed to terms with short­stop-turned-out­fielder Ian Desmond for five years and $70 mil­lion.

Then came the flood of ru­mors.

The the­ory is that Desmond, who was brought in to fill the hole at first base, was just the

Rfirst domino to fall and that other moves were sure to fol­low.

For in­stance, there were mul­ti­ple re­ports that the Rockies were deep into talks with St. Louis about a trade for cen­ter fielder Char­lie Black­mon in ex­change for pitch­ing and per­haps first base­man Matt Adams.

The Rockies, how­ever, are ask­ing a lot in re­turn for Black­mon, who’s com­ing off a ca­reer year when he hit .324 with 29 homers and a .381 on-base per­cent­age from the lead­off spot.

The sec­ond part of the the­ory is if the Rockies trade Black­mon (or Car­los Gon­za­lez), the Rockies might move Desmond to the out­field, where he played last sea­son for Texas.

Fox Sports’ na­tional base­ball writer Ken Rosen­thal, a man with his fin­ger on the big-league pulse at these meet­ings, even tweeted that the Rockies might not be done with their pur­suit of free-agent slug­ger Mark Trumbo as their first base­man.

The prob­lem with all of the ru­mors is that I’ve been told by re­li­able sources that the Rockies are in­tent on mak­ing Desmond their first base­man. They like his ath­leti­cism and think he can thrive at Coors Field.

De­spite the break­ing news and chat­ter through­out the winter meet­ings, Bridich would not con­firm the Desmond deal, but I have no doubt it will be­come of­fi­cial rel­a­tively soon.

When Bridich was asked if the wheels were now in mo­tion for more moves, he replied: “Our goals are still the same, we came here to the winter meet­ing with pri­or­i­ties for first base and the bullpen, and those pri­or­i­ties are still the same — which means we are still very ac­tive.

“It’s tough to gauge what will hap­pen over the next day and what this sit­u­a­tion will lead to once the meet­ings are done.”

Asked specif­i­cally about the ru­mors about Black­mon, he replied: “My feel­ings haven’t changed about Char­lie Black­mon one bit. He’s a very pop­u­lar player for good rea­son. There have been (trade) ques­tions about him. There have been in­creased ques­tions about him since the (Desmond) ru­mors came out this af­ter­noon. It’s no sur­prise be­cause of the type of player and per­son that he is.”

Then Bridich said some­thing that made me think that Rockies would be open to mov­ing Black­mon — for the right price — as they did with Troy Tu­low­itzki in late July 2015.

“Cer­tainly, we have not had any in­ten­tion of trad­ing this player (Black­mon) for all those good rea­sons,” he said, then paused be­fore adding, “As I’ve said be­fore, we’re just go­ing to keep our ears open and eyes open. That’s just part of the busi­ness.”

My bot­tom line: I think Desmond will be Colorado’s pri­mary first base­man in 2017, and I would not be shocked to see Black­mon traded if the Rockies get qual­ity pitch­ing in re­turn.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.